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Perspective: Are You Against The Truth?

Tatum Bergen

Critical Race Theory is a hot topic right now. I recently posted a meme about it, and a Facebook acquaintance referred to me as a Communist. Based on my engagements, most who oppose it don’t know what it is. Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been a part of law schools for over 40 years. It’s a way of understanding how American racism has shaped public policy. The core idea is racism is a social construct, and it is not merely the product of individual bias and prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.

Critically engaging about CRT is not about being un-American, it’s not about blaming white folks for everything -- it’s about telling the truth with depth and breadth. There is an African proverb that says: “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” People are denouncing CRT as a tool of fearmongering. School systems are banning it, and school board members haven’t read the work of authors like Derrick Bell, Kimberle Crenshaw, and Richard Delgado.

CRT helps us understand why Black women have a higher rate of mortality during childbirth, why COVID-19 disproportionately killed black and brown people, why African-Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population but 33% of the prison population. CRT leads us to question why Black soldiers weren't awarded the G.I. Bill after WWII like other soldiers. CRT makes us ask why Black folks got more time for selling crack than white folks did for selling cocaine.

If you are opposed to CRT, you must ask yourself, are you against the truth? As a country we can’t engage in reconciliation until we deal with the truth.

I’m Joe Mitchell and that’s my Perspective.

Born in Buffalo, N.Y., George Joseph “Joe” Mitchell was raised in DeKalb, where he is the bi-vocational co-pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church.