Neil Steinberg’s Flawed Take on Critical Race Theory

Written by James E. McNally

Opposition to the teaching of a seriously flawed ideology known as critical race theory has drawn the ire of Chicago Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg. His column is riddled with almost as many flaws as the NY Times “1619 Project”, apparently championed by Steinberg, which inanely asserts that the American Revolution was conducted because the colonists feared that Great Britain was about to abolish slavery, a ridiculous charge (among many contained in the document) debunked by serious historians of various political persuasions.

He accuses the GOP (of course) of denying history and lamenting the right of minorities to vote, a despicable lie espoused by many on the left. He also bemoans the fact that laws being passed in reaction to CRT “give deference to both sides”. Thoroughly frustrated by the overwhelming popularity of Rush Limbaugh and conservative talk radio and their inability to offer any meaningful competition (Remember Air America? Yeah, neither do most people.), those on the left demanded passage of the Fairness Doctrine, requiring broadcasters to provide equal time to opposing views that apparently couldn’t compete on merit. Hypocrisy on the left seems endemic.

The column starts with a boxing anecdote, referencing three world famous boxing legends, Jack Johnson, Joe Louis and Muhammed Ali.  To give us a fuller picture, he follows up with some of the racial discrimination faced by these men, as though that was some revelation to all of us. I recall learning history in school in the 50’s and 60’s. We learned about slavery and actually were taught that it was a bad thing. We also learned that a Civil War was fought in large part to end slavery, costing the lives of over 618,000 Americans, over 360,000 on the Union Army side.

I don’t recall getting the “fuller picture” that it was the Democrat Party that fought to preserve slavery, or that it was the Democrat Party that composed the membership of the KKK, or that it was the Democrat Party that fought ferociously against passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed only because of the determination of the GOP, the party of Abraham Lincoln and also Dr. Martin Luther King. Lest we dismiss these facts as ancient history, let’s not forget that the current head of the Democrats, Joe Biden, eulogized Grand Kleagle of the Klan, Robert Byrd, and lamented his kids being forced into an educational “jungle” as a result of school integration. Spare me the phony moral superiority.

Critical race theory seeks to focus obsessively with race, dividing Americans into racial tribes perpetually pitted against one another. It assigns immutable characteristics and malignant motives to people based on race. What is even more repugnant is that so many politicians seek to promote these vile divisions for political advantage, and the overwhelming majority of those are certainly not members of the GOP.