SUMMARY: Big Brown Army host DeCruz and critical race theory expert Bradly Mason have an in-depth conversation where DeCruz asks several honest, poignant questions about CRT. Mason has clearly done much research on CRT, and we particularly liked when he pointed out that Christians don’t have to accept or reject CRT part and parcel, since we rarely do that with other issues. We also liked that before starting a conversation, he defines terms because the uses and definitions of certain terms can vary between individuals.
Mason digs into why and where the theory is useful while tackling some of the common complaints against CRT. These complaints are often traced back to Christoper Rufo, a conservative activist who launched the controversy of CRT. Mason gives examples of policies that show white privilege built into laws and governmental systems. He also points out the need to separate individual responsibility from corporate responsibility.
KEY QUOTE: “One of the problems is when you have mischaracterized it (CRT) so much — you’ve kind of turned critical race theory into some kind of totalizing theory that is accepted or rejected. When it is really like any other field – legal realism, legal positivism – all of these things nobody accepts or rejects as a whole. It is not like you are joining the club or not joining the club. There is a lot of ideas in there. There is a lot of disagreement in there. There are different approaches from different people. There are common elements that sort of weave it together…but it is not like a tight, logical system that either has to be accepted as a whole or rejected as a whole. Most ideologies we don’t approach this way unless we are trying to problematize it. We don’t do that with capitalism, but we do do that with Marxism because we hate it. When you want to neutralize something and present it as a package like, ‘Accept or reject, your fate depends on it’ that is maneuver that none of us have to play into.”
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DID YOU KNOW? We have a learning capsule about critical race theory to help learn and think Christianly about CRT.
More curated podcasts on critical race theory:
Although the podcast starts off a little goofy, Phil Vischer, Skye Jethani and Kaitlyn Schiess discuss the wholesale rejection of critical race theory in a meeting between six southern Baptist presidents. The real meat though is in the interview ( where we recommend you start — skip to 43:19) with David Fitch who says that critical race theory, and all critical theories for that matter, are good diagnostic tools, but they must not be divorced from a Christian view of justice. The interview provides a succinct, nuanced history of critical theory that does not throw the baby out with the bath water.Read more
Christian apologist Neil Shenvi and pastor of The Bridge Church (Brooklyn, NY) Rasool Berry debate the many definitions of critical race theory – what it is, what it isn’t, the nuances, and the sticking points. Shenvi and Berry role model what is it like to have a conversation with a fellow Christian, but disagree about aspects of a certain subject. Skip to 2:45 to get to the interview.Read more
In a vulnerable and nuanced discussion about CRT, politics, and the church, host Preston Sprinkle and Dr. Ed Uszynski discuss finding the “transcendent middle.” They also identify that the Christian approach to critical race theory (CRT) is often met with a lack of empathy and theological understanding of justice . Skip to the nine-minute mark to get to the meat of the interview.Read more