It took conservative radio host Ben Shapiro just 65 seconds on Friday to completely expose the racism implicit in the controversial interpretive legal theory known as "critical race theory."
What did Shapiro say?
During an appearance Friday on HBO's "Real Time," Shapiro engaged in a contentious debate with MSNBC contributor Malcolm Nance about a range of topics that included CRT, authoritarianism, and the U.S. Capitol riot on Jan. 6.
In one exchange, Shapiro both explained CRT and exposed the racism inherent in the legal theory.
Critical Race Theory essentially argues that racism is baked into all the systems of American society, and that any sort of neutral system is, in fact, a guise for racial power. And so the argument is made by [CRT proponent] Derrick Bell, for example, that Brown v. Board of Education — and this is an argument that he made in 1991 — that Brown v. Board of Education was actually a way for the white community to leverage its own power; it wasn't an attempt to end segregation in public schools.
Even things that are purportedly good, in terms of race, so long as they uphold these broader systems — things like capitalism or things like the meritocracy — these things are actually just guises for power. And so what that boils down to, in sort of practical terms, is all disparity equals discrimination. If you can see any stat where black people are underperforming white people, this means the system was set up for the benefit of white people, and that white people have a duty to tear down these systems in order to alleviate the racism that's implicit in those systems.
When this comes to schools, what this tends to boil down to, is kids who are white have experienced privilege because the system was built for white people, and we have to change the standard.
Nance responded to Shapiro by saying he "agrees with everything" Shapiro said while admitting that he affirms the "presuppositions" of CRT because they are "grounded in truth."
In response, Shapiro pointed out the ironic nature of Nance's position considering he has benefitted from aspects of American society that CRT criticizes.
"You seem to be a pretty good beneficiary of the meritocracy because you have merit," Shapiro shot back. "If you're going to criticize the meritocracy as an outgrowth of white supremacy, then you're going to have to tear down the system that you've succeeded in."
Ben Shapiro and Malcolm Nance on Critical Race Theory | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)www.youtube.com