A Fort Worth school board trustee recently told an auditorium full of high school students that Latinos are locked in a struggle against institutional racial bias from “white America,” and promoted a radical doctrine called Critical Race Theory.
Last month, students at North Side High School viewed the documentary film Ascencion. The movie tells the rags-to-riches tale of a Mexican boy who runs away at age 13 and comes to the U.S. Through hard work and perseverance, he becomes a success, and an American citizen.
Following the screening, State Rep. Ramon Romero, Jr. (D–Fort Worth) and Fort Worth ISD District 1 Trustee Jacinto “Cinto” Ramos, Jr. addressed the assembly. North Side’s student body is 95 percent Hispanic.
Romero, who appears in the film, posed a leading question to students, suggesting that the federal and state governments are “closing the doors” on opportunities for Latinos.
“Have things gotten better or have things gotten worse in this country for Latinos or Mexicanos?” Romero asked. “Does anybody feel like Washington is closing the doors on people’s dreams right now?”
Referring back to the film, Romero added that the “American frontier” still exists – “it’s that job market out there today. In Washington, those doors are being closed. And in Austin, Texas… it’s closing there too.” In 2015, Romero became the first Latino lawmaker elected in Tarrant County.
Ramos expanded on Romero’s theme. The FWISD trustee launched into a lecture about Critical Race Theory – a radical academic discipline based on the premise that American laws are a tool of the white majority to oppress people of color.
“Two things I want to teach you,” Ramos told the students. “One is a theory called Critical Race Theory – that none of this is an accident, that the social construct of race is working exactly the way it was designed to work, which is to divide us.” He continued:
“I want you to learn two things about Critical Race Theory. One is that we have to message and package things right now. It’s called interest convergence, that sometimes white America has to see how it’s relevant to them before we can do something about it. That’s part of that theory.
“The second one is the one you’re doing every day at this high school… it’s called counter-narrative and counter-storytelling… We literally have to invest energy to change the narrative that this is the ‘hood’ and a bad place… We have a narrative we tell people outside of North Side that it’s not about leaving the hood, it’s about coming back to the hood… That’s why this documentary was so important for you to see today. The counter-narrative, the interest convergence.”
What else does this radical, racialist legal doctrine from the 1970s entail? UCLA’s School of Public Affairs describes Critical Race Theory:
CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society. The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color. CRT also rejects the traditions of liberalism and meritocracy.
CRT adherents (who include former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder) also reject the tradition of applying the law equally to all Americans, advocating instead for racial preferences to counter society’s “ingrained racism” and past injustices.
Encouraging students to have pride in themselves, their culture, and their neighborhood is laudable. Pushing radical theories about pervasive “institutional racism,” and perpetuating racist generalizations about an oppressive “white America,” is unacceptable.