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Critical Race Theory

Critical race theory (CRT) is a cross-disciplinary examination – by social and civil-rights scholars and activists – of how laws, social and political movements, and media shape, and are shaped by, social conceptions of race and ethnicity. It challenges the notion of a post-racial society, and argues that racism is not simply the product of individual prejudice, but is also embedded in legal systems and policies.

CRT has been praised for its insights into the persistence of racism in American society, and for its contributions to the struggle for racial justice. However, it has also been criticized for being divisive and polarizing, and for promoting a victim mentality. Ultimately, whether or not CRT is a positive or negative force in society is a matter of opinion. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides of the issue.

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Daniel Hosang

Professor of Ethnicity, Race, & Migration and American Studies at Yale

Daniel Martinez HoSang received his BA in History from Wesleyan University and Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from the University of Southern California. He is the author of Racial Propositions: Ballot Initiatives and the Making of Postwar California (University of California Press, 2010) which was awarded the 2011 James A Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians. He is co-editor, with Oneka LaBennett and Laura Pulido, of Racial Formation in the 21st Century (University of California Press, 2012). HoSang’s research and teaching explore the contradictory labor of race within U.S. political culture across a wide range of sites, including electoral politics, social movements, and cultural production.

Ian Haney López

Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Public Law at UC Berkley

Ian Haney López is a law professor at UC Berkeley who studies racism. His focus for the last decade has been on the use of racism as a class weapon in electoral politics, and how to respond. In Dog Whistle Politics (2014), he detailed the fifty-year history of coded racism in American politics. Ian has since actively promoted the idea of a race-class fusion as the basis for a multi-racial progressive majority. He co-chaired the AFL-CIO’s Advisory Council on Racial and Economic Justice, along with Dorian Warren and Ana Avendaño, and founded the Race-Class Narrative Project, along with Anat Shenker-Osorio and Heather McGhee. In his latest book, Merge Left: Fusing Race and Class, Winning Elections, and Saving America (2019), Ian explains Trump’s complex relationship with dog whistling and further develops the race-class response.

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James Lindsey

Author / Political Commentator

An American-born author, mathematician, and professional troublemaker, Dr. James Lindsay has written six books spanning a range of subjects including religion, the philosophy of science and postmodern theory. He is a leading expert on Critical Race Theory, which leads him to reject it completely. He is the founder of New Discourses and currently promoting his new book "Cynical Theories: How Activist Scholarship Made Everything about Race, Gender, and Identity―and Why This Harms Everybody," which is currently being translated into more than fifteen languages.

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