What is Critical Race Theory?
Critical race theory views history as an ongoing war between identity groups —particularly, an ongoing conflict between white people and non-white people— dismissing the idea of the free and sovereign individual. It also redefines racism as a covert system which is sometimes practised in overt ways from white people towards non-white people.
This is Marxism dressed up to be more palatable to us, and it fails to capture the richness of what human social dynamics are supposed to be about.
Originating in American legal theory in the 1970's, Critical Race Theory soon leaked into educational theory, feminist theory, and created intersectional theory.
Under Ontario's proposed Bill 67, for example, no staff or student in any educational institution can be seen as anything but a member of a particular race, sex, or gender, or sexual orientation. At most, according to intersectional theory, our identities are considered an assemblage of these various identity markers. This reductionist view of human nature similarly fails to capture the fullness and complexity of the human person.
Critical race theory aims at the promotion of racial equity, or equality of outcome between white and non-white people. It’s a Neo-communist concept that encourages racial discrimination in order to bridge gaps in education, health, housing, employment, and other factors that condition living.
However, this concept of “equity”, based as it is on a false premise that people consistently oppress others based on the colour of their skin or gender, has dire effects on people of all races. It both strips white students and staff of dignity (some parents report that their children are now coming home from school and reporting that they hate themselves because of their race or sex), while infantilizing black and non-white people, who are seen as “vulnerable” people because of the colour of their skin. Critics of this world view rightly charge that these premises lead to a kind of racism of its own.
Furthermore, critical race theorists reject the presumption of individual innocence, believing that if a person belongs to a racial group regarded as exploitative, that person is guilty of anything any member of that racial group has ever done.
Likewise, those who belong to a race regarded as submissive and exploited can never be judged on their individual merits. They must always be viewed as victims who could never succeed without bureaucratic assistance.
Is Critical Race Theory a Canadian Problem?
Many of us have heard of “critical race theory”, the radical academic movement that teaches children to evaluate themselves, each other, and all aspects of life, solely according to racial identity.
Many of us assume that it is only an American phenomenon.
We hear about parental pushback at American school board meetings, the 27 states that have introduced bills preventing schools from forcing teachers to embrace critical race theory as truth, and the teachers’ groups that vow to violate these bills.
We don’t hear of any such stories occurring in Canada, but we shouldn’t make the mistake of concluding that “CRT” doesn’t exist here.
In fact, critical race theory may be more prevalent in Canada than it is in the United States.
It has been embedded into our social, governmental and educational institutions, precisely because there has been no significant opposition to this happening in Canada.
That’s the warning raised by Christian educator, blogger and activist Samuel Sey in an entry on his ‘Slow To Write’ blog site, called "Critical Race Theory In Canadian Schools."
Sey has personally experienced the results of critical race theory becoming a cornerstone of Canadian curriculums. He was denounced by the nominally Christian Ambrose University of Calgary after he refuted the critical race theory concept of “systemic racism” in a speech there.
Sey asserts that Canada’s federal and provincial governments are more committed to the teachings of ‘CRT’ than are their American counterparts, and points to the fact that the federal government has established an “Anti-Racism Strategy”, the explicit aim of which is to make white Canadians more accepting of the concept of “systemic racism”.
At the provincial level in Ontario, anti-racism strategies have been pushed into policy and curriculum since the time of Kathleen Wynne's 2008 "Equity and Inclusive Education" policy, a policy to promote diversity and inclusion in schools.
What are some examples of Canadian CRT resources?
Samuel Sey collects and publishes documents sent to him by teachers and parents that prove just how many public educators are committed to indoctrinating our children into accepting critical race theory as reality.
His blog contains links to numerous documents from staff meetings, lesson plans and professional development presentations to show how to show how critical race theory is being taught and promoted by Peel District School Board.
One document Sey has published outlines how Peel teachers are encouraged to read Ibram Kendi’s Anti-Racist Baby to kindergarten children. This is an excerpt from that book:
“Antiracist Baby is bred, not born. Antiracist Baby is raised to make society transform. Babies are taught to be racist or antiracist—there’s no neutrality. Take these nine steps to make equity a reality…confess when being racist. Grow to be an antiracist.”
In Peel Region, kindergarten children are being compelled to repeat these words.
“Critical race theory” has quietly assumed a pivotal role in shaping education in Canada, and the results will be disastrous. As Bari Weiss sagely wrote in her takedown of CRT and all forms of “wokeness”:
“Moral complexity is replaced with moral certainty. Facts are replaced with feelings. Ideas are replaced with identity. Forgiveness is replaced with punishment. Debate is replaced with deplatforming. Diversity is replaced with homogeneity of thought. Inclusion, with exclusion.”
The aim of “critical race theory”, like all radical political cudgels, is to undermine social institutions and the integrity of the family upon which these institutions are built.
CRT pushes ideas that unseat parents in their rightful role of teaching morality, and divides communities by relentlessly segregating them along racial and other identity divisions.
We are aware of the “cultural wars” over “critical race theory” in the United States only because parents and good teachers there have spoken out against it.
We must never be afraid to do the same here.
PAFE pushes back on CRT in Ontario
PAFE has led the way in alerting supporters to the threat posed by critical race theory (CRT) over the past year. We have been commenting on the surge of an influential anti-CRT parental movement in American politics in our social media and we started, in 2021, to build up a Canadian parental pushback!
Protesting the Ministry of Education in 2021
We became aware of the “Ontario CRT” problem in July 2021 when the Ford administration in Ontario announced that it was inserting CRT language into the math curriculum. PAFE immediately snapped into action to inform our supporters about this procedural change. Through the advocacy of concerned parents and publicity by some responsible journalists, Education Minister Stephen Lecce immediately repealed the announcement.
Organizing parents to protest curricula and planning documents
Since then, we have sent numerous emails to our supporters to inform them of the threat critical race poses for Canadian schools, advising parents about proposed changes to curricula and planning decisions.
We alerted our supporters to the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board's teaching modules about intersectional identity.
We organized opposition against the Halton Catholic District School Board's promotion of a teaching resource on anti-racism which states that racism is an exclusively white "action."
We have also led campaigns to prevent the insertion of "white supremacy" and "colonialization" language into various board's anti-racism policies, which govern the boards anti-racism strategies.
Sey provides numerous other links at the end of his blog piece to show how critical race theory is being taught in the classroom in Ontario and promoted through professional development.
Fighting back against the CRT bill, Bill 67
When the NDP introduced Bill 67, the Racial Equity in the Education System Act, a bill that would promote the teaching of CRT in Ontario, in December of 2021, we implored parents to urge their local MPP to vote against this bill.
We directed them to watch must-see videos by Jordan Peterson in which he starkly warns Canadians about the dangers inherent in Bill 67.
Peterson called Bill 67 "the most pernicious and dangerous piece of legislation that any Canadian government has ever put forward," because it will subvert the entire Ontario education system to radical leftist doctrines, and because it is based on the idea that all our institutions are racist, sexist, and discriminatory by nature.
Peterson warned about what the bill could do to education:
“Bill 67 will mandate the creation of institutions of inquisition in every educational institution, to which anyone who has an opinion or undertakes an action that is perceived to violate the tenets of critical race theory will be made necessarily subject to punishment.”
Even though we sent out numerous emails asking supporters to contact their local politicians, when the bill came up for second reading in March, only one MPP stood up against it, and that was Belinda Karahalios.
As we told our readers afterward in an email:
“Only Belinda Karahalios of the New Blue Party voted against it.
Rick Nicholls of the Ontario Party voted in favour of Bill 67. We were as shocked as you are, but we note that he has since publicly expressed his regret at not fully understanding the issue, and has vowed to oppose it from now on.”
Bill 67 died when the Ontario Legislature was dissolved in May, 2022, but we can have no confidence it won't be resurrected or reimagined in future legislative sessions.
Resouces for Parents
PAFE is assisting parents by providing webinars on the educational threat posed by CRT. View this one-hour webinar with Samuel Sey on the PAFE YouTube channel.
Here's some advice from the webinar for parents seeking to inform themselves about whether their children are learning about CRT at school:
- watch out for your children using key buzzwords from CRT such as "Equity," "intersectionality", "White privilege," and "Systemic Racism."
- keep an eye out for books by these authors in your school library: Ibram X Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Bell Hooks, Naomi Klein, Judith Butler, Catherine McKinnon, Ta-Nahesi-Coates, Andrea Dworkin, and Angela Davis. Some titles include: Antiracist Baby, Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness (Ordinary Terrible Things), How to be an Anti-Racist, White Fragility and Woke Baby.
- Speak to your children's teachers and ask them if they are using any of these terms or teaching ideas from any of these writers.
A long, but very thorough document to assist parents with understanding and opposing CRT comes from the American Manhattan Institute and is entitled "Woke Schooling: A Toolkit for Concerned Parents".