Liberal Democrats & Critical Race Theory
Why won’t they champion CRT rather than run from it?
Civil rights were obtained through multi-racial political coalitions
It’s time to talk about Critical Race Theory and liberal Democrats.
First, some context.
To their credit, there are no modern civil rights gains legally without liberal Democrats supporting the laws in the 1960s and trying to protect civil rights into the current era. Liberals embraced the hard push by the civil rights coalition led by African American lawyers to end legalized racial apartheid in America, and this is the primary reason African Americans vote for Democratic candidates today at over 90 percent.
But, after the victories in the Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954, things got complicated.
The same U.S. Supreme Court that delivered the ruling in the Brown decision followed that opinion with its famous “all deliberate speed” ruling in the Brown II case. The term’s vagueness was a green light for racial segregationists to do everything possible to delay the implementation of Brown. This is one reason why Critical Race Theory came into existence — the resistance of many white Americans to dismantling the system of privilege, advantage, discrimination, and segregation.
This led the late civil rights lawyer and law professor Derrick Bell to write his famous essay — Brown v. Board of Education and Interest Convergence.
Derrick Bell and Critical Race Theory
In the essay, Brown posits that the Brown decision is not necessarily the result of the Supreme Court doing the right thing but is a case of white interests and black interests converging. White liberals and moderates embraced an issue of importance to black and brown Americans, but for many of them, only because there was something to gain for white Americans. In Bell’s view, the rising specter of Communism, the desire to further modernize the South’s economy by getting rid of segregation, and to assure Black Americans serving in the military that change was afoot are the reasons the decision was handed down.