Discussing Critical Race Theory is as controversial as the theory itself

Simply asking the question, 'Why is Critical Race Theory so controversial?' has sparked controversy among conservative Canadians.

Discussing Critical Race Theory is as controversial as the theory itself
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Recently, the Canada Strong and Free Network (CSFN) hosted a virtual discussion with the intent of dissecting what is so controversial about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and why.

The discussion was hosted one hour after the Empire Club of Canada held a panel called “Critical Race Theory: The Case for Evaluating What We 'Know' and How We Teach.”

The CSFN event led former Conservative minister of industry James Moore to criticize the network for having devolved into something that he considers shameful.

“Importing the cheapest of American culture wars to rile people up and divide Canadians… no thanks,” his tweet clarification read.

Yet the Empire Club of Canada’s panel directly opposes Moore’s stance.

CRT panel moderator Nancy Simms for the Empire Club of Canada stated in her opening remarks that “CRT has its roots in the United States, in and around the 1970s, and has been present in Canada since the 1980s. Although CRT originally focused on law, it has branched out into several other disciplines including education.”

President of the CSFN, Jamil Jivani, responded to Moore and the Empire Club of Canada:

“It matters to people in the minority communities that these theories are claiming to speak on behalf of, that these theories are shaping the policies that affect us… It’s ridiculous and I’m proud to say that we’re willing to welcome conversations about things that people like James Moore are afraid to discuss."

"The only time that elites want to talk about this is when they are platforming liberal perspectives. So when the Empire Club of Canada brings on people to talk about how Critical Race Theory should be taught in public schools, that’s not controversial. But when conservatives want to offer a different point of view – black conservatives in particular – all of a sudden it becomes controversial.”

The CSFN heard from outspoken Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) Trustee Mike Ramsay, who finds it troubling that students are being taught that they are inherently racist if they are white and that society is inherently biased against you if you are black.

Ramsay, who is black himself, had previously brought forward a motion at WRDSB asking teachers to provide detailed accounts of what students were being taught with specifics around instruction given and curriculum interpretation. He was ultimately blocked from voting on the motion “by six white trustees who called me a white supremacist,” he said.

Another speaker was California-based black mother Kira Davis, who is originally from Canada, who says that CRT began as a topic of discussion by academics around the American legal system, and was never meant for elementary-aged school children.

Davis says that Canada is “way further down the CRT road” than they are in the United States.

The CSFN focused on a positive discussion on how to attain a more just and equal world amid radical ideologically and politically motivated discussions. The speakers were asked: what are the solutions?

“One of the biggest problems that we have is a disparity of black fathers in the home. A lot of us are uncomfortable with this point but it does create problems. No fathers to lead [the home, means] a lot of the disparities affecting black communities,” said Samuel Sey from Slow To Write.

“Where there is tremendous debate to be had, it is in the solutions to the problems. CRT dwells on problems but never offers any solutions.”

Noah Jarvis, a reporter for True North, said that “we should be moving away from the focus on race. Why is race relevant in a job or educational situation? Many people can face discrimination for many different reasons. Black people aren’t always oppressed and white people aren’t always oppressors. Do the hard work to find and determine certain outcomes.”

Davis further explained that the government does not want to find solutions because that would mean a lot of government workers would be out of work. “CRT is a business and it’s sad to see that the Canadian government is in the business of discrimination. The solution is freedom and more people being free to make their choices and deal with the societal consequences of their choices as the marketplace sees fit and choice is something BigGov doesn’t like,” she said.

Ramsay says that solutions mean emphasizing to decision-makers that our shared history – the good and the bad – needs to be taught. “If that happens, it would give no justification for separate graduation ceremonies for black kids, for identity politics [to flourish]. It’s almost as if we’re moving backwards,” he pointed out.

Jivani closed with the remark that we must ask why the Empire Club of Canada does not want to hear the above mentioned perspectives.

“Why is it that they want you to think that we all think the same way and there is no diversity of viewpoint in our communities?” he asked.

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