“I have a dream.”

By Dick Hall-Sizemore

Over the past few months, there has been considerable commentary on Bacon’s Rebellion regarding Critical Race Theory (CRT). Many on this blog seem to genuinely fear that this theory, or frame of reference, presents an existential threat to society, with our schools becoming centers of “Marxist indoctrination.”

Before discussing the legitimacy of this antagonism regarding CRT, it is useful to define it. James Sherlock, who is the leading commenter on this blog raising the alarm about CRT, defines it thusly:

“It postulates that racism is the driving force in society, that in order to understand power relations, in order to understand institutions such as the law, education, the Constitution, social relations, you have to understand that through the lens of race.”

Because I have not read much about CRT beyond what has been on this blog, I cannot, and I do not intend to, contest this definition or summation of CRT.  I do, however, suggest that his summation of CRT is not necessarily the definitive one or even the only valid one.  or example, I recently ran across this definition by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic (Critical Race Theory: An Introduction):  CRT holds that “race and races are products of social thought and relations” and are “categories that society invents, manipulates or retires when convenient.”  That is a different perspective than offered by Mr. Sherlock, although there may be some overlap.

In addition to the probability of there being different definitions or understanding of what constitutes CRT, I want to address the assertion that CRT is Marxist doctrine. Just because researchers with a Marxist bent developed CRT does not make CRT Marxist any more than Christians engaging in slavery and using the Bible to justify the practice makes slavery a Christian doctrine.

Notwithstanding the possibility that there may be other interpretations of CRT, however, for the sake of argument, I will use the one put forth by Mr. Sherlock.

Can anyone plausibly deny that, in order to understand the modern history of Virginia — power relations, law, education, social relations, etc .— you have to use the lens of race? In fact, everything about Virginia society was organized and understood in racial terms.

Let’s start with the 1902 convention to revise the Virginia Constitution.  Histories of that event make it clear that race was the overriding concern of the delegates attending the convention. Most of the time and effort of the delegates was spent on devising a suffrage provision that would limit the Black vote. Carter Glass of Lynchburg, a leader of the convention and later a U.S. Senator, summarized the resulting provision this way: “[It] does not deprive a single white man of the ballot, but will inevitably cut from the existing electorate four-fifths of the negro vote.  That was the purpose of this convention; that will be its achievement.”

Virginians were obsessed with race throughout the 20th century. Everyone is familiar with the Jim Crow laws that segregated the races in every public venue. Lawmakers were so concerned with the race of people that the provisions of the Jim Crows applied to anyone “having one-sixteenth or more negro blood,” or in some instances, if there were “descent from any negro.” Even if the segregation of the races were not explicitly required by law in some circumstances, it was widely practiced in society. Restaurants could exclude Black diners. Restrictive covenants prohibited the sale of houses in designated area to Blacks. Banks, through “red-lining”, refused to issue mortgages for houses in areas heavily populated by Blacks.

Looking back at it now, I realize that race was a constant factor in the Virginia society in which I grew up. Often, it was not overt, but it was always there, ordering the society. For Black people, a large segment of the state’s population, almost every aspect of their lives, from birth to death, was defined and restricted by their race. Some hospitals would not admit or treat Blacks. Their schools were inferior. If they traveled, they had to figure out in advance where they could stop to eat, to sleep, and even to pee. They could not buy houses in certain parts of town, even if they could afford them. Certain jobs were closed to them. And, if they did get the same types of jobs as whites had, such as teachers, they were paid less. Their kids could not attend prestigious state colleges, even if they were able to do the academic work. And, when they died and were to be buried in a public cemetery, it had to be in an area designated for Blacks.

This emphasis on separation by race was not confined to the rural Southside area of Virginia. For example, it was apparent in the opposition to school integration in Alexandria (see the movie, Remember the Titans). Also, it was not confined to “everyday” Virginians. At the elite Langley research facility in Hampton, run by NASA and its predecessor agency, highly skilled Black female mathematicians were expected to use the restroom marked for “colored,” even if those restrooms were in a building other than in the one in which they worked. When they went to lunch in the Langley cafeteria, they were confronted by a sign on one table designating it as being for “Colored Computers.” (“Computer” was the term then used for the mathematicians working out the calculations needed by engineers for the various research projects.) There was a dormitory on the base for single women working there; only it was for white women only. (See Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly.)

My friends and I did not realize it, but we benefited from (dare I say it?) “white privilege.” Because we were white, we had better elementary schools. We could go into any restaurant we wanted to and be served. We could sit in the seats on the main floor of the movie theater. We could go swimming in the town pool. We lived in the nicer parts of town. We could get after-school jobs in the grocery stores or other retail establishments. We could aspire to go to top colleges in the state. None of the Black kids could do any of that.  The only legal restriction on a white person was, as Richard Loving discovered, he could not marry a Black person.  We were unaware of our privilege; after all, it was the natural way of things, we thought. I do not doubt that the Black kids were very cognizant of their lack of privilege, their restrictions, due to the color of their skin.

This viewing of societal relationships through the prism of race was present at every level. I can remember my father and other deacons in our Baptist church discussing what they would do if Black people showed up wanting to attend a worship service in our church. On the trip to deliver me to college for my first year, my brother asked me, “What if you get there and find out that you have a colored roommate?” Many years later, my daughter was good friends with a Black boy who was in several of her classes. I think she would have liked for him to ask her out. Several years later, we learned that he wanted to ask her out, but his mother would not let him date white girls.

In conclusion, whether one calls it CRT or something else, one cannot understand the state’s history and the power relations, institutions, law, and social relations of modern Virginia without using the lens of race. Obviously, the state has made great progress in moving beyond its use of race as a means of ordering and manipulating a large segment of its population. But the effects of this use of race in the past, be they segregated neighborhoods or concentrated communities of poverty, are not easily or quickly obviated. And, I understand the simmering resentment out there of the current generation whose parents and grandparents were confronted with obstacles and discrimination solely because of their race.

From the little I have read of the current proponents of CRT, I do not subscribe to their more extreme positions. I am suspicious of any intellectual framework that purports to offer an all-encompassing explanation of history, be it CRT, The 1619 Project, or Charles Beard’s An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. History and society are too messy for a one-size fits everything.

In his farewell address, Barack Obama said, “After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intentioned, was never realistic. For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society…race relations are better than they were ten, or twenty, or thirty years ago…But we’re not where we need to be.”

We still have a ways to go before we achieve Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.  And we will not achieve it by denying or ignoring that race was a primary defining criterion that Virginians have used to shape their law, institutions, and social relations.

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61 responses to “CRT and Virginia History”

  1. Dick, thanks for the thoughtful post. Neither Sherlock, myself, or any of the other conservatives on this blog would deny or ignore the tragic aspects of Virginia’s history that you laid out. Virginia truly had a racial caste system before the 1960s. The institutions erected to hold down Blacks were truly oppressive and unjust, and I have no doubt that the after-effects linger to this day.

    But the world of 2020 is not the world of 1960.

    The question before us today is how do we ensure that Blacks in Virginia have equal opportunities to build better lives for themselves. Which policies have we enacted over the past 60 years have helped, and which policies have failed?

    Sherlock and I have devoted considerable ink to arguing that the policies being enacted by the VDOE and in our higher-ed institutions today will not work. By misdiagnosing the problem and applying counter-productive remedies, Critical Race Theory (often known more cosmetically as Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) will impede equal opportunity and make the condition of Virginia Blacks worse. Preaching that the country is divided between white oppressors and oppressed people of color will not ameliorate anything. It will not bring about social justice. The politics of grievance and victimhood are inherently destructive.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      If America stops voting along racial lines the Democrats couldn’t win a dog catcher election. Even though that party was founded to support slavery and manifest destiny, now it needs the votes of those it oppressed. An honest education on that is not going to come of this. Resentment is a power political tool.

      I think CRT is a great topic for historical debate, is a valid POV and belongs in a college classroom and even a good high school discussion. If it becomes an elementary school theme that America is inherently racist, always was and that can only be fixed by reverse discrimination, quotas and reparations, well then I might resist that.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        And of course, the Republicans are doing soooooo much to invite persons of color to vote Republican with voting impediments in areas of people of color… wait, does that work?

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          Every voting impediment of the last century was installed by Democrats, in this state anyway. Again, part of the fact-free resentment/oppression narrative Democrats need to keep those votes in their column. In other words — you lie.

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive


          2. vicnicholls Avatar

            Blexit, met folks from there. Campaigned for African Americans, minority, immigrants’ kids, women, working class … all R’s. You all do realize the largest or one of the largest R parties in Va is led by an African American?

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            That’s just plain bogus. Conservatives were first in the Dem party then the GOP but Conservatives were always the ones who did things like Massive Resistance and Jim Crow.

            It was white liberals who jointed the Civil Right movement. It was white liberals who were killed with the freedom riders…

            It was white liberals who got rid of Massive Resistance and fought voter suppression.

          4. tmtfairfax Avatar

            What about Kamala Harris’ unconstitutional religious test for public office? And two of my ancestors fought for the Union Army against your racist southern ancestors.

          5. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Only 28% of 646 Catholic hospitals listed in the Catholic Health Association’s directory specified how their religious affiliation might influence patient care, according to a new research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

            Twenty one percent did not explicitly disclose their Catholic identity, according to the researchers’ analysis of websites conducted from July 2017 to January 2018.

            The study authors said greater transparency about religious affiliation and care restrictions would enhance the ability of patients to make informed choices.

            Catholic hospitals operate under the Ethical and Religious Directives published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and updated last June. They prohibit procedures that are “intrinsically immoral,” including abortion, contraception, physician-assisted suicide and what the bishops call “direct sterilization.”

            Direct sterilization has been taken to mean tubal ligation, vasectomy and ending pregnancies when a fetus is no longer viable after a woman’s water breaks early in her pregnancy.

          6. LarrytheG Avatar

            yep. She done something wrong. What about the rest of her life? Was she a racist? Did black folks decide she was opposed to their interests or did they support her?

        2. tmtfairfax Avatar

          What about your religious bigot vice president Kamala Harris? She tried to impose an unconstitutional religious test on a candidate for a federal judgeship. It’s OK with our simple minded president and the Media, what about you?

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Your opinion. Mine? She asked a question of a member of an organization with beliefs and activities that are antithetical to the Constitution.

  2. DJRippert Avatar

    You and I grew both grew up in Virginia. However, you (and Ralph Northam) grew up in “plantation country” and I did not. My schools were integrated. My White friend friend Rick had a long running romance with his Black girlfriend Marentha in the late 1970s, my Kentucky forefathers fought for the Union, my father served in the integrated US Navy for 20 years, nobody in my family lineage was in the klan, my fraternity at UVa was integrated.

    The plantation elite in Virginia were certainly horrible, out-and-out racists until very recently (at best). Northam’s medical school yearbook from the 1980s with him wearing blackface while standing next to a woman in a very realistic looking klan outfit attests to that. The statue of Harry Byrd erected at the state capitol in 1976 certainly attests to that.

    Fairfax County voted twice against succession. One third of the state left Virginia rather than follow the idiots in the plantation elite into the quagmire of the Confederacy. When Arlington County tried to integrate their public schools during Massive Resistance it was the Byrd Machine that intervened to stop that. The Byrd Machine – the plantation elite at their worst.

    Please don’t conflate the attitudes and history of plantation Virginia with the rest of the state.

    As for Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech …

    “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

    If that were the goal of CRT we wouldn’t be having this debate.

    1. vicnicholls Avatar

      and I’d add to that my *grandparent* was kept from moving up the ladder because they championed an African American male as the best worker they ever had. Upper echelon issue, not us regular worker bees. Btw, they did end up promoting another African American female at the same time. So wasn’t completely glass ceiling.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        I always find it fascinating that the people from Richmond through the Southside who consider themselves “elites” or ‘upper crust” are quick to self-describe as Real Virginians from Real Virginia. Meanwhile, the northern part of the state, in their minds, is “Occupied Virginia”. Yet when you look at the core of deep, ongoing and long running racism in Virginia it is far more the “Real Virginians” from plantation country who perpetuated that racism well into the late 20th century.

        1. vicnicholls Avatar

          My generation is born Va. but from another state. We were dirt poor. We id’ed as regular folks.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      There were blacks who were lynched in NoVa – no?

      There were separate schools in NoVa and separate public facilities , no?

      1. tmtfairfax Avatar

        There weren’t separate schools for whites and blacks in Minnesota, where I grew up. You guys have the racist ancestors.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          We did. So if you won’t provide comparable public school education to some people , what happens to them and their follow on generations?

          In terms of Minnesota’s treatment of blacks, doesn’t look perfect….

  3. vicnicholls Avatar


    Many on this blog seem to genuinely fear that this theory, or frame of reference, presents an existential threat to society, with our schools becoming centers of “Marxist indoctrination.”
    == Dont fear it. Just know it is wrong, and does nothing to further MLK’s dream or create unity (for starters).

    I have not read much about CRT beyond what has been on this blog
    == stoplcpscrt for starters is a great place to go read.

    Just because researchers with a Marxist bent developed CRT does not make CRT Marxist any more than Christians engaging in slavery and using the Bible to justify the practice makes slavery a Christian doctrine.
    == Doesn’t mean they are right either. You can say the sky is pink and the water is orange, but that doesn’t make it true or right.

    I do, however, suggest that his summation of CRT is not necessarily the definitive one or even the only valid one.
    == That’s because you haven’t done the research for it.

    Can anyone plausibly deny that, in order to understand the modern history of Virginia — power relations, law, education, social relations, etc .— you have to use the lens of race?

    == *history* how far back? I didn’t grow up with a lot of what you named.

    Let’s start with the 1902 convention to revise the Virginia Constitution.

    == More than 100 years ago. Oddly enough people change.

    Everyone is familiar with the Jim Crow laws that segregated the races in every public venue.

    == How long have the JC laws been illegal/off the books, both Va and federally?

    I realize that race was a constant factor in the Virginia society in which I grew up.
    == Not in mine. We all played together. Lived together. Worked together. Poor folks do that.

    == Prove white privilege now.Prove systemic racism now in all walks of life, that can’t be attributed to making choices.

    Obviously, the state has made great progress in moving beyond its use of race as a means of ordering and manipulating a large segment of its population.

    == Precisely. I want to celebrate that by using what means I can to helping others become more than they are. If they choose not do so, I can’t help that.

    But the effects of this use of race in the past, be they segregated neighborhoods or concentrated communities of poverty, are not easily or quickly obviated. And, I understand the simmering resentment out there of the current generation whose parents and grandparents were confronted with obstacles and discrimination solely because of their race.
    == Go look at Denzel Washington, Larry Elder, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Dr. Walter E. Williams (great guy!). Take advantage of what schooling you can. Don’t have kids until you are married. Don’t get married until finishing your education. A caveat – limit kids to what you can pay for. Works for Asians (they are a minority).

    == My grandparents were not privileged. All in my generation had college degrees, the previous one was lucky to have HS diplomas. See my previous paragraph for the ways we did it.

    We still have a ways to go before we achieve Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.

    == We are getting further from it by CRT.

    And we will not achieve it by denying or ignoring that race was a primary defining criterion that Virginians have used to shape their law, institutions, and social relations.
    == and we wont’ achieve it by CRT. My mantra is don’t bother me unless minorities are going to be educated to STEM-H, education or skilled trades, in terms of raising my tax dollars for any “education”.

    1. Stephen Haner Avatar
      Stephen Haner

      The four key bullet points. Points 2 and 3 are the main points of contention. I strongly agree with 1 and see great merit in 4.

      1) Recognition that race is not biologically real but is socially constructed and socially significant. It recognizes that science (as demonstrated in the Human Genome Project) refutes the idea of biological racial differences. According to scholars Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, race is the product of social thought and is not connected to biological reality.

      2) Acknowledgement that racism is a normal feature of society and is embedded within systems and institutions, like the legal system, that replicate racial inequality. This dismisses the idea that racist incidents are aberrations but instead are manifestations of structural and systemic racism.

      3) Rejection of popular understandings about racism, such as arguments that confine racism to a few “bad apples.” CRT recognizes that racism is codified in law, embedded in structures, and woven into public policy. CRT rejects claims of meritocracy or “colorblindness.” CRT recognizes that it is the systemic nature of racism that bears primary responsibility for reproducing racial inequality.

      4) Recognition of the relevance of people’s everyday lives to scholarship. This includes embracing the lived experiences of people of color, including those preserved through storytelling, and rejecting deficit-informed research that excludes the epistemologies of people of color.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Aside from the section on Education and CRT, the limitations of legal remedies, I also caught something of particular interest to me…

        “the experiences of various people of color, including Latinx, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. As a result, different branches, including LatCrit, TribalCrit, and AsianCRT have emerged from CRT. ”

        Wait. One of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn’t belong. What’s wrong with Asiancrit? Or am I unaware of a racial slur associated with that?

        1. Stephen Haner Avatar
          Stephen Haner

          The phrase that comes to mind on all that string of claimed spinoffs: reductio ad absurdum. On second read that piece, while useful, is basically a guide for racial litigation ambulance chasers….

          1. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            American Bar Association… duh.

            But to give them their pound of flesh,… Shakespeare? And racist….
            They are FAR less hyperbolic about it than the Captains of the Good Ship Lollibacon.

      2. Stephen Haner Avatar
        Stephen Haner

        Further, I can even get my head around number 2 if there is a recognition that the human brain works by sorting and categorizing and thus “our tribe” or “our people” vs the “others” is somewhat hard wired. Again, with this refresher, my main objection remains not their diagnosis of the past or even the present, but their horrible recommendation about what next. At the end, they just want to keep it all going (and keep those royalties and fees and court settlements flowing in…) King’s was the better vision. They reject it.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          re: “race is a social construct”.

          uh huh… for a LONG TIME , no?

          now it’s “over” except for folks who insist otherwise?

  4. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Nice work Mr. Dick. The 1902 Constitutional Convention was as much about race as it was class and money. One must go a bit further back in Virginia’s history. With the end of Reconstruction in 1876, Republicans were about to lose power to old fashioned ante-bellum Democrats. To hold on to power the Republicans rebranded themselves as “The Readjusters”. The plan was to refinance Virginia’s crushing debts, make West Virginia pay their share, and attract the black and white vote with the promise of improvements to education. The “Readjusters” were left wing, populist, and later progressive. They retained power until the 1883 Danville Riots and the switch of the flow of federal patronage due to the election of President G. Cleveland (Democrat) altered the course of Virginia politics.

    Carter Glass and Thomas Staples Martin realized that if a biracial coalition of working class Virginians and farmers coalesced into a long term voting bloc, Democrats would be on the side line for decades. Glass and Martin engineered the 1902 convention to exploit the fault lines of race and it worked. By doing so, the voting rolls were stripped of this alliance. Remember the poll tax and the literacy test equally impacted poor whites and blacks. The white Virginian was given a false sense of superiority in exchange for the preservation and concentration of two simple things: power and money. Mr. DJ’s Byrd Machine kept this status quo going well into the 1960s and perhaps beyond.

    In 1965, Martin Luther King quoted UVA scholar C. Vann Woodward at the Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March. King’s analysis is razor sharp. I draw your attention to the 9:30 mark to the 15:13 mark. Underappreciated as a historical scholar, King is searing in his honest thinking.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Thanks for the primer of the politics of Virginia after the war. I did not want to go too far back; the post was going to be long as it was. Besides, that era has always been one of my weak spots.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        This is a lost but important period of Virginia political, social, and economic history. We must find a way to unite as Virginians. We can solve our problems. Our destinies are inextricably bound together. Your article is a fine piece of work and I thank you for the contribution.

  5. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
    James Wyatt Whitehead

    Republicans and Democrats have a long and storied tradition of exploiting race for political advantage. Virginia’s Democrats perfected this exploitation from the days of slavery and up to Massive Resistance. George Allen’s Republicans exploited race as well. Now we find a new exploitation, the Critical Race Theory. Captain Sherlock is correct to raise the alarm. CRT is dividing Virginians that are really seeking to unite and solve important problems. It is a political, social, and economic stratagem. Ignoring CRT or embracing CRT will have multi generational consequences. There is only one true path forward:

    MLK March 1965
    Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      But to quote the man, “What have you done for/to me lately?” For is my friend; to, not so much.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        If that is true than the man down stairs has already won.

          1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
            James Wyatt Whitehead

            CRT. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

          2. Nancy Naive Avatar
            Nancy Naive

            Yeah, but in bewteen was this…

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      Thanks for sharing this quote from King. I have never seen this. It eloquently sets out what needs to be our goal.

      By the way, “a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience” sounds to me like a good definition of equity.

      1. James Wyatt Whitehead Avatar
        James Wyatt Whitehead

        Not equity. That is contrived. Equality. The same shot all Americans deserve for success and tranquility. Let the merits of the individual determine what happens next. We are on the same page Mr. Dick we have different paths to achieving that goal. We can and should work together. Our children and our grandchildren are our best hopes.

        1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
          Dick Hall-Sizemore

          I think we are talking about the same thing, just using different definitions for the same term. “Equity” is another one of those good words that has been so loosely used recently that it has lost any common meaning. I still go back to its definition in law that I learned: branch of law that developed alongside common law in order to remedy some of the defects in fairness and justice. Sometimes equal is not fair; that is where equity comes in. It is a concept of what is fair.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar

            The difference between “equity” and “quality” that some see… is interesting.

            Is it really semantics or are there “hard points” of difference?

            I see “equity” as “equality” of opportunity and not a thing wrong with looking at our current structures to see if they are truly equal or not.

            The Air Force did such a study and found that they have significant disparities in outcomes – documented here:


            This report RECOGNIZES , documents the disparities.

            By doing this, was the Air Force wrong in doing that?

            If there are documented disparities does that imply something about “equity” and/or equal access to opportunity?

  6. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    ??, or ?! Take your pick.

  7. Acbar Avatar

    Dick, thank you for a fine post, which articulates coherently so much of what runs through my head on this subject. I grew up in Richmond’s Fan District and race was everywhere around us at that time, in that place — and unfortunately it still is. I still consider Ben Campbell’s book, Richmond’s Unhealed History, the best introduction to race in the City of that time and the decades that immediately followed.

    It makes sense to me that something the intervening generations have only dented requires, at the least, generational change, implemented most directly in the secondary school system, where children’s mores brought from home first come up against a child’s own experience. But let us not fool ourselves into complacency as the educational resources of Virginia move to implement CRT. The goals might even be verbal perfection but can our school system handle implementing them, resisting the temptation to implement a massive, inflexible, counter-racial new bureaucracy along the way? So far I’m not encouraged.

  8. Maria Paluzsay Avatar
    Maria Paluzsay

    Perhaps we should consider how CRT is playing out in our schools right now, and how that will play into the future of our society. The grown ups are so busy arguing what they (and their ancestors) did (or didn’t) do that the reality of what we are setting in motion is falling by the wayside. Suddenly little kids are seeing race. Suddenly friends are being torn apart by families. Suddenly we have taught our kids that their race is what defines them.

    As an aside, the Black school here in Williamsburg was much better than the White school. Ask anyone who grew up here, from either school – I have, just to verify what I observed from working with that generation. Why? The Black parents and teachers were determined that their kids would make something of themselves, and education was the key to that. Integrating schools, and the subsequent closing of Bruton Heights, was probably the wort thing to happen to African Americans in the entire 20th Century here.

    Back to my point. Stop all this CRT/equity crap with our kids. You are promoting exactly what this country needs to avoid – race division. A little poison goes a long way, and a bad well kills the whole town.

    1. James C. Sherlock Avatar
      James C. Sherlock

      This is the most insightful and useful contribution among the comments.

      Adults arguing among themselves about who is responsible never educates a single kid.

      It instead drowns out the fact that I keep repeating.

      Half of the black fourth graders in the City of Richmond Public Schools (RPS) could not read when last tested in 2019. RPS is a majority black school district with majority black teachers and administrators, who are unlikely to possess the much discussed “implicit bias” that the left insists lies just under the surface.

      There is no widespread discussion on the left about teaching these children in Richmond and other urban school districts to read. There is no regulation coming out of the VBOE requiring RPS to get it done under threat of state takeover. Why? Because there is no state law permitting state takeover. Why? Because the Republicans when in charge signed one into law some years ago and it was found unconstitutional in Virginia. Why no constitutional amendment? Someone please answer.

      Why does Richmond not ask Success Academy to come to Richmond to get it done like they have in New York City? Because Virginia law gives both local school boards and the VBOE veto authority. And teachers union heads would explode.

      As long as there are no real consequences to adults – just to kids – for such abject failure it will continue.

      And, even in the face of charter school success, the left will still keep arguing that black kids can’t learn like white and Asian kids because of structural racism and, indeed, that the curriculum, grading methods and rules for both attendance and in-school comportment need to change to give them a chance.

      That proposition is utterly belied by record-setting Success Academy results with exactly the same demographic that can’t read in Richmond.

      I am working right now to support the Richmond superintendent in an attempt to re-think and re-structure reading programs in RPS. He is a man of the left and I am a conservative, but we don’t have to vote the same way to work on this problem together, hopefully constructively. We are both trying. But neither of us is in a position to provide the total learning environment that Success Academy brings. It is that total environment that is the secret, not any particular course.

      Denying both the requirements for a disciplined learning environment and individual agency on the parts of parents and children is the hugely counterproductive big lie of the left.

      They proceed from that lie to accuse of complicity white kids who had no role in historical events and tell black kids that because of racism they lack agency in their own futures. They then refuse to create proven learning environments, rather dumbing everything down to reach “equity”. They could not hurt black kids worse if they set out to do so.

      Dick, who is no radical, and other well meaning liberals simply do not get this, or, in moral panic, ignore it.

  9. LesGabriel Avatar

    The racial history spelled out in the original post–slavery, Jim Crow laws, lynching, segregation, massive resistance–were all elements of the Democrat Party who made and who enforced the laws that allowed these practices to continue. Republicans fought against each of those practices. Yet today, the CRT theorists don’t spend any time explaining of that. Instead, Republicans are supposedly now the villains because of some ficticious charges of voter suppression.

    1. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      I will note that I did not mention either party in my post.

      1. Nancy Naive Avatar
        Nancy Naive

        Perhaps you should have. Fence walking usually results in a horrible injury that makes for a good viral video.

        1. Matt Hurt Avatar
          Matt Hurt

          Bringing political parties into this discussion simply stops any real conversation about this very important topic. Discussions surrounding political parties tend to bring out the worst straw man arguments and gets many to participate in a pissing match rather than a discussion.

          1. LarrytheG Avatar


    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      Don’t look at GOP or Dem – look at Conservatives and their approach to race – the political labels DID change but those who supported racism most were always that way and those that were opposed to it most were always that way.

      Some folks who were racists – did change and did recognize and agree that racism was wrong. Others never did and even some today do not agree. Some are overt and public about it while others couch it to imply it no longer exists and it’s wrong to address it as if it still does, i.e. they do not agree that our legal and social structures still have disparities that need to be addressed.

      1. LesGabriel Avatar

        Racism and racists still do exist, although it would be hard to find in our legal and social structures. The fact that that they do exist on the individual, and even small group, level does not validate the across-the-board indictments of the U.S, as espoused by CRT and the 1619 Project. And the “Big Switch” narrative has been proven untrue on multiple occasions.

        1. LarrytheG Avatar

          How many schools, institutions, organizations, corporations have instituted discussions and policy with respect to “equity”?

          Is it widespread or rare?

          1. LesGabriel Avatar

            I don’t know the answer to that question. But I’m not sure what it proves. If it is 50%, does that mean that racism is widespread, or does it mean that the Left is good at intimidating? We already know

        2. LarrytheG Avatar

          No. Simple facts only. How many companies, institutions, corporations are now involved in “equity” ? Is it one or two or a bunch?

          Is it caused by the media or liberals or is it happening because the institutions and corporations have decide to address it?

          Do you need a factual list of the organizations, institutions and corporations that have instituted “equity” policies to acknowledge that this is way more that a few activists?

          1. LesGabriel Avatar

            No. I don’t need a list. I am sure that there are many. I don’t believe that many of them are doing it because they truly believe that they have been actively racist in the past. The vast majority are doing it because they are being intimidated by cancel culture bullies.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            really? They really were bullied into saying they thought there was a problem and their organization was going to address it?

            Powerful Stuff!

            Look at Disney:

            Anti-racism, tattoos and no more ‘wench auctions’: Disney’s ‘woke’ moves spark a conservative backlash
            Disney has taken steps toward inclusivity in recent years. Not everyone is a fan.

            So they were “bullied” into doing this?

            and the Air Force, again the cancel culture bullied them?

            ” Consistent, widespread racial disparities hurt Black airmen, IG study finds”


    3. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      Okay, that was 1960. What’s happened since you were born?

      1964 to 1972 ya weren’t then, y’re now. And, from 2016 to 2020, ya definitely are.

  10. Nancy Naive Avatar
    Nancy Naive

    Welcome to the Birch John Society, the new GOP.

    Wait, no, that’s not right. They’re for the preservation of wooden toilet seats. Well, it’s something that sounds like Birch John…


  11. James C. Sherlock Avatar
    James C. Sherlock

    You should get out of Richmond more, or permanently, Dick.

    That snake pit of a town has been the center of the worst of Virginia for at least 200 years. Still is.

    When I was an undergrad at UVa in the early 60s, the most vocal and virulent racists I encountered were invariably Richmonders. I had gone to an integrated Catholic high school in D.C. and was unready for what I encountered there. Then there is the open public corruption of our state government.

    Such an environment has likely warped your view of the Commonwealth.

  12. LarrytheG Avatar

    re: the “terrible” Richmond Schools.

    Richmond is not alone in this at all. There are many other school districts INCLUDING Henrico that have this problem.

    But Sherlock and others like to “target” Richmond as if the problem is the Richmond School Board and School Administration.

    I just point out that there are a number of schools in Henrico that are just as bad as the schools in Richmond.

    So what do we attribute that to? Henrico School Board and School Administration?

    What’s the answer?

    If you want to claim there is a problem – and I agree there is – then do it fairly and honestly and point out the problem wherever it is instead of “targeting” only some and claiming it’s their board and admin fault.

    When I hear you ALSO blame the Henrico Board and Administration, at least then I’ll give you credit for being consistent in your criticism.

  13. David Bither Avatar
    David Bither

    To defend CRT is at its worst intentional obfuscation of the truth and at its best willful ignorance. Leftist apologist will float the specious idea that CRT can really mean anything you want, kinda like “social justice,” “systemic racism,” or BLM. That way when their fallacies and true intent are exposed, defenders retort that we just don’t understand the meaning of these fluid and illusive concepts.

    CRT was created by Marxist academics in the Frankfurt School in the early 1960’s. It is a corollary to CT (Critical Theory) that is used in Marxist dialectic methods to create the type of social friction that is need to seize and hold power. An essential element of CT is class stratification and immobility. This has been used successfully in Central and South America where class friction and struggle are endemic, but limited in the U.S. to the echo chambers of academia.

    CRT simply replaces class as the agent of friction with race. And just as Bolsheviks and Maoists used class struggle to spur revolution and indoctrinate the masses so too are the leftist and neo-Marxist in America are cultivating and exploiting racial tension to indoctrinate and install one party with dominant power.

    CRT is dangerous anti-American dogma. It teaches that one race, “whites,” are innately racist. If a white person denies this decree, then that is deemed evidence that they are racist. If a white person acquiesces and admits that they are congenitally afflicted with “white supremacy,” they are subject to lifelong penitence and covering themselves with ash for their “white privilege.” This is all to lay the ground work for replacing an America of Constitutionally protected equal rights and opportunity to an “equity” America where standards are lowered and personal property is redistributed by the state to achieve the lowest common denominator outcome.

    Countless American success stories enabled by a merit-based system and the concept of equal protection under the law is blithefully disregarded in favor of the mythical “racist” America. In 2021, there is not one law, statute, or policy that disenfranchises a citizen based on race or ethnicity save for affirmative action programs. Does anyone really believe Obama, Labron James, or other children of affluent minorities have less opportunity than most children of Appalachia? Does anyone really support imposing equity goals on professional sports because the merit-based system has resulting in a majority of millionaire athletes being minorities?

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