Those days were not so nice.

Found this at a Facebook group dedicated to outstanding illustration.

The picture is beautiful. The colonialist sentiment, not so much. But that was Kipling’s day.

I recall with both amusement and horror browsing in a used bookstore somewhere (I think it was San Francisco), and coming across an English-Hindustani phrasebook written for British soldiers billeted in India. I swear on a stack of Bibles I’m not making this up: One of the phrases was, “You black bastard, you call these boots π‘π‘™π‘’π‘Žπ‘›?” I wish I had bought it, just so I could get past the “pix or it didn’t happen” crowd, but I remember being (even in the ’90s) rocked to my very core to find something like that. 😳

We have come a long way. But we still have a very long way to go.

Critical Race Theory is very simple, but because of political (and prejudicial) undercurrents in certain segments of our society, it is widely misunderstood and misrepresented.

The Thermonuclear Bowel Evacuation Formerly Disgracing the Oval Office is quoted as having said,

β€œStudents in our universities are inundated with critical race theory. This is a Marxist doctrine holding that America is a wicked and racist nation, that even young children are complicit in oppression, and that our entire society must be radically transformed.”

45’s Remarks at White House History Conference, September 17, 2020

This is not Critical Race Theory. It is pushback from a white supremacist world view, trying to make something important and human into something frightening and oppressive.

To teach that racism is still baked into our social system, and to serve as a catalyst for change toward a more equal and representative system (in other words, to make America the land of equality and equal opportunity that it has long trumpeted itself to be) is the most peaceful and human thing I could imagine.

Children – and adults – need to understand and see where and how racism operates to perpetuate the lie of Alexander H. Stephens, vice president of the Confederacy, to the effect that:

“Our new government[‘s] foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”[2]

For the most part, we have come past the days when black people could be lynched by white mobs with impunity. But if you read the news, it’s hard to ignore the fact that racism and outright homicide is still endemic in many of the police forces of our nation.

George Floyd’s homicide was widely publicized, but in terms of endemic racism, it’s only the most current tip of the iceberg.

This is not OK, and no amount of pearl-clutching and flag-wrapped pushback or “blue lives matter” wailing can make it so.

But it’s not just policing and inequity in incarceration and a failed drug war and an oppression campaign pushed by the Nixon administration. Racism touches almost everything in obvious and not so obvious ways.

  • Access to equal housing.
  • Access to equal financing.
  • Access to equal education.
  • Access to equal employment.
  • Access to equal relationships.
  • Access to equal voting privileges.
  • And the list goes on.

Racism taints it all. If you’re black, or brown, or yellow – you and your ancestry have certainly encountered this, and continue to do so, in myriad ways that would not even be evident to someone born and raised in white privilege unless they have made a concerted effort to be aware of history.

America is not a wicked country, or a Marxist country, and Critical Race Theory doesn’t make any attempt to paint it as such. America is a human country – filled with brave and noble men and women who strove to make it a great nation for all. But it’s also a country that made mistakes, some of which have echoes which continue to ripple down to the present day. And it’s those mistakes that people of good will seek to recognize, and enshrine in our official chronicles, and remediate in the fastest and best way possible.

I applaud the idea.

This is not a matter of debate. It’s a reality. Those who have eyes to see will see, and do their best to make a difference.

The Old Wolf has spoken.