“I criticize CRT precisely because I want our society to be free from racial tensions. Let us be under no illusions – this neo-Marxist ideology is pure racism against white people” – says dr. Carol M. Swain, researcher of Critical Race Theory.
PIOTR WŁOCZYK: How often do you hear that you have betrayed US blacks?
CAROL M. SWAIN: Most often, my fierce critics from the Black Lives Matter movement call me a “black white supremacist”.
You heard it right. Those who defend the civil rights of white people and demand equal treatment of all citizens, such as myself, regardless of their skin color, adversaries on the extremely progressive side call “black white supremacists”. What’s more – every black conservative today is labeled as such by people who consider us their enemies. This is, of course, utter nonsense. I want all races to live in harmony.
So why do you criticize the Critical Race Theory (CRT)? Democrats argue that this view of racial relations is not a threat to anyone, but it is intended to help understand why, statistically speaking, black Americans are worse off than white Americans.
I criticize CRT precisely because I want our society to be free from racial tensions. Let us be under no illusions – this neo-Marxist ideology is pure racism against white people. I am fighting this phenomenon because just like I don’t want black people in the US to be discriminated against, I also have to react when white people are discriminated against. And this is what the neo-Marxist CRT is. This ideology is spread not so much by the democrats as by the progressivists. They argue that CRT is present only at universities, that it is not a threat to society. But that’s not true.
There is no such course in American schools.
This is true, but CRT is already present at the elementary (primary) education level. It can be seen in many books for children, which do not mention the creators of this racial poison, such as Kimberlé Crenshaw or Richard Delgado, and the cultural Marxist Antonio Gramsci does not appear in them either, but there are ideas adapted in the form corresponding to the age of the readers. It is a simplified version of CRT, but the core is preserved: all whites are oppressors. In turn, all minorities are victims. This is the kind of thinking that penetrates into the minds of American children. CRT is just one of the critical theories that arise out of Marxism. We also have Critical Queer Theory or the Critical Feminist Theory. All these theories are about dividing people into oppressors and victims – heterosexual and homosexual, men and women. CRT says all non-whites are victims. Whites are under an obligation to get rid of their “whiteness”, that is, to recognize that they are in a privileged position. The only option is to join the ranks of the “anti-racists”.
What does “anti-racism” mean in this context?
This is a very broad term. It is recognized that only white people can be racist. By definition, a minority representative cannot be a racist. So no matter what I say, no matter how I behave towards white people – by nature I cannot be accused of racism. There is also a strong emphasis on ownership and resources in all of this. Whites are the race of the rich and minorities are the abused poor. Meanwhile, anyone who has traveled extensively in the US must have encountered entire estates of white poverty, especially in the Appalachian region.
In English, an unpleasant term for such people was created: “White trash”…
Precisely. These people very often live in car trailers. Such families are just as poor as many black families. I myself was brought up in poverty, I am one of twelve siblings, I got married at the age of 16 and quit my studies for a while. Over the years, however, I realized how important hard work and education are. I went back to studying, finished high school, went to college, did my PhD and lectured at universities. For years, therefore, I have been at the level that the CRT describes as “a position of privilege”. If I was a Black Lives Matter activist at the same time, I could discriminate against white people, show them contempt and hatred. The left wing would not have a problem with that, because minorities, precisely because of CRT, are not treated in the same way as whites. Minorities are allowed a lot more, which is already racist in itself.
One final example – a lawsuit by black actor Jussie Smollett, who hired two black bodybuilders to attack him in the street, pretending to be Donald Trump supporters. The incident took place in the winter, so Smollett hoped no one would find out who the attackers were. The court stated that the actor faked everything to gain fame. I have the impression that if a white man did the same thing, only the other way around, the largest American media outlets would be trumpeting from morning to night about an attempt to incite a race conflict.
In the case of Smollett, however, our leftist media does not associate this with an attempt to spread racial hatred. On the other hand, there is also no mention of white people attacked by gangs of young representatives of minorities. Information on this topic appears mainly in the conservative media. This is the effect of applying double standards in racial matters. It is very dangerous because it is impossible to achieve social harmony if you diagnose the problem incorrectly. Turning a blind eye to violence towards the other – white – side leads to terrible things.
We are all human and we are capable of doing good, but unfortunately we can also do a lot of evil things. Meanwhile, CRT is trying to erase this reality according to the principle – white people are only oppressors, and minorities are only victims of this reality. Young people who do not yet understand the world, but want to fight for something, are often infected with such ideology. They think they are doing something to save society, while they are turned into the famous Leninist “useful idiots”.
BLM activists are aiming to extend the concept of “white supremacy” to any white person who refuses to join the group of “anti-racists”. The definition of the term had to be expanded in order to encompass a greater number of enemies.
A lot has changed lately in terms of definitions…
I do a lot of research on this topic, so I follow what happens with dictionaries. Over the past decade, the definition of racism has been subtly changed. Today, in most dictionaries, the definition of the word “racism” is in line with the political agenda of the left. This gives rise to strange situations when conservative-minded people, discussing racial topics with people on the other side, reach for a dictionary to establish the facts and suddenly realize that they are wrong, because the definition of the word they thought was clear already sounds completely different! As in Orwell’s books – when words lose their traditional meaning, we can no longer be sure of anything.
Why do you call CRT “the greatest challenge to civil rights of our time”?
Because this ideology brings us back into segregation. This time the other way around. I cannot see how whites in the US are being humiliated and intimidated today just because of their skin color.
But the truth is that white people do not have it so bad in the US today…
Some whites have a very comfortable life, yes. But others are struggling with everyday life just like others. As a person who cares about the well-being of society as a whole, I cannot remain indifferent to this. Did you know that more and more often little white children come home from school crying, saying that the teacher said that white people do wrong things? Children begin to feel ashamed of their own skin color. This has not happened before! Our society seemed to be struggling to make sure nobody felt bad about a trait they couldn’t change. What happened to the slogan “One Race – Human Race”?! I don’t want my grandchildren to be mocked for the color of their skin, and neither do I want white children to feel bad about the way they look.
There is the other side of the coin as well…
Black children are being taught that they are the victims of systemic racism and therefore the standards that apply to them must be lower. CRT is drumming into their heads that due to the color of their skin, they are systematically unable to keep up with whites. And that’s why they need “help”. Let me just remind you that I was born in the 1950s, when we still had systemic racism in the USA. The real systemic racism. However, the civil rights movement has done great things – it has removed obstacles that objectively hampered or prevented unfettered development. We just wanted a chance for the future. We didn’t ask anyone to lower our standards so that we could jump over the bar. Today these achievements are at stake. At some universities, segregation is returning. Separate groups are created for minorities, explaining that it is better to learn “amongst your own kind”, for example, about how the American government works. Not only that – recently, there were also separate college graduation ceremonies for minorities, and dorms for black students! This is a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This is racism in the name of progress, turning back the clock several decades.
What can happen to America if the agenda of the BLM movement is implemented?
BLM is destroying the very progress in racial affairs we worked so very hard for. Many Blacks reject such solutions, the more so as the effects of BLM’s radicalism are already visible, for example in the matter of taking away police money. It is for this reason that we see an enormous crime wave in our cities. Who is it hitting the most? Naturally, the neighborhoods inhabited by minorities where crime is higher! Polls show that black Americans want a well-invested police force. Without it, Blacks will die even more often, and BLM claims that it is about saving the lives black citizens…At the same time, progressivists shouting “Black Lives Matter!” are encouraging even further normalization of abortion. Let me just remind you that abortion clinics profit the most from the minorities. Unfortunately, the highest percentage of abortions is recorded among the black population. How many black children died this way? Unfortunately, we can see a clear trend here – every time minorities are placed under the “protection” of progressivists, the consequences are tragic.
Has the American left exaggerated with pushing the BLM agenda?
It looks that way. Corporations that supported BLM after George Floyd’s death in waves are withdrawing from such activities. BLM is a very aggressive organization. Suffice it to say that activists under this banner supported Jussie Smollett and saw no problem in his crime. They even issued an official position arguing that Smollett should not be convicted. It sounded like a threat to the court. But that’s nothing new. BLM activists often put pressure on juries and make the work of law enforcement difficult. The very loud acquittal of Kyle Rittenhouse was in fact – under the pressure of BLM – an act of courage on the part of the jury.
This interview was published in February 2022 in “Do Rzeczy” – a Polish weekly magazine.
Dr Carol M. Swain (born 1954) is an American political scientist, researcher of Critical Race Theory. She has lectured at Princeton University in New Jersey and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. In 2021, she published her latest book, “Black Eye for America: How Critical Race Theory Is Burning Down the House” (co-written with Dr. Christopher J. Schorr)