Critical race theory (CRT) is a divisive, discriminatory ideology that judges people on the basis of their skin color. It has penetrated our society—it’s in federal agencies’ and federal contractors’ “bias training,” in school curricula and many corporations’ “diversity training.”
Few are willing to speak out against it for fear of being labeled racists or white supremacists. Asian Americans, however, have emerged as a powerful voice against this pernicious ideology.
The Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY) delivered the most vigorous rejection of CRT yet, calling it “a hateful, divisive, manipulative fraud.”
CACAGNY is one of the oldest chapters of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance, which was founded in San Francisco in 1895 to respond to nationwide discrimination and violence against Chinese Americans. For more than a century, this organization has helped Asian Americans, especially Chinese Americans, to “quicken the spirit of American patriotism” and to “insure the legal rights of its members.” CACAGNY speaks out against CRT now because Asian Americans have experienced its harm firsthand.
According to CRT’s victimization ledger, all whites are oppressors, and all “people of color” are oppressed. CRT argues that unequal economic outcomes among different races in our society result from white power and white privilege.
Asian Americans punch a big hole in that worldview. As a group, their economic achievement has surpassed that of all other racial groups, including whites. Last year’s Department of Labor statistics even showed that the median weekly earnings of Asian women surpassed white men’s earnings.
Values drive Asian Americans’ economic success. Many believe in education attainment, stable marriages, delayed gratification, hard work and meritocracy. CRT attacks all these as “white” values, and the people who practice them as acting “white.”
Because Asian Americans’ economic achievement and educational attainment resist CRT narratives, irritated activists have tried to eject Asian Americans from the “people of color” category. Last November, the North Thurston public school district in Washington state released an “equity report” in which it grouped white and Asian American students together, while placing everyone else in the “students of color” category. The school district only apologized after an outcry from the community’s Asian American families.