Ismail Royer: You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is! (Islam and CRT Series)

Author Bio: Professor Shareef Muhammad is a co-author of the forthcoming book, The Muslim Guide For Understanding Structural Racism and its Impact on Black America. The book discusses the impact of structural racism on all aspects of Black American lives and presents the African-American Muslim case in favor of critical race theory. He has taught Dawah courses aimed at African-Americans for ICNA and African-American history & Islamic Studies at Spelman University.  He currently is director of Black Dawah Network and has previously written the book, Invitation to Islam For Black Marxists. 

Ismail Royer: You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is!

 

There have been many conversations concerning the merits of critical race theory in Muslim spaces in recent years. In previous works, we examined the incoherence, lack of research, and academic laziness present in Abdullah al Andalusi’s[i] and Dr. Bin Hamid Ali’s purported Islamic critiques of critical race theory.[ii] The latest insult to thinking Muslims comes from an article by Ismail Royer titled You Do Not Know What Critical Race Theory is.[iii] Here, Ismail Royer argues that critical race theory is corrosive to the Muslim faith. He alleges that because critical race theory is postmodernist, thereby denying objective truth, and is also Marxist. In this article, we respond to each of these claims.[iv]

 

The term ‘critical race theory’ is a post facto term for a body of African-American legal scholarship that began decades before the term was solemnized. It analyzed the failure of civil rights legislation to adequately  redress structural racism in American society.[v]  Conspicuously absent from Royer’s article is the name Derrick Bell. He is the founder of critical race theory.[vi] Royer’s report focuses on Michel Foucault, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Jacques Derrida, but he does not even mention the pioneer of critical race theory: Derrick Bell. Had Royer actually focused on the foundational writings of Derrick Bell, he could not make the case that critical race theory is postmodernist and Marxist. So let us do something that has not been done in Royer’s article and introduce Derrick Bell, his motives, and influences.

Derrick Bell is the founder of critical race theory. He worked under Thurgood Marshall on efforts to desegregate schools for African-Americans and challenge Jim Crow laws.[vii] Later on, in his career, Bell came to grips with the troubling reality that despite the Supreme Court declaring school segregation to be unconstitutional, African-Americans continued to be subjected to segregated schooling and other forms of institutional racism.

Bell would write a piece titled Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest-Convergence Dilemma, arguing that the United States is overturning school segregation. It was motivated by foreign policy objectives in an effort to make itself friendly to newly colonized nations in the context of the Cold War with the Soviet Union and not a genuine effort to improve the quality of education for African-Americans.[viii] In his article, “Racial Realism,” largely considered the progenitor of critical race theory, Derrick Bell notes an intellectual history among legal realists and critical legal scholars of demonstrating how those in power create laws and how the legal institutions protect the powerful.[ix] Bell states that African-Americans need a similar movement which will demonstrate how the law, Supreme Court decisions, and even civil rights legislation in the United States are designed to protect the dominant white society at the expense of Black people.[x] This movement would come to be known as critical race theory.

Who influenced Derrick Bell’s formulation of critical race theory?  Vinay Harplani, a former student of Derrick Bell, stated that Bell was a deeply religious man whose faith inspired his activism. He states that “Bell was inspired by a radical revolutionary, but it wasn’t Karl Marx; it was Jesus Christ.”[xi]   Dr. Tommy Curry, further writing on the intellectual origins of critical race theory, states that instead of “drawing theories of social organization and individual behavior from continental European thinkers like Hegel and Marx or psychoanalytic figures like Freud (critical legal studies and feminist jurisprudence), critical race theory was inspired by the American civil rights tradition through figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., and W.E.B. Du Bois, and from nationalist thinkers such as Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, and Frantz Fanon.”[xii]

The influence from Malcolm X is noteworthy.Critical race theory’s insights on structural racism in the United States align with the African-American Muslim political tradition. Malcolm X was known for his perspicacious insights into the American race problem. His belief was that legislation could not excise white supremacy that has shaped the black experience and American race relations.  Malcolm X stated that “A politician tries to pacify our people with deceitful promises of tricky civil rights legislation that is never designed to be a true solution to our problem. Civil rights legislation will never solve our problems.”[xiii]

He further stated that “The white liberals are nothing but political hypocrites who use our people as political footballs only to get bills passed that will increase their own power.”[xiv] For Malcolm X, the civil rights bill was more of a symbol than that of substance. He believed that if the Constitution of the United States was not enough to safeguard the fair treatment and rights of African-Americans, then another law will not solve the problem.

Malcolm X’s words proved more portending than we thought. For Derrick Bell, who had spent decades trying to get the laws changed, the aftermath of Brown v. Board would vindicate Malcolm X. The racial wealth gap in this country that Bell believed would disappear with African-Americans gaining access to white schools hasn’t even narrowed. It is the same today as it was in 1968 before the Civil Rights Bill.[xv] In addition, we have mass incarceration and police violence which disproportionately target African-Americans. Racial disparities are consistent in every facet of American society. By the 1980s, Bell was disillusioned with his career efforts and the Brown v. Board decision’s ability to usher in racial equity.  Critical race theory is focused on the failure of the civil rights movement to mitigate racist practices and legislation.[xvi] Furthermore, to stop ongoing attempts to roll back civil rights’ gains, the critical race theory offered “a withering critique of integrationism and exposed the hope of racial equality for blacks in America as nothing more than a mere illusion.”[xvii]

The African-American Muslim Case for Critical Race Theory

Though pioneered by Derrick Bell, critical race theory has become a field of legal analysis that highlights legal norms and presumptions that reinforce racism against African-Americans as well as ways to challenge those legal norms and presumptions.[xviii] The benefits of Muslims studying and applying critical race theory analysis for the benefit of the Ummah are undeniable. It was demonstrated by Aryion Sanders, a young African-American man who was wrongfully convicted of murder due to a coerced confession after white police officers threatened to kill his family. During his wrongful incarceration, Mr. Sanders converted to Islam, stating, “I came to Islam by Allah’s grace first and only, then by just picking up the Quran one day. I was so amazed, so I kept seeking knowledge about the deen.” Sanders further stated, regarding his criminal case, “Systemic racism is the heart of my case, I feel. It’s all about young black kids from the hood being threatened by white police because the police wanted anyone they could get, even if that meant the innocent.”[xix] Critical race theory scholarship works, such as  Racial Disparities in Fatal Police Shootings: An Empirical Analysis Informed by Critical Race Theory, which links aggressive police tactics to racial segregation, can help conceptualize why a young black child would be intimidated to give false confessions.[xx]

Under the current Federal Rules of Evidence, which govern criminal trials in the United States, prosecutors can introduce evidence to the jury that a defendant running from the police demonstrates consciousness of guilt.[xxi] The assumption underlying this rule of evidence is that a reasonable person would not run from the police unless they were trying to avoid detection from criminal activity.[xxii] However, works such as Toward a Critical Race Theory of Evidence point out this underlying assumption while masquerading as objective and fair it is based upon the lived realities of the white race.[xxiii]

Due to the epidemic of police brutality, black people often run from police out of fear of being brutalized or harassed, not the consciousness of guilt for a crime.  Thus, these purported objective federal rules of evidence are in fact prejudicial to Black people.[xxiv] Critical race theory scholarship, which interrogates these purportedly objective rules of evidence, is indispensable to challenging legal norms that can contribute to the wrongful conviction of African-Americans.

In an instance where an African-American male runs away from the police, and a judge allows the prosecutor to cite this as consciousness of guilt evidence, wouldn’t a defendant want a jury of his peers that would be understanding as to why an African-American would run away from the police for reasons other than the consciousness of guilt? The United States has a long history of excluding African-Americans from being jurors.  Excluding African-Americans from jurors has been  outlawed, as demonstrated in the case of Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), where the Supreme Court laid out a procedure for determining when a juror is being  illegally excluded due to their race.

The procedure involves the defense attorney’s objection and argument that the prosecutor is illegally excluding the juror based on race. In response, the prosecutor is only required to give a ‘race neutral’ explanation for why they excluded the juror. If the judge is convinced, the juror is seeking to be  excluded for reasons other than race, the exclusion is considered permissible.  Since racism is rarely an overt act and individuals will rarely admit to racist motivations,  critical race theorists have demonstrated and identified proxies for race that are used to exclude African-Americans from jury pools.[xxv]  One such example is asking prospective jurors whether they trust or have negative experiences with police.

Given that a large number of African-Americans have had negative interactions with the police, a prospective jury pool of African-Americans will likely affirm this. When such jurors are struck off from the jury pool, all the prosecutor needs to do is claim he struck off the African-Americans jurors based on their biased interaction with the police. This then raises the question, as set forth by a legal scholar Sheri Lynn Johnson in Batson from the Very Bottom of the Well: Critical Race Theory and the Supreme Court’s Peremptory Challenge Jurisprudence , “Given how many black men have had negative experiences with police, a prosecutor today need merely ask about such experiences to trigger an answer that will justify a strike and insulate him from Batson.”

In fact, Jack McMahon was a prosecutor who was discovered in a training video teaching prosecutors how to exclude black jurors to increase conviction rates. He is explicitly heard saying that his approach to black jurors was to “Get rid of as many as you can.” In this tutorial, McMahon describes how to give a race-neutral explanation when justifying their exclusion of black jurors.[xxvi]   It is  legal scholars in the field of critical race theory who have brought awareness as to the use of proxies that masquerade as ‘race-neutral explanations’ to discriminate against African-American jurors. This allows prosecutors to skirt around laws that make such overt discrimination illegal.

African-Americans are disproportionately incarcerated with many pathways to prison, facilitated by a lack of opportunity, oppression, and poverty. Many in prison convert to Islam, become new men,  and become great callers to Islam with the intentions of transforming their community.  However,  they are still confined to prison walls as a result of being given life sentences.[xxvii]   Prisons have been pivotal locations for dawah and conversions to Islam, especially for young African-American men from the inner-cities.

Take the example of Imam Abdul-Mateen of Menard Correctional Facility. As a young pre-teenager, he joined a local gang in Chicago known as Four Corner Hustlers and began selling drugs. As he entered deep into Chicago’s street life, he got involved in shootouts with rival gangs. He was subsequently sentenced to a defacto life sentence after being convicted for first-degree murder. While in prison, he would convert to Islam, stating, “I’ve been involved in shootouts where I knew I should have been dead, but I am still alive. I could have died like any one of my homies, so that’s when big questions started hitting me, why am I alive?” The further states,  “When I read the Quran, it was like it was speaking directly to me. To this day, my favorite verse is when Allah puts forth a challenge to produce a book like the Quran. Inspired by the man who once killed 99 people but who sought Allah’s forgiveness, Abdul-Mateen would transform himself and become an Imam in Menard Correctional Facility. He  does excellent dawah work within a prison. However, he would like to be free to continue to do dawah in the neighborhood he came from. This then raises the question, is it ethical to keep such a believer in prison, or would his freedom be more of a benefit to the dawah?

Critical race theorist Richard Degaldo conceptualizes an argument as to why the impact of structural racism on America’s ghettos and its criminogenic impact, should be a mitigating factor in sentencing.[xxviii] An example at hand is when African Americans from the inner-city who have had early childhoods in ghettos and later find themselves in prison. They undergo rehabilitation by embracing Islam. They are not the same person they were when they committed the crime that has resulted in a life sentence. Abdul-Mateen is not alone. There are many incarcerated African-American callers to Islam who are in prison for actions committed while living in urban ghettos that are “statistically more criminogenic than is psychosis; like than insanity.”[xxix] Using Degaldo’s arguments in efforts to get a reduction in sentencing is an example of critical race theory being deployed for the benefit of the dawah and the Ummah.[xxx] In fact, I hold the opinion that not raising Degaldo’s argument is not only tantamount to ineffective assistance of counsel but also a disservice to the Ummah.

Critical race theory offers a body of scholarship that provides insight and analysis of legal issues facing Black Americans. Any attorney focused on protecting the human rights of marginalized African-American communities cannot afford to ignore the insights offered by critical race theory. It has a direct benefit to the believers. One can only imagine the dangerous implications of Muslims dispensing all of the above tangible benefits that critical race theory scholarship provides, based on the spurious argument by Ismail Royer that it is rooted in postmodernism. 

Ismail Royer’s Conflation of Critical Race Theory and Postmodernist thought

         Now, one can only wonder why all of this context is absent from Ismail Royer’s article? Instead of describing the previous thirty years that led to Derrick Bell’s critical race theory and its fundamental premise that systemic racism has survived and thrived despite anti-racist laws, Royer subjects us to a nonsensical and inaccurate intellectual history about how the counter-Enlightenment, Nietzche, critical legal studies, Marxism, and postmodernism have spawned critical race theory.[xxxi] In his article “You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory,” Ismail Royer argues that critical race theory is derived from postmodernist thought, writing that “The connection between critical race theorists and Nietzsche‘s “will to power” and the genealogical method (i.e., the radical historicization of all truth claims, a relativizing approach) is by way of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida, who were major influences on critical race theory.”[xxxii] He goes on to assert that the critical race theory “is ultimately German and French in its origins.”[xxxiii]

What is Ismail Royer’s evidence to substantiate this claim? He does not cite any of the foundational works of critical race theory. Instead, he quotes from an article by philosopher Richard Jones titled Philosophical Methodologies of Critical Race Theory.[xxxiv] An honest and closer reading of Richard Jones thesis undermines Royer’s efforts to portray critical race theory as having its origins in Derrida, Foucault, and Nietzche.

Jones notes that critical race theory has become interdisciplinary and influenced other areas of African-American political thought, including the realm of philosophy. Jones writes, “Critical race theory has crossed disciplinary boundaries. Critical race theory is being taught not only in law schools but also in philosophy departments of universities.” As a result of  critical race theory crossing disciplinary boundaries in philosophy departments, Jones notes that “as taught in philosophy departments, critical race theory draws from many philosophical currents, especially the genealogical method.”

We live in an interdisciplinary world where ideas and concepts influence other fields of knowledge. When Richard Jones specifically discusses his particular adaptation of critical race theory within philosophical disciplines as a form of “innovation” and an adaptation of critical race theory from the legal arena to the philosophical arena, Jone’s deployment of Neitzche, Foucault, and Derrida is not evidence that critical race theory in its original iteration, is derived from the aforementioned individuals.

Author of Critical Affinities: Nietzsche and African American Thought states his published work was mischaracterized by Ismail Royer.

On the contrary, Jones himself describes it as an innovation undertaken largely by those outside of critical race theory. Royer also cites a book titled Nietzsche And African American Thought where the author, A. Todd Franklin, seeks to examine what contributions Nietzche can provide to black political thought.[xxxv] Both of these authors explore the possibilities of bringing postmodernism and Nietzschean existentialism into the ideation of critical race theory. But, they are not declaring that critical race theory has its origins in Nietsche or postmodernist thought. Royer carelessly grabbed obscure references from two authors tangentially related to critical race theory and did not accurately comprehend either of their theses.

In fact, I reached out to Professor Todd Franklin directly, shared Ismail Royer’s article with him, and told him, “From my reading of your work, you seem to be suggesting that in your personal belief Nietschze and postmodernist thought can enhance critical race theory analysis not that critical race theory itself is rooted in Nietzche or postmodernist thought. Is this correct?” Professor Todd Franklin responded: “You are correct. It’s unfortunate that people are misrepresenting my work.”[xxxvi]

Whether Royer’s misreading of Todd Franklin and Richard Jones was deliberate or simply an act of carelessness it indicates confirmation bias. Royer had a pre-existing belief that critical race theory derived from Nietzche. He further concluded that critical race theory must derive from Nietzche despite the fact that the author he bases this on, describes his ideas as an “innovation”.[xxxvii]

The fact that there are black philosophers who happened to be influenced by continental philosophy and critical race theory is not evidence that critical race theory in itself derives from continental philosophy. What Royer is doing is equivalent to saying that Capoeira derives from Jiu-Jitsu because a mixed martial artist may use both artforms in combat. It is an association fallacy that critics of critical race theory commonly use. They take a few disparate similarities between two or more things to mean that the qualities of one are inherently the qualities of the other.

In fact, Dr. Tommy Curry interviewed Derrick Bell in 2007. He asked him about the philosophical innovations to critical race theory  in which whites were attempting to align Bell with what they considered radical figures in the western tradition, like Michel Foucault, Karl Marx, and Jacques Derrida. Bell replied: “You have it exactly right. I consider myself the academic counterpart of Errol Garner, the late jazz pianist from the  hometown, Pittsburgh, who never learned to read music  fearing, as I understand it, that would ruin his style. I think there must be value in Marxist and other writings, but I did not really read them in college and have had little time since. I am writing this in Pittsburgh where I am celebrating  my 50th law school reunion from Pitt Law School. I do care about the thought writings and actions of Du Bois, Roberson, Douglass, et al. I think during my talk at UCLA, I read from the 1935 essay by Ralph Bunche about the futility of using law to overcome racism. It made more sense than so much theoretical writings on law, past and present, that I can barely understand and have great difficulty connecting with my experience. And you are right. At almost 77, I do not care to write in ways that whites can vindicate.”[xxxviii] Bell was a product of black revolutionaries and thinkers of various persuasions, but he was not a disciple of any European ideology or philosophy. He didn’t even see them as relevant.

Bolstering this point is Dr. Tommy Curry’s article titled Will The Real CRT Please Stand Up? The Dangers of Philosophical Contributions to CRT.  The opposition to  philosophical contributions to critical race theory scholarship is precise because it has resulted in white feminists, liberal LBGT activists, and their black proxies in academia altering its focus and distorting its scope.[xxxix]

It is unclear how Royer arrived at his conclusions because he never connected the dots. He calls critical race theory a counter-Enlightenment idea. Then calls Friedrich Nietzsche a counter-Enlightenment thinker. He further goes on to say that Nietzsche inspired postmodernism and that since critical race theory is a counter-Enlightenment idea, it is Nietzchean in origin and thus postmodernism. However, this raises the argument whereby Royer’s explanation of how critical race theory evolved from Nietzche has more missing links than Darwinism. At no point in his entire article does he tackle the true influences on Derrick Bell.

If he did, he would find that Bell was a devout Christian whose personal sense of social justice, like most black people of his era, was influenced not by The Order of Things which he likely never read but more by the Gospels with passages like that found in Luke 6:20: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”[xl] Derrick Bell’s work, Racial Realism Theory, considered a foundational piece within critical race theory, begins with the Biblical quote, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”[xli]  The faith that drove Bell’s theory conflicted with Nietzsche, Foucault, and Marx in ways that Royer would argue is identical to Islam

Ismail Royer’s Claim that Critical Race Theory is Marxism

In addition to false claims of postmodernist origins, the article makes the predictable accusation of Marxism, a common phrase from the right-wingers. This is because they call any social justice advocacy “Marxist” whenever they don’t want to take the time to learn about it. Royer states that: “Critical race theory also has Marxist roots. Many will say that it is not coherent to say that this theory is both postmodernist and Marxist because Marxism is an Enlightenment ideology.”[xlii] As an initial matter, Marxism is indeed an Enlightenment ideology, but Marx himself was a relativist who held the view that societies will hold certain things to be true and moral that are appropriate to certain stages in the process towards communism.”[xliii]

As Bell previously stated, he was not particularly versed with Marx and did not consider him important enough to study. On the other hand, Royer that critical race theory is essentially relativist or Marxist. So the reference to Marx being a relativist is wholly beside the point.[xliv] He makes a circular argument that critical race theory is relativist because Marx was a relativist without ever establishing the link between Marxism and critical race theory. We can debate whether Marx was a relativist, but that is inconsequential to what is being debated here. Royer does not substantiate his claim that critical race theory is Marxist. It is ironic because one of the distinguishing features of critical race theory is that unlike feminism and other Leftist ideas emerging during the 1970’s, Derrick Bell never started with Marxist analyses to frame social injustice.

What about Royer’s claim that aPostmodernist version of Marxism is inherited from the critical theory of the Frankfurt School from which critical race theory descends by way of its parent movement, critical legal studies.”[xlv] In essence, Royer says that critical race theory inherited Marxism from its ‘parent movement’ critical legal studies. However, he does not even provide evidence that critical legal studies uniformly inherited Marxism.

As noted by legal historian Dr. Robert Hunter “Although many influential contributors to critical legal studies were conversant with Marxism, the thrust of critical legal studies as a whole was ultimately non-or anti-Marxist.”[xlvi] In The Politics of Reason: Critical Legal Theory and Local Social Thought, James Boyle notes that of critical legal studies, “It is left-wing, yet it is deeply critical of Marxism.”[xlvii] In critical legal studies and Marx’s critique: A Reappraisal, published in Yale Journal of Law & the Humanities, Dr. Rob Hunter states explicitly, “The Critical Legal Studies (CLS) movement was not Marxist.”[xlviii]

Roberto Mangabeira Unger, the most prominent legal scholar of the critical legal studies movement, who published The Critical Legal Studies Movement book, considered the principal document of the movement, rejecting Marxism in its entirety by stating that it offered an “Intenably monocausal, teleological, and structurally rigid theory of society.”[xlix] The point is that if critical legal studies itself had anti-Marxist strains, then the notion that critical race theory is inherently Marxist simply because it was influenced by critical legal studies is completely unfounded.

While Bell notes a history of critical legal scholars in demonstrating how laws protect the rich and powerful in his clarion call for a movement, at no point does he precondition this movement upon accepting any Marxist presumptions or metaphysical beliefs.[l] The fact that Bell maintained Christian beliefs and did not adopt a Marxist worldview is evident enough.

Royer uses a weak analogy to desperately get us to his claim that critical race theory is Marxist. He writes: “Critical race theory adopted many aspects of Marxism (as in its substitution of racial struggle for class struggle).”[li] The class struggle being at the heart of all historical conflict, is essential to Marxism that substituting it with racial struggle would render it void of being Marxist. Dr. Tommy Curry writes that “Bell is not making an argument about antagonistic classes, he is arguing how the law cannot incorporate Black subjects into citizen rights and protections.[lii] There are, in fact, Black Marxists, but Bell is not one of them. The notion that critical race theory is just a modified version of Marxism that simply substitutes race for class is inaccurate and a caricature.

Critical race theorist’s emphasis on racist struggle does not prove Marxist origins. Black Marxists, which I’ve written a book about An Invitation to Islam for Black Marxists, have always struggled with Marxism’s lack of attention to race.[liii] Most of them regard racism to be a by-product of capitalism which was a view not accepted by Derrick Bell.[liv] Royer’s rationale strikes as oblivious and does not demonstrate a link between critical race theory and Marxism. It does not even make sense, and, needless to say, he never quotes Bell showing us any of the many aspects of Marxism he’s talking about. It is as if he leaves it to our imagination to fill in these blanks.

Bell stated that he never read Marx and was influenced by Fredrick Douglass, Paul Robenson, and W.E.B Dubois. Royer may be inclined to then argue that while Bell wasn’t influenced by Karl Marx himself, he was influenced by W.E.B Dubois, who was influenced by Marxism, and therefore critical race theory is Marxist.  Furthermore, if Royer did make this argument, then what does it mean that none of the influences Bell mentioned were postmodernists?  The problem with this logic is that Malcolm X was also an influence of Derrick Bell in the development of critical race theory.[lv] Malcolm X followed the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the religion of Islam. By Royer’s logic, this would make critical race theory more Islamic than Marxist? Derrick Bell laments that only “God knows how many other blacks who were killed because they had the gumption to tell the truth about the conditions blacks live in this country.”[lvi] The fact that Bell was a Christian, and began some of his pivotal writings with Biblical quotes, would this make critical race theory more Christian than Islamic or Marxist?[lvii]

In fact, Bell in Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory endorses a colleague’s remarks that “Critical race theorists are grouped together not by virtue of their theoretical cohesiveness but rather an orientation around race that seeks to attack a legal system which disempowers African-Africans.”[lviii] This would mean that while Derrick Bell can point to Jesus as his theoretical influence, a Muslim can just as easily point to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as his influence in producing the critical race theory scholarship.

Derrick Bell is proof that critical race theory can accommodate religious belief and does not lead to atheism.[lix] Critical race theory is influenced by African-American political theorists and political thinkers of different ideological and theological backgrounds. Derrick Bell’s influences were too ideologically and religiously diverse to exploit any one of them in an effort to box in critical race theory by making it out to be an extension.

Royer’s mistaken belief that Bell transposed the ideas of Marx and postmodernist thinkers to his new creation critical race theory, suggesting that it is unimaginative and merely a critical theory, is deceiving. This is what I identify as latent racism in how black intellectuals are taken to task. Ironically, the same dismissive criticism was made of Muslim nations during the Golden Age of Islam. Orientalists claimed that Muslim philosophers and thinkers mimicked the Greeks.  Bell did not blindly adopt critical theory, Marxism, and postmodernism. It is incomprehensible to some to conceive a black thinker critically engaging the ideas of white people and discerning what they find valid.

Critical race theory is unrelated to classical Marxism of Europe or even Neo-Marxism of America. Not a single critic has succeeded in showing us where critical race theory is bound to: 1) dialectical materialism, 2) class conflict analysis, 3) historical materialism to understand class relations, or 4) that racism is merely the by-product of capitalism. Critical race theory is a theory of how structural racism operates in the United States, and that is its scope. It does not propose an ideal economic system, address the purpose of life, or present a cosmology.

Critical Race Theory and Objective Truth

Critical Race Theory has mounted a critique of objectivity and merit within the American legal system. In the context of American law, the standard of a “reasonable prudent man” is often used to instruct jurors and create assessments for how juries should interpret behavior. It states “[R]easonableness must be judged … from the standpoint of a reasonable man in the situation of the defendant at the time under all the circumstances surrounding him.”[lx] Critical race theorists have pointed out that  this purported objective standard prejudices African-Americans.[lxi] As we have pointed out earlier, critical race theory has highlighted how the Federal Rules of Evidence which purports to be objective, allows for police flight to be used as evidence of consciousness of guilt. This prejudices African-Americans in the criminal legal system who run from the police due to a history of police harassment.[lxii]

Critical race theory’s criticism of objectivity also manifests itself in discussions of affirmative actions.[lxiii] Critics of affirmative action programs will often argue that such policies unfairly benefit blacks and what is needed is a pure merit system. Critical race theorists respond to such detractors by pointing out that racial segregation, including centuries of laws that denied African-Americans the ability to read, and provided whites with even more opportunities to earn “merit”.[lxiv]  Legal scholar Robert L. Hayman asks, “Is it “merit” that compels disparities in educational funding? Is it “merit” that disproportionately locates minority students in under-funded schools?”[lxv]

Critical race theory’s critique of the manner in which objective standards uphold white supremacy and prejudice Black people are not at all synonymous  or equivalent to postmodernist claims that deny the existence of any objective truth. The fact that Derrick Bell maintained his beliefs in Christianity is proof. If critical race theory does not embrace the postmodernist view that there is no absolute truth, then what do we make of  Ismail Royer’s quotation of Jean Stancic’s view that  “For the critical race theorist, objective truth, like merit, does not exist, at least in social science and politics. In these realms, truth is a social construct created to suit the purposes of the dominant group.”[lxvi]

First, Stefancic states that “Probably not every writer [critical race theorist] would subscribe to every tenet set out in this book,” which is a crucial qualifier because it indicates that there are fault lines within critical race theory itself.[lxvii] Secondly, Royer’s quote is taken from the first edition of that book where the authors never anticipated that there would be people unscrupulous enough to see postmodernism where it does not exist.  That quote does not exist in the subsequent edition of the book, likely responding to the misunderstanding and chicanery. A more precise analysis of critical race theory’s stance on objectivity as noted by Dr. Tommy Curry, is that “Critical race theory expresses skepticism toward dominant legal claims of neutrality, objectivity, color blindness, and meritocracy.”[lxviii]

Although, in the first edition of the critical race theory book, the example cited for critical race theory’s skepticism towards objective truth in politics is the Supreme Court’s complicity in state-based laws. These laws prohibited African-Americans from testifying against white people in criminal trials for a significant period. When blacks are excluded from testifying against whites, objective truth in America’s judicial system merely upholds white supremacy.[lxix]

Ismail Royer seems defensive of what he considers a rejection of “The Enlightenment’s emphasis on reason” throughout his article as if the Enlightenment is compatible with Islam in ways that critical race theory could never be.[lxx] Royer wants to warn us that critical race theory will lead someone down the path of atheism. Royer presents no examples of where critical race theory has ever led someone to atheism.[lxxi] He just tries to invalidate critical race theory with a hypothetical consequence. The fact is that critical race theory makes no theological claims, thus it does not encroach on any beliefs about God or the afterlife. Its preoccupation is with racism in American society. The Enlightenment, on the other hand, with its radical belief in rationality and reason, divorced from faith, is the origin of secularism.

Atheists of the Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins variety have claimed that their rejection of God is rooted in the ideas of the Enlightenment.[lxxii] Subsequently, the French Revolution was based on Enlightenment principles and was a militant atheist.[lxxiii] Both postmodernism and the Enlightenment were primarily produced by French thinkers who challenged the authority of religion. The only difference is that postmodernists like Michel Foucault challenged the authority of all metanarratives while Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire attacked faith specifically.[lxxiv] The fact that the enlightenment or Greek philosophy that he mentioned, presume absolute truths and postmodernism rejects them, does not make it more compatible with Islam. This is because their “truths” were reason without revelation in the case of the Enlightenment and polytheism in the case of Greek philosophy.[lxxv] Royer posits that they have more in common with Islam on the shallow basis that they all share a pretense to truth, but the Enlightenment was militantly anti-religion while Greek philosophy was based on old-fashioned shirk.[lxxvi]

Ismail Royer’s article relies on the association fallacy and non-sequiturs. In doing so, it makes the same mistakes as before by not substantiating its claims using actual critical race theorists. Furthermore, Derrick Bell, the founder, was never examined in-depth and in the case of Royer’s article, he is not mentioned at all.[lxxvii]

What purported Islamic apologists do by citing European philosophy as the fons et origo of critical race theory is bringing critical race theory down to their level. They specialize in religious apologetics, discourses in western thought, and how secularism is perverting the Ummah. These Muslims are trying to discuss critical race theory in the context of post-World War II European thought because they are not very knowledgeable about the Civil Rights movement, the struggle of African-Americans, and the history of radical resistance, which are critical race theory’s true influences. In so doing, they neglect to see black thinkers as having produced anything original. There is inherent racism in assuming that only in association to white thinkers that black intellectuals can be understood or even considered philosophical.[lxxviii]

Can Muslims Accept Critical Race Theory?

What is Royer’s issue with critical race theory? Critical race theory is not focused on critiquing Islam or secularizing Muslim minds. Its focus is on critiquing racism in America. This is unlike the liberal atheists that he relies upon to critique critical race theory. Royer states, “To a believer, critiques of critical race theory by atheist liberals like Helen Pluckrose often make a lot of sense.”[lxxix] What Ismail Royer does not mention to his readers is that Helen Pluckrose has explicitly stated that her goal is to secularize the Muslim world. Pluckrose bemoans how:

Should Muslims really be “making sense” of liberal atheist critiques of social justice politics?

“{[T]he widespread abuse of women, secularists, and LGBT in strict Islamist cultures is not taken as a feature of authoritarian interpretations of Islam– as the Islamists themselves claim– but interpreted as a result of western colonialism and imperialism, which perverted that culture and caused it to become abusive. This is a direct hindrance to the very secularization campaigns that could help ameliorate those problems.”[lxxx]

With all of this posturing about “Islamic epistemological purity,” the question arises, how then can Ismail Royer and others see the merit in liberal atheist or conservative Christian critiques of critical race theory but not see the merit in critical race theory’s critique of American racism? Pluckrose has an agenda directly targeting Islam. It is remarkable that even though Derrick Bell and early critical race theorists never took an antagonistic stance to Islam as Pluckrose and certainly never called for the secularization of the entire Muslim world, it is somehow critical race theory creating the most fitna. The irony with Muslim critics of critical race theory is that they side with liberal atheist or conservative critics who regard Islam to be just as dangerous to western civilization and its founding principles.[lxxxi] Fox News commentators posit that Islamists are allegedly using critical race theory to bring down America.[lxxxii]

It is hypocrisy. Even if the response to this inconsistency is “Well, Muslims can borrow from liberal atheists critiques of social justice politics like Helen Pluckrose without accepting the bits that are antagonistic to Islam,” the obvious question would be why is the same courtesy not extended to critical race theory whose core tenants are not anathema to Islam?

Granted, Derrick Bell was influenced by legal realism, which influenced critical legal studies, but that is because its basic premise is true: laws are created by those in power, and the legal institutions tend to protect the powerful while society’s minorities are marginalized and discriminated against.[lxxxiii] Is there a debate on whether this is true? Legal realism inspired Bell to call African-Americans to create a movement that would demonstrate how the laws and the criminal legal system protects white society. This does not constitute a linear connection to alleged Marxist or postmodernist worldviews in critical legal studies but overlapping consensus on self-evident truths. As we have already demonstrated, the critical legal studies movement itself was not uniformly Marxist.

The best summary was given by Dr. Tommy Curry who points out that “White scholars commonly assume that the “critical” in Critical Legal Studies and Critical Race Theory are both species of “critical theory” and greatly exaggerate the influence of these techniques in CRT. While there is certainly a direct link between CLS and the Frankfurt school of thought that drives many of CLS’ perspectives, the same case cannot be made for CRT. In fact, the conscious break of many ethnic minorities from CLS signals a turn to new intellectual paradigms.””[lxxxiv]

Conclusions

The opponents of critical race theory within the Muslim community use the pretense that critical race theory is ‘secular’ as a basis to reject its utility. They make mendacious appeals for only accepting scholarship on structural racism that is rooted in a ‘purely Islamic epistemology’ yet fail to articulate what this so-called “Islamic epistemology” is or produce ‘purely Islamic’ scholarship on racism in the United States that addresses the problems of police brutality, redlining, blockbusting, predatory lending, and wrongful convictions in the United States. What they have offered are  statements like “Iblis was the first racist” or “Islam doesn’t see color.” This is spiritual by-passing when people use religion or spiritual ideas to sidestep real issues and avoid confronting reality or working on the problem.

The main problem with Royer is not that he disagrees with us about the merits of critical race theory, but his reasons for opposing critical race theory are based entirely on errors. His article “You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is” relies on association fallacies, a litany of non-sequiturs, and blatant misrepresentations of other people’s work. He exploits the general illiteracy of his audience who likely are not informed concerning the plight of Black Americans and legitimate Muslim religious sensibilities concerning the rise of atheists to turn Muslims away from seeing the value in critical race theory.

What these critics really want is to silence any critical examination of structural racism. Critical race theory just happens to be their latest straw man. Dilettantes on race matters like Ismail Royer have sounded this false alarm to get everybody out of the building where they cannot be exposed to the proverbial “elephant in the room,” which is race. He states about critical race theory that “Of course it’s racially divisive.”[lxxxv] This is inverting the problem. He is crediting critical race theory with this country’s racial divide as if the race relations were improving before critical race theory. This statement is also, in the legal field, known as conclusory which consists of or relating to a conclusion or assertion for which no supporting evidence is offered. No one who has asserted the racial divisiveness of critical race theory has demonstrated how or where it has caused racial division. The racial division started when white America racialized chattel slavery, created Jim Crow laws, practiced systemic racism, and enforced the racial caste with violence. Banning critical race theory is not a step towards post-racialism but proves critical race theory analysis of post-civil rights era racism correct.

Case in point: Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen issued an opinion on August 19th of this year that labels critical race theory and some anti-racism programs taught in schools as “discriminatory.”[lxxxvi] The binding statement declared these activities to be not only against state law but also violating the equal protection clause of the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment. This is the result of seeing critical race theory as racially divisive: it neutralizes the struggle against racism that actually exists on purely theoretical grounds. Proving the existence of systemic racism is necessary but not sufficient. The laws are not sufficient to solve the race problem because past and present reveal that they have been used to shield racism from legal action or even criticism and even have benefited whites more than blacks as in the case of Affirmative Action. Constitutional amendments originally intended to prevent racial discrimination against Blacks are now interpreted to inhibit anti-racism. This vindicates critical race theory and legal scholar Alan Freman in Legitimizing Racial Discrimination Through Antidiscrimination Law: A Critical Review of Supreme Court Doctrine.[lxxxvii]

Critical race theory is not “racially divisive” but puts the current race problem in its proper historical context. What makes critical race theory unique is that it does more than merely offer empirical evidence for the existence of systemic racism. More specifically it is a legal analysis of how and why civil rights legislation failed to resolve structural racism.

Critical race theory pieces such as Toward a Critical Race Theory of Evidence offer a legal analysis examining presumptions within the Federal Rules of Evidence that prejudice African-Americans. It’s insights are of direct relevance to an attorney.[lxxxviii] Critical race theory scholarship such as Batson from the Very Bottom of the Well: Critical Race Theory and the Supreme Court’s Peremptory Challenge Jurisprudence offers insights into prosecutorial practices that directly prejudice African-Americans.[lxxxix]

How does Royer suggest that we discuss any of this nation’s racial history without being “racially divisive” to him and others? Does he consider the last khutba of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to be racially divisive?[xc] What alternatives does he proffer besides platitudes?[xci] The United States was conceived in racial supremacism and had a sustained history of anti-black discrimination to boot. Critical race theory belongs to the rich tradition of understanding that so that we can better fight it.

The hoopla in the media about critical race theory being taught in schools is misleading the public into believing that this is a theoretical issue and that there are no civil or human rights at stake. There are flesh and blood people  in courts of law who have been subjected to racial bias in being charged and sentenced. The scholarship and legal analysis of critical race theorists have offered tangible benefits to Muslims and African-Americans who are most vulnerable to the machinations of the criminal legal system. The problems that African-Americans face do not disappear once they become Muslim. In fact, it compounds their discrimination when they take on a religion that is vilified and maligned.  There is far too much at stake to reject the benefits of critical race theory on the spurious grounds that it is ‘secular.’

 

 

Across the United States, white Americans in mass numbers have held rallies, protests and even passed legislation to curb the purported influence of critical race theory.[xcii] It is a backlash to the widespread uprisings of African-Americans against police brutality in the wake of the tragic killing of George Floyd. In the era of racialized chattel slavery, large segments of white Americans characterized efforts to free Black Americans from the bondage of slavery as unbiblical and against the law of God. Many believed that slavery was necessary to contain African-American’s ‘savage tendencies.’

What we are witnessing today by critical race theory  opponents is an old trick. In the era of Jim Crow, white Americans castigated efforts to eradicate racist laws that discriminated against Black Americans as Communist and ungodly. [xciii] In the de facto structural racism era, white Americans are similarly castigating critical race theory which  has mounted a pointed analysis of how liberal reforms uphold institutional racism as Marxists. They have organized rallies, protests and even used legislation to stop the influence of critical race theory.[xciv]

Muslims must not be duped into joining the anti-critical race theory campaign by fallacious arguments and false claims of secularism and atheism. Make no mistake, white America’s ire and protest against critical race theory is about more than critical race theory. It is about preserving a violent and racist status quo that devalues black lives and grinds them into dust. My upcoming book titled The Muslim Guide to Understanding Structural Racism and Its Impact on Black America will present the empirical evidence of systemic racism in every major facet of American society, the failure of civil rights legislation, how American institutions have like the criminal legal system have sustained a racial hierarchy, the crucial role of critical race theory in analyzing current racist practices, how it is used in courts of law, and the ways that Islam as a force of social redemption can rectify the African-American plight.

Islam in this country began with black Muslims who practiced Islam as a theocentric justice movement. Muslims today should continue their tradition of fighting for the oppressed. It is not critical race theory that is corrosive to the faith of Muslims. It is the system of white supremacy which first denied enslaved African Muslims the ability to practice their faith and continues its assault on African-Americans even after they have embraced Islam.

Support the Black Dawah Network’s  effort to publish the forthcoming book The Muslim Guide For Understanding Structural Racism and Its Impact on Black America.

 

Citations

[i]Abdullah Al Andalusi’s Embarrassingly Bad Argument Against Critical Race Theory!, Shareef Muhammad https://www.blackdawahnetwork.com/2020/07/abdullah-al-andalusis-embarrassingly-bad-argument-against-critical-race-theory/ (last visited Aug. 27, 2021).

[ii] A Critical Look at Zaytuna Professor Dr. Abdullah bin Hamid Ali’s Denial of Systemic Racism!, Shareef Muhammad https://www.blackdawahnetwork.com/2020/07/a-critical-look-at-zaytuna-professor-dr-abdullah-bin-hamid-alis-denial-of-systemic-racism/  (last visited Aug. 27, 2021).

[iii] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree, Jul. 9, 2021,  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[iv] Id.

[v] Derrick A. Bell, Who’s Afraid of Critical Race Theory?, 4 Univ. Ill. L. Rev. 893 (1995).

[vi] Tommy J. Curry, Canonizing the Critical Race Artifice, in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Race (Paul Taylor, Linda Alcoff, & Luvell Anderson eds., 2017).

 

[vii] Caroline M. McKay, Derrick Bell, First Tenure Black Professor at HLS, Dies, The Harvard Crimson (Oct. 7, 2011), https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/10/7/law-school-bell-black/.

[viii] Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Brown v. Board of Education and the Interest-Convergence Dilemma, 93 Harv. L. Rev. 518 (1980), https://www.jstor.org/stable/1340546.

[ix] Derrick Bell, Racial Realism, 24 Conn. L. Rev. 363 (1992), http://blog.richmond.edu/criticalracetheory/files/2019/02/Bell-Racial-Realism.pdf.

[x] Derrick Bell, Racial Realism, 24 Conn. L. Rev. 363 (1992), http://blog.richmond.edu/criticalracetheory/files/2019/02/Bell-Racial-Realism.pdf.

[xi] Derrick Bell, Racial Realism, 24 Conn. L. Rev. 363 (1992), http://blog.richmond.edu/criticalracetheory/files/2019/02/Bell-Racial-Realism.pdf.

[xii] Tommy J. Curry, Critical Race Theory, in The Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (Shaun L. Gabbidon & Helen Taylor Greene, Est. 2009), https://www.academia.edu/4280124/_Critical_Race_Theory_.

[xiii] (1963) Malcolm X, “Racial Separation”, Black Past (Jan. 22, 2013), https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-african-american-history/1963-malcolm-x-racial-separation/.

[xiv] (1963) Malcolm X, “Racial Separation”, Black Past (Jan. 22, 2013), https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/speeches-african-american-history/1963-malcolm-x-racial-separation/.

[xv] Heather Long & Andrew Van Dam, The Black-White Economic Divide is as wide as it was in 1968, Wash. Post (Jun. 4, 2020), https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/06/04/economic-divide-black-households/.

[xvi]  J. Curry, Critical Race Theory, in The Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (Shaun L. Gabbidon & Helen Taylor Greene, Est. 2009), https://www.academia.edu/4280124/_Critical_Race_Theory_.

 

[xvii] Tommy J. Curry, Critical Race Theory, in The Encyclopedia of Race and Crime (Shaun L. Gabbidon & Helen Taylor Greene, Est. 2009), https://www.academia.edu/4280124/_Critical_Race_Theory_.

[xviii] The practical benefits of Critical Race Theory in litigation were outlined to Professor Shareef Muhammad by Attorney Hakeem Muhammad.

[xix] Aryion Sanders’ Journey to Islam as a Wrongfully Incarcerated Inmate, Black Dawah Network, https://www.blackdawahnetwork.com/2021/07/aryion-sanderss-journey-to-islam-as-a-wrongfully-incarcerated-inmate/ (last visited Aug. 28, 2021).

[xx] Michael Siegel, Racial Disparities in Fatal Police Shootings: An Empirical Analysis Informed by Critical Race Theory, 100 Boston Univ. L. Rev. 1069 (2020).

[xxi] Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, Toward a Critical Race theory of Evidence, 176 Minn. L. Rev. 2243 (2017), https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1175&context=mlr.

[xxii] Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, Toward a Critical Race theory of Evidence, 176 Minn. L. Rev. 2243 (2017), https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1175&context=mlr.

[xxiii] Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, Toward a Critical Race theory of Evidence, 176 Minn. L. Rev. 2243 (2017), https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1175&context=mlr.

[xxiv] Sarah Lustbader, Looks a Lot Like Law Enforcement. Will That Change?, The Appeal (Jan. 21, 2020), https://theappeal.org/the-reasonable-person-looks-a-lot-like-law-enforcement-will-that-change/.

[xxv] Sheri Lynn Johnson, Batson from the Very Bottom of the well: Critical Race Theory and the Supreme Court’s Peremptory Challenge Jurisprudence, 12 Ohio State J. Crim. L. 71 (2014), https://kb.osu.edu/bitstream/handle/1811/73473/OSJCL_V12N1_071.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.

[xxvi] Soccer #7 Jury Selection with Jack McMahon All Youtube (Apr. 6, 2015), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag2I-L3mqsQ.

[xxvii] How Gang Shootouts Led Me to Islam, Black Dawah Network, https://www.blackdawahnetwork.com/2021/04/from-gangsta-to-muslim-ramadan-reflections-from-incarcerated-african-american-muslims/.

[xxviii] Richard Delgado, Rotten Social Background: Should the Criminal Law Recognize a Defense of Severe Environmental Deprivation, 3 Minn. J. L. & Ineq. 9 (1985),   https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/lawineq/vol3/iss1/2/

[xxix] Richard Delgado, Rotten Social Background: Should the Criminal Law Recognize a Defense of Severe Environmental Deprivation, 3 Minn. J. L. & Ineq. 9 (1985),  https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1298&context=lawineq.

[xxx] How Gang Shootouts Led Me to Islam, Black Dawah Network, https://www.blackdawahnetwork.com/2021/04/from-gangsta-to-muslim-ramadan-reflections-from-incarcerated-african-american-muslims/.

[xxxi] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree, Jul. 9, 2021,  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[xxxii] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[xxxiii] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[xxxiv] Lewis Gordon, Philosophical Methodologies of Critical Race Theory, Blog of the APA (Aug. 20, 2019), https://blog.apaonline.org/2019/08/20/philosophical-methodologies-of-critical-race-theory/.

[xxxv] Critical Affinities: Nietzsche and African American Thought (Jacqueline Scott & A. Todd Franklin eds., 2006),

[xxxvi] Email from Todd Franklin, Professor of Philosophy and African Studies at Hamilton University, to the Author, (Aug. 21, 2021) (on file with the author).

[xxxvii] Lewis Gordon, Philosophical Methodologies of Critical Race Theory, Blog of the APA (Aug. 20, 2019),  https://blog.apaonline.org/2019/08/20/philosophical-methodologies-of-critical-race-theory/.

[xxxviii] Tommy J. Curry, Thinking Black: Derrick Bell and the Living of a Racial Realist Life, Racism Review (Oct. 11, 2011), http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2011/10/11/thinking-black-derrick-bell-and-the-living-of-a-racial-realist-life/.

[xxxix] Tommy J. Curry, Will the Real CRT Please Stand Up? The Dangers of Philosophical Contributions to CRT, PhilPapers (2009),  https://philpapers.org/rec/CURWTR.

[xl] Luke 6:20-28 (New International Version), available at https://www.bible.com/bible/111/LUK.6.20-28.NIV.

[xli] Derrick Bell, Divining a Racial Realism Theory in Faces at the Bottom of the Well (1992).

[xlii] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[xliii]

[xliv] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[xlv] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[xlvi] Rob Hunter, Critical Legal Studies and Marx’s Critique: A Reappraisal, 31 Yale J. L. & Humanities 389 (2021),  https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1480&context=yjlh.

[xlvii] Rob Hunter, Critical Legal Studies and Marx’s Critique: A Reappraisal, 31 Yale J. L. & Humanities 389 (2021),  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiVwKe2oMbyAhU0Ap0JHdd6D2cQFnoECCkQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fdigitalcommons.law.yale.edu%2Fcgi%2Fviewcontent.cgi%3Farticle%3D1480%26context%3Dyjlh&usg=AOvVaw030wH7_qj75xdXhNeB2f6k.

[xlviii] Rob Hunter, Critical Legal Studies and Marx’s Critique: A Reappraisal, 31 Yale J. L. & Humanities 389 (2021), https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1480&context=yjlh.

[xlix] Robert Mangabeira Unger, False Necessity: Anti-Necessitarian Social Theory in the Service of Radical Democracy (1987); Roberto Mangabeira Unger, The Critical Legal Studies Movement, 96 Harv. L. Rev. 561 (1982).

[l] Rasool Berry, Critical [G]race Theory: The Promise & Perils of CRT, Rasool Berry (Aug. 20, 2020), https://rasoolberry.medium.com/critical-g-race-theory-the-promise-perils-of-crt-c5de933d55a1.

[li] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[lii] @DrTJC, Twitter (Jul. 19, 2021 8:03 PM), https://twitter.com/DrTJC/status/1417273994659737606.

[liii] Shareef Muhammad, An Invitation to Islam for Black Marxists (2019), https://www.amazon.com/Invitation-Islam-Black-Marxists-ebook/dp/B07YNZ6XC9.

[liv] Shareef Muhammad, An Invitation to Islam for Black Marxists (2019), https://www.amazon.com/Invitation-Islam-Black-Marxists-ebook/dp/B07YNZ6XC9.

[lv] Tommy J. Curry, Shut Your Mouth When You’re Talking to Me: Silencing the Idealist School of Critical Race Theory through a Culturalogical Turn in Jurisprudence (May 9, 2007), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=983923.

[lvi] Derrick Bell, Faces at the Bottom of the Well (2018), https://www.google.com/books/edition/Faces_at_the_Bottom_of_the_Well/3ZxyDwAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=God+knows+how+many+other+blacks+who+were+killed+because+they+had+the+gumption+to+tell+the+truth+about+the+conditions+blacks+live+in+in+this+country..&pg=PT41&printsec=frontcover.

[lvii] Rasool Berry, Critical [G]race Theory: The Promise & Perils of CRT, Rasool Berry (Aug. 20, 2020), https://rasoolberry.medium.com/critical-g-race-theory-the-promise-perils-of-crt-c5de933d55a1.

[lviii] Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, The Derrick Bell Reader (2005), https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt9qg47z?turn_away=true&Search=yes&resultItemClick=true&searchText=whose+afraid+critical+race+theory&searchUri=%2Faction%2FdoBasicSearch%3FQuery%3Dwhose%2Bafraid%2Bcritical%2Brace%2Btheory&ab_segments=0%2Fbasic_search_gsv2%2Fcontrol&refreqid=fastly-default%3A565d40052e881b99f8bb92768085a1ac.

[lix] Id.

[lx] Sarah Lustbader, The “Reasonable Person” Looks a Lot Like Law Enforcement. Will That Change?, The Appeal (Jan. 21, 2020), https://theappeal.org/the-reasonable-person-looks-a-lot-like-law-enforcement-will-that-change/.

[lxi] Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, Toward a Critical Race Theory of Evidence, 101 Minn. L. Rev. 2243 (2017), https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1175&context=mlr.

[lxii] Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, Toward a Critical Race Theory of Evidence, 101 Minn. L. Rev. 2243 (2017), https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjRv_SL5MfyAhVAFVkFHSuTBf4QFnoECAIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.law.nyu.edu%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2FToward%2520a%2520Critical%2520Race%2520Theory%2520of%2520Evidence.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2RMbXY4pEybrvS8HgUhwSj.

[lxiii] Robert L. Hayman, Jr., Race and Reason: The Assault on Critical Race Theory and the Truth about Inequality, 16 Nat’l Black L.J. 1 (1998-2000).

[lxiv] Robert L. Hayman, Jr., Race and Reason: The Assault on Critical Race Theory and the Truth about Inequality, 16 Nat’l Black L.J. 1 (1998-2000).

[lxv] Robert L. Hayman, Jr., Race and Reason: The Assault on Critical Race Theory and the Truth about Inequality, 16 Nat’l Black L.J. 1 (1998-2000).

[lxvi] Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory (2012), https://books.google.com/books?id=p-DInbMLvhgC&pg=PA104&dq=For+the+critical+race+theorist,objective+truth,+like+merit,+does+not+exist,+at+least+in+social+science+and+politics.+In+these+realms,truth+is+a+social+construct+created+to+suit+the+purposes+of+the+dominant+grou&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjHu6a4mcbyAhW0FlkFHaZADjIQ6AEwAXoECAoQAg.

[lxvii]Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory (2012), https://www.google.com/books/edition/Critical_Race_Theory/T4iaDsruU38C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=Probably+not+every+writer%5D+would+subscribe+to+every+tenet+set+out+in+this+boo&pg=PA7&printsec=frontcover.

[lxviii] Tommy J. Curry, Shut Your Mouth When You’re Talking to Me: Silencing the Idealist School of Critical Race Theory through a Culturalogical Turn in Jurisprudence (May 9, 2007), https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=983923.

[lxix] Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory 104 (2012), https://www.google.com/books/edition/Critical_Race_Theory/ruoTCgAAQBAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=objective.

[lxx] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[lxxi] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[lxxii] Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason 259 (2005),

[lxxiii]  Alan Charles Kors, Atheism in France, 1650-1729, Volume I (2014),

[lxxiv] Alan Charles Kors, Atheism in France, 1650-1729, Volume I (2014),

[lxxv] Jon D. Mikalson, Ancient Greek Religion 31 (2011)

[lxxvi] Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment 181 (David wootton, Michael Cyril & William Hunter, eds., 1992), https://books.google.com/books?id=tg-7jwEACAAJ&dq=enlightenment+anti-theist&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjRtv3bnMbyAhUDV80KHYFAD40Q6AEwAXoECAIQAQ;  Abu Ameenah Biaal Philips, The Fundamentals of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) (1994), https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Fundamentals_of_Tawheed_Islamic_Mono/8BxlVBPmGlcC?hl=en&gbpv=1&bsq=greek.

[lxxvii] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[lxxviii]

Tommy J. Curry, Cast Upon the Shadows: Essays Toward the Culturalogic Turn in Critical Race Theory, (Dec. 9, 2008) (Ph.D. Dissertation, Southern Illinois University), https://www.forestoftherain.net/uploads/3/5/8/2/3582998/cast_upon_the_shadows_etd_final.pdf.

[lxxix] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwimqey1g8byAhVwKVkFHUnJCFIQFnoECAIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fagoodtree.net%2F2021%2F07%2F09%2Fyou-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is%2F&usg=AOvVaw042zpWDBPjA0g5SU8P5d-H.

[lxxx] Helen Pluckrose & James A. Lindsay, Cynical Theories (2020),

[lxxxi] Ismailroyer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjIm8C2ncbyAhXtFFkFHeaKBRsQFnoECAMQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fagoodtree.net%2F2021%2F07%2F09%2Fyou-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is%2F&usg=AOvVaw042zpWDBPjA0g5SU8P5d-H.

[lxxxii] Glenn Beck, EXPOSED: How Islamists & Critical Race Theory Proponents are WORKING TOGETHER, YouTube (Apr. 15, 2021), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGcPdtCmaKM.

[lxxxiii] Tracy E. Huggins, Derrick Bell’s Radical Realism, 61 Fordham L. Rev. 683 (1992) https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3021&context=flr.

[lxxxiv] Tommy J. Curry, Cast Upon the Shadows: Essays Toward the Culturalogic Turn in Critical Race Theory, (Dec. 9, 2008) (Ph.D. Dissertation, Southern Illinois University),

https://www.forestoftherain.net/uploads/3/5/8/2/3582998/cast_upon_the_shadows_etd_final.pdf.

[lxxxv] Ismail Royer, You Don’t Know What Critical Race Theory Is, A Good Tree (Jul. 9, 2021),  https://agoodtree.net/2021/07/09/you-dont-know-what-critical-race-theory-is/.

[lxxxvi] Attorney General Opinion, Volume 58:1, (May 27, 2021), https://media.dojmt.gov/wp-content/uploads/AGO-V58-O1-5.27.21-FINAL.pdf.

[lxxxvii] Alan David Freeman, Legitimizing Racial Discrimination through Antidiscriminaation law: A Critical Review of Supreme Court Doctrine, 62 Minn. L. Rev. 1049 (1978), https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1803&context=mlr.

[lxxxviii] Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose, Toward a Critical Race Theory of Evidence, 101 Minn. L. Rev. 2243 (2017), https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj8o9684MzyAhUuGVkFHab_AGUQFnoECAIQAQ&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.minnesotalawreview.org%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2017%2F06%2FGonzalesRose.pdf&usg=AOvVaw09wwAMvLny7HlLSLhA9WGP.

[lxxxix] Sheri Lynn Johnson, Batson from the Very Bottom of the well: Critical Race Theory and the Supreme Court’s Peremptory Challenge Jurisprudence, 12 Ohio State J. Crim. L. 71 (2014), https://kb.osu.edu/handle/1811/73473.

[xc] Sheri Lynn Johnson, Batson from the Very Bottom of the well: Critical Race Theory and the Supreme Court’s Peremptory Challenge Jurisprudence, 12 Ohio State J. Crim. L. 71 (2014), https://kb.osu.edu/handle/1811/73473.

[xci] The Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Last Sermon, Islamic Center of Long Island (Aug. 2, 2018), https://icliny.org/last-sermon/.

[xcii] Fact Sheet: Demonstrations over Critical Race Theory in the US, ACLED (Jul. 14, 2021), https://acleddata.com/2021/07/14/fact-sheet-demonstrations-over-critical-race-theory-in-the-united-states/.

[xciii] Jeff R. Woods, Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968 (2003).

[xciv] Rashawn Ray & Alexandra Gibbons, Why are States Banning Critical Race Theory?, Brookings (Aug. 2021), https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2021/07/02/why-are-states-banning-critical-race-theory/.

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