Recently, East Carolina University held a faculty convocation to kick off its 2022-23 academic year. As a former student government officer at my college, I’m familiar with these types of events during which the college’s officers are given the opportunity to update the faculty about new policies, give awards and introduce any new staff. All in all, a successful faculty meeting can be as memorable as an airport layover.
Yet, East Carolina University dedicated fewer than 10 minutes of the entire meeting to explain the state of the college and instead focused on lecturing the faculty on why they should adopt Critical Race Theory teachings. This highly unusual move by ECU is a troubling one, as every time Critical Race Theory is adopted as a guiding principle at any institution, it worsens race relations.
This is why we at Our America decided to send a letter to Dr. Philip G. Rogers, ECU’s Chancellor, in an effort to open a dialogue and provide constructive criticism of ECU’s choice to adopt Critical Race Theory.
As the letter reads:
While at first glance, CRT may appear to be a novel way to understand race relations in the United States, CRT is an exclusionary and divisive movement. As two CRT founders write:
Unlike traditional civil rights discourse, which stresses incrementalism and step-by-step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism, and neutral principles of constitutional law.See Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (3rd Ed) Pg. 3. by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic
By their own admission, CRT rejects equality theory and principles of constitutional law thereby making it, by definition, a discriminatory theory.
Critical Race Theory authors are quick to dismiss the U.S. Constitution, not as an imperfect document, but as a document written by the dominant white culture in an effort to subjugate minority communities. The same goes for equality theory – the basic notion that all people are equal despite the color of their skin is rejected by CRT scholars as a lie promulgated by the dominant culture to, again, keep down minority communities.
CRT believes in racial separatism, something we highlighted in our letter.
Yet, despite this type of discrimination being illegal, examples of CRT in action are plentiful.
In 2021, at the prestigious Brown University, both white and Asian students were barred from enrolling in a “mindfulness” course.
Earlier this academic year, the University of California, San Diego planned to host an orientation week that was open only to minority students and their families. It was only after substantial pushback from the community that the university was forced to open the event to students of all races.
At Arizona State University late last year two black students harassed two white students for having lunch in a multicultural space. That is unacceptable. If two white students were to harass a Black and Latino student like Barrington and myself for being in a white space, it would’ve made national headlines. CRT ideology seeks to create equality through inequalities which ultimately divides and sparks hatred more than it brings people together.
Furthermore, we also encouraged Dr. Rogers to lead his college by advocating for the principles of patriotism, freedom of speech, equal opportunity, dignity, and respect – instead of trying to divide their students into separate racial categories.
We should live life respecting the dignity and worth of every human being, and not spend so much time separating people into categories based on race, class, or gender. We are all Americans. Our diversity unites us, it should not divide us.
Unfortunately, after three weeks, neither Dr. Rogers nor any official at ECU responded to our letter. Does this lack of response mean that ECU has fully committed to Critical Race Theory’s teachings? If so, all students at ECU will be worse off because of it.