My Dear Parishioners:
As we begin the unofficial end of summer weekend, our thoughts turn to school, homework and hopefully a return to “normal.” A sense of hope and newness is in the air. Over the past several months “new ideas” have come front and center in American thought and culture. One item that causes me concern is critical race theory. Critical race theory is formulated in the 1990’s and is built on the intellectual framework of identity-based Marxism. It is class conflict based on the imbalance of power between capitalists and workers. Marxism scholars in the West substituted race for class and seek to create a revolutionary coalition of the dispossessed based on racial and ethnic categories.

This poison has increasingly become the default ideology in our public institutions. It has been injected into government agencies, public school system, teacher training programs and corporate human resources departments.

Critical race theorists use terms such as “equity,” “social justice,” “diversity and inclusion.” Marxism would be a hard sell. Equity on the other hand, sounds nonthreatening and is easily confused with the American principle of equality. But the distinction is vast and important. Indeed, equality—the principle proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence, defended in the Civil War and codified into law with the 14th and 15th Amendments is explicitly rejected by critical race theorists. To them equality represents “mere nondiscrimination” and provides “camouflage” for white supremacy, patriarchy, and oppression. In contrast to equality, equity as defined and promoted by critical race theorists is little more than reformulated Marxism.

Sadly, many Americans have developed an acute fear of speaking up about social and political issues, especially those involving race. They are worried about getting mobbed on social media, fired from their jobs, or worse. Also, critical race theorists have constructed their argument like a mousetrap. Disagreement with their program becomes irrefutable evidence of a dissenter’s “white fragility” or “unconscious bias.”

What can be done? We need to employ our own moral language rather than allow ourselves to be confined by the categories of critical race theory. For example, instead of debating about “diversity”, we should speak about and aiming for excellence, a common standard that challenges people of all backgrounds to achieve potential. We must also promote the true story of America—a story that is honest about injustices in American history, but that places them in the context of our nation’s high ideals and progress we have made towards realizing them. Genuine American history is rich with stories of achievements and sacrifices that will move the hearts of Americans—in stark contrast to the grim and pessimistic narrative pressed by critical race theorists.

Above all we must have courage—the fundamental value of our time. Courage to speak the truth. Courage to withstand epithets. Courage to face the mob. Courage to shrug off the scorn of the elites. When enough of us overcome the fear that currently pervades so many from speaking out, the hold of critical race theory will begin to slip. Truth and justice are on our side. If we can muster the courage, we will win. God bless you all.

Fr. Monteleone

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