Media appearances

The ABC’s of Critical Race Theory

Summary of the conference 'The ABC's of Critical Race Theory & More'

The American left-wing critical race theory (CRT) claims to represent the oppressed, even though this ideology is already in a dominant position in the institutions. Its representatives do not want to govern, but want to dominate the cultural institutes and economic organizations of the American social elite, and their ultimate tool is violence, stated Chris Rufo, an American expert on critical race theory, on Monday 27 march.

Chris Rufo who is also a guest researcher at the Danube Institute spoke on the increasingly popular critical race theory and the woke movement in the United States and Western Europe at an international conference organised by the Danube Institute at the Lónyay-Hatvany Villa.

Rufo, the key speaker at the workshop, said that critical race theory is a postmodern and post-Marxist system of ideas based on Marxist theory, which holds that the US society and political system is fundamentally and inherently racist, and that the white majority in the US oppresses other groups in American society.

He said that the American representatives of left-wing critical racism use the same means to attack their opponents as the left-liberal press products use to criticise Hungary.

John O'Sullivan, President of the Danube Institute, stressed that the American left increasingly denies that Wokism, of which American critical race theory is a part, exists. This is all the more surprising because it was the left who introduced the concept into the public consciousness and tried to give it a positive connotation. It seems that Wokism will meet the same fate as other concepts that the left has been inculcating: when it becomes clear what it really means and therefore unpopular, the left will try to get rid of it.

According to Frank Furedi, a British sociologist of Hungarian descent and director of the Brussels office of Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC), left critical race theory is not a theory in the scientific sense of the word, but a cultural movement and a narrative. It is an anti-colonial, anti-racist movement that aims to attack and deny all Western traditions and values. He argued that the "fatalistic determinism" of critical race theory held that race and descent determined everything in a person's life. He noted that any professor who disagrees with critical race theory is afraid to speak out for fear of his job, personal safety or his life.

According to Francesco Giubilei, advisor to the Italian Minister of Culture, the situation in Italy regarding critical race theory is a notch better than in other Western countries. The Italian Catholic Church has a strong influence in defending social values and traditions, and urban and regional identity is very strong in Italy. However, speaking out against illegal immigration in Italy is immediately labelled as fascist and racist, which makes it impossible to have a balanced political debate on migration. As an example, he mentioned that, according to the American magazine The New Yorker, all buildings in Italy that were built during the fascist era between the two world wars should be demolished.

But the most serious enemy of the Italian conservative vision of government is the current majority of the EU itself, Giubilei says, and any Italian government position that disagrees with the EU leadership is seen as inferior by Brussels. This will hopefully change after the 2024 European elections.

According to Diederik Boomsa, a Dutch lecturer and member of the Amsterdam City Council, the Netherlands is now the California of Europe. Four years ago, the Amsterdam city council introduced a diversity action plan for the city's cultural institutions. One of the consequences of this is that a city art museum or cultural institution whose staff and collection are not sufficiently diverse and socially representative could lose its municipal financial support.

British lecturer Toby Young, founding leader of the Free Speech Union, spoke about the results of so-called independent British surveys which show that the London Metropolitan Police and Fire Brigade, and even the British public service media group, the BBC, suffer from institutional racism. Critical race theory is present in the British education system, with the majority of teachers working with curricula that are imbued with this ideology. The solution is to produce new types of educational materials, including multi-perspective ones, which he is also a key contributor to.

Pierre Valentine, author of the book on woke ideology, presented the situation in France. In his speech, he agreed with the other speakers: the threat of woke is a real and growing problem in France, mainly spreading on the left. He is concerned about the impact of young extremists on French society.

According to Dakota Wood, senior researcher at the Heritage Foundation, critical race theory also has a negative impact on the military. Woke destroys community values and weakens the integrity and cohesion of the military. This new ideology is disrupting a society based on respect for each other and the rules, and is a threat to the individual.

The conference was closed by Rod Dreher, writer, journalist and director of the Danube Institute’s Network Project, who explored the relationship between religion and critical race theory. He pointed out that critical race theory is already present in most American institutions. While all forms of racism are reprehensible, critical race theory does not actually fight racism, but institutionalises a new form of anti-Semitic racism against whites and increasingly Asians.

Rod Dreher, in response to a question, said that members of the Woke movement are representatives of "soft totalitarianism". If former US President Donald Trump is allowed to form the government again after the 2024 US presidential election, left-wing critical racism and the woke movement could become even more virulent and dramatically stronger in the US. Relatedly, Chris Rufo noted that a US administration led by current Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could more effectively implement legislative and policy-based solutions to counter the critical activities of the left-wing movements by the White House and the Republican Party. According to Rufo, this could make the formulation of effective and strong Republican Party responses to critical racism and the woke movement a central issue in the 2024 presidential campaign.

Summary based on reporting by Hungarian Public News Agency and Danube Institute