5 Big Questions for Prof. William Jacobson, founder of Legal Insurrection
Jacobson warns that supporters of Critical Race Theory are organized and well-funded thanks to an industry that has sprung up around teaching its ideas.
'The end game for this is continued racial strife,' he says.
Cornell Law Professor William Jacobson spoke with Campus Reform about how Critical Race Theory affects students and what he believes should be done to stop it. He says that Critical Race Theory "sets up perpetual racial conflict" by teaching children that their outcome in life is determined not by hard work and merit, but by the color of their skin.
Jacobson, also the founder of Legal Insurrection, has taken a special interest in Critical Race Theory as it relates to young students. He says that viewing the world in terms of the oppressors and the oppressed sends "such a negative message to send to students that that is their fate in life."
"Their fate in life is to be oppressed, I think that's about as bad as you can get," Jacobson says.
Jacobson studied at Harvard Law while a small group of his classmates were laying the groundwork for Critical Legal Studies, a discipline which has now branched off into Critical Race Theory. He says he did not foresee this set of ideas transforming from a legal theory to a mainstream philosophy that appears in K-12 education and the corporate world.
He asserts that Critical Race Theory took root in higher education thanks to small groups of activists.
"Once you have an activist group of students and faculty," Jacobson says, "they are the ones who get on the student government, they are the ones who push forward the faculty proposals, and most importantly, they are the ones who end up doing the hiring." By hiring like-minded people, college faculty can create an environment in which Critical Race Theory goes unchallenged.
Now that the organized effort to push Critical Race Theory has expanded far off campus. Jacobson categorizes its supporters in three groups: "You have the true believers, you have the industry built up around this, and then you have people for whom I think it's just a power play, and I think that's probably where the unions fit in."
Jacobson has mapped out the future for Critical Race Theory if it is allowed to gain momentum in classrooms.
"The end game for this is continued racial strife," he says. "And that, I think, is a dead end for our society."
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito