Hiring a critical race theorist to teach music is another offering from Awakening Temple academics. It will do no good to students or to individuals and communities interested in rejecting racial prejudice.
In July, Arizona State University officials hired a music teacher to train kindergarten to grade 12 music teachers, noting that the new teacher is a specialist in critical race theory. Music education is secondary – the university’s press release announcing the new hire points out that the instructor wants to give future music teachers “reliable tools beyond music education”, and she is committed to “progressive work” on how issues of “race, class and culture impact educational equity in music education.”
Using critical race theory to teach music, however, will not help anti-racial prejudice efforts, as the so-called “anti-racist” goal. is racial discrimination.
It was only a matter of time before ASU, the nation 7e-the largest university, experienced the anti-racist crusade in music. Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute Explain in City newspaper that the League of American Orchestras published a “Declaration on Racial Discrimination” following the tragic death of George Floyd in 2020, stating that he “acknowledges, accepts responsibility and apologizes for the role he has played in perpetuating, excusing and participating in systemic racial discrimination in the orchestral domain “. In Julliard, school officials created a Zoom area reserved for blacks for “healing,” Mac Donald explains.
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The music joins a long list of academic subjects, professions, government agencies, and private companies for which critical race theorists demand penance; otherwise, participants are labeled racist. ASU had already injected the theory into its other areas of study (ASU added a critical breed theory course back to law school Last year).
Critical Race Theory is not simply a historical perspective on race and law in America. Theory is a worldview rooted in Marxism whose defenders want to To “[provoke] anger, worry, anxiety and even fear in those who fully understand who they are and where they belong, ”writes critical race theorist Angela Harris.
Ironically, and sadly, theorists themselves are racially discriminatory. Critical race theorist Richard Delgado, for example, as well as the late Harvard law professor Derrick Bell argued that the only reason Americans made advances in civil rights in the 1960s was because ‘he coincided with “the personal interest of whites”. One of the theory’s many inconsistencies is that while they believe that racism is the main source of oppression in society, the only way to resolve this oppression is to increase discrimination.
The goal of these post-secondary activities is no longer the pursuit of truth, but the essential goal of activism.
Theory has become a hot political issue lately as Americans have tried to make sense of new anti-racist ideas. based on critical theory, who, and it cannot be emphasized enough, have racial prejudices. According to purveyors of anti-racism like Boston University professor Ibram X. Kendi, the “language of color blindness – like the language of the ‘non-racist’ – is a mask to hide racism,” Kendi says in How to be anti-racist.
Critical race theory and anti-racism have created the perfect trap: if you admit to being a racist, you are a racist; if you deny being racist it means you are racist.
ASU professors have already shown their commitment to the racial discrimination of Critical Race Theory in other areas of campus life, not just music.
In January 2021, the semi-annual ASU RaceB4Race Symposium focused on critical race theory and literature and foreign language studies. One of the presenters said, “We must learn to seek radical equity,” which, in critical parlance, means that an institution or system would impose equal results on individuals, regardless of their individual choices. Even in classical language courses and pre-modern studies, educators must push students to achieve “systemic change”.
The goal of these post-secondary activities is no longer the pursuit of truth, but the essential goal of activism. Critical race theorists’ obsession with “fairness” and activism shows how the theory combines Marxist class-based oppressive ideas with a race-based world perspective.
A few weeks later, in February 2021, the ASU student government paid Angela Davis, alumnus of one of the original critical theorists, Herbert Marcuse, $ 15,000 to give a virtual lecture. Davis is a longtime radical activist whose involvement in a group that has taken over the Marin County Courthouse in California and killed a Superior Court judge in 1970 made her a legend in the underground community, says writer Bryan Burrough, author of Days of rage. She ran for vice president twice on the Communist Party list and in 1979 was awarded the “Lenin Peace Prize” from the East German regime, one of the most ruthless Soviet satellites.
Although the Davis event was hosted by student groups, ASU Graduate College announcement called her a “renowned scholar” who has been “deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice.” Curiously, the press release does not mention his presidential campaigns, nor his price.
ASU officials have not yet asked students to participate in “diversity training”, but such a requirement maybe not far. ASU offers an online “To Be Welcoming” diversity program taught by ASU professors, most of whom have a “Critical Race Theory” somewhere in their biographical descriptions. For now, students are opting for this course. But from the new music course at RaceB4Race to Angela Davis and beyond, there are many signs that Critical Race Theory has taken root on campus.
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Describing current opt-in diversity programs, a professor from ASU’s Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College says, “We should make a more concerted effort to integrate the concepts of social justice and equity into [student orientation] so it’s not just like a 20 minute thing that someone just has to check off the list.
We are right to wonder what happens on campus when faculty and students take barbaric ideas like perpetuating racial discrimination seriously. The fact that college officials are ambiguous, oblivious, or hopefully unallied to critical race theory is a sign of cultural regression: school officials and teachers are taking us back to a time of prejudice. Generations of Americans lived with the understanding that the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Civil Rights Movement distance Americans from racially discriminatory policies, attitudes, and behavior.
If ASU wants “to be welcoming” the university should encourage the search for truth, not bias every course with a perspective based on skin color.
So far, university officials have found academics from many disciplines, including music, to bring the march back to prejudice.
This piece was originally published in the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal