The Trump administration's attack on "Critical Race Theory" is just HUAC 2.0

Early this month, the US Office of Management and Budget announced a crackdown on diversity trainings and other similar initiatives that acknowledged the existence of racism or privilege. The concept of "Critical Race Theory" was a particular target — despite the fact that, ya know, the First Amendment is supposed to prevent the government from suppressing ideas or punishing people for having ideas.

The UCLA School of Public Affairs defines Critical Race Theory as:

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.

Trump himself called out Critical Race Theory — and the work of Howard Zinn specifically — in his scarily authoritarian decree about "Patriotic Education" (read: indoctrination).

OMB Director Russ Vought has also announced that the federal government is asking employees to "report any sightings" of Critical Race Theory.

This is just a re-hash of the anti-Commie hunts of the House Un-American Activities Committee under Joseph McCarthy during the Red Scare.

Most proponents of Critical Race Theory will agree that it evolved from Critical Theory, a school of thought that was primarily developed by the work of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer at the Frankfurt School, which itself drew on ideas from Western-Marxist philosophy. (The Frankfurt School is largely at the root of all the anti-Semitic dog whistles and conspiracy theories surrounding so-called "Cultural Marxism," and why so many conservatives rage at the thought of postmodernism.)

So the federal government is once again asking people to snitch on people who might align ideological with anything remotely inspired by the work of Marx and Engels, in order to suppress dissent. Which is exactly what HUAC did. And I think there's bipartisan agreement that HUAC was not good.

Anyway, I've had this song stuck in my head all week:

Previously: Trump administration bans diversity training for federal workers, calling it "Anti-American"