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Critical Race Theory 101

Ted Thornhill and Victor Ray.png
Dr. Ted Thornhill and Dr. Victor Ray

Over the past year or so, as protests against police violence and for a more racially just society erupted in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, the term critical race theory (CRT) has begun entering the public discourse. Former-president Donald Trump described it as "divisive and un-American propaganda," and Governor Ron DeSantis’s proposed civics curriculum would explicitly exclude CRT in Florida.

Critical race theory is an intellectual movement based on the premise that the law and legal institutions in the United States are inherently racist and function to create and maintain social, economic, and political inequalities between whites and nonwhites, especially African Americans. Its intellectual origins go back to the 1960s.

We get an overview of what critical race theory is and where it fits into academia with Dr. Ted Thornhill, Director of the Florida Gulf Coast University Center for Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Associate Professor of Sociology; and Dr. Victor Ray, Assistant Professor of sociology at University of Iowa.