Source: L.K. Samuels
Critical Race Theory (CRT) has been cited as an offshoot of Karl Marx’s theory of class struggle, which was designed to pit one class against another so as to foment worker-led revolutions. It is also widely accepted that the Marxian Frankfurt School in Germany reworked Marx’s “social conflict theory” in the 1950s by adding “race” to their long list of “oppressed” minorities. But historically, the Frankfurt School theorists were latecomers to the racial theory table. They were not the originators of Critical Race Theory. A revolutionary socialist movement had already existed decades before in Germany. These racial justice warriors sought to pit one race against another and encourage the oppressed to overthrow the oppressor. They called themselves German National Socialists.
After World War II, the Frankfurt School intellectuals and academics began to plagiarize the “racial struggle” and “victimhood” theories that had originated with Nazi theorists in the mid-1920s. It is true that the Nazi theorists, many with Marxist leanings, were less sophisticated in their racial superiority approach. But their long-term goals on racial disparity and struggle were remarkably similar.
The National Socialists, like the Marxian Frankfurt School leaders, dedicated themselves to fighting racial oppression imposed by other advantaged races. But in the case of the Nazis, they identified the “oppressed race” as the Aryan and German people and the “oppressor race” as the Jews. They believed that the Jews controlled the world as members of a wealthy and privileged race that supposedly mistreated the so-called Aryan races.
To demean the so-called “Jewish oppressors,” the National Socialists taught German children that the Jews, Jewish-run banks, and capitalists were persecuting the German nation and its people. This “oppressor versus oppressed” narrative is pure classical Marxism, which had devastating effects across the annals of modern history. Such racist nonsense divides society, creating hostile tribalism and unending ethnic violence.
Of course, this racial struggle was exactly what the Nazi propagandists intended in their effort to purge certain “oppressor” races. They wanted only one race to exist in German-controlled lands. That is why Critical Race Theory is so poisonous. Its endgame almost always results in horrific final solutions to punish so-called privileged and oppressor races.
The march towards securing superiority over an oppressor race began in earnest after the Nazis nationalized most German schools in 1933. School administrators quickly inserted racist policies into newly rewritten textbooks and school policies. With the assistance of the National Socialist Teachers League, (the official Nazis teacher’s union), students were inundated with racial theories that invaded most disciplines. Nazi party officials promoted the Führer’s Volksgemeinschaft concept of equality, which included social engineering, social justice, racial tribalism, national collectivity, and social Darwinism. But their biggest mission was to implant biased ethnic-racial studies into Germany’s classrooms.
According to Richard J. Evans in The Third Reich in Power 1933-1939, Nazi educators and administrators from the Education Ministry mandated that the topics of “racial biology” and “racial science” be inserted into almost every school course across Germany. Biology was heralded as the key to understanding and identifying racial differences. The National Socialists even developed a racial-social arithmetic for their textbooks to indoctrinate students. For example, this racial mathematics used formulas to design calculations that would determine how many blond Aryans lived in a German population.
The German language did not escape this politicization of education. Language had to focus on speech patterns to provide a racial background that would subliminally implant German schoolchildren with the racial-socialist ideology of Nazism. The study of geography had to bow to a racial makeover that required Nazi ideology to be more compatible with heroism, home, and race. Amazingly, Nazi educators even found ways to link climate to race.
Not surprisingly, such old-style racism is now returning to our world, mostly voiced by progressives, the woke mob, and Black Lives Matter. Similar to the National Socialists, this orthodoxy is a hodgepodge of social justice, oppressor-versus-oppressed victimhood, and racial tribalism. A German poster from 1933 highlights the Nazi’s dedication to a socially just racial state, proclaiming, “Because Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich wants social justice, big Jewish capitalism is the worst enemy of this Reich and its Führer.”
A number of present-day “anti-racist” activists are emulating the National Socialists’ pogrom policies. For instance, co-founder of Black Lives Matter in Toronto, Yusra Khogali, called for the extermination of certain races. Taking jabs at white privilege and oppressor races and gender, she mused in 2016 that she had an urge “to kill men and white folks.” Moreover, she tweeted that “white skin is subhuman.” Hitler and his Nazi horde spouted the same “subhuman” accusations against Jews, and eventually acted upon their convictions in the Holocausts.
The origins of Critical Race Theory have a dark history. Why would anyone justify racism, racial superiority, or racial inferiority in today’s world? Such inflammatory rhetoric has never led to racial or social equality. CRT must be discarded into the ashbin of history, along with any resurgence of National Socialism and its socialist-racist narratives.
L.K. Samuels is the author of Killing History: The False Left-Right Political Spectrum (2019)