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Thursday, September 2, 2021

What critical race theory is — and is not

Explainer: What critical race theory is — and is not

To hear some describe it, critical race theory is Marxism, a threat to the American way of life, reverse racism and a scheme to indoctrinate children. The reality is less sensationalistic.

"It's a legal theory that started in the early 1970s, after the civil rights movement, that comes mostly out of graduate and law school work," said Sam Rocha, a professor of education philosophy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, who has studied and written on the subject.

Critical race theory is primarily an academic legal framework centered on the idea that racism is systemic; that it's embedded in institutions, culture, values and laws, and not just a manifestation of personal bigotry or animus. 

"A lot of times I think people assume that critical race theory is a moral theory of anti-racism, but it's really not," Rocha said. "It's a legal theory that helps itself to a broad and wide tradition, from Black Reconstruction to the founding of the NAACP all the way into the civil rights movement."

You can read more of our explainer here.

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Follow youth toward environmental sustainability, Pope Francis says

In the face of social and environmental crises, the world would do well to follow the lead of its young people, Pope Francis said in a video message to mark the start of the Season of Creation.

"It makes me very happy to see that young people have the courage to undertake projects for environmental and social improvement, since the two go together. We adults can learn much from them, because in all matters related to care for the planet, they are at the forefront. Let us take advantage of their example and reflect on our lifestyle, especially during the moments of health, social and environmental crisis," Francis said in a video released Sept. 1 by the Pope's Worldwide Prayer Network.

Each month, the network prepares videos related to the pope's prayer intention. For September, it is praying for environmentally sustainable lifestyles.

"Let us choose to change! Let us advance with young people towards lifestyles that are simpler and more respectful of the environment," including in the ways people eat, travel and use water, energy and plastics, the pope said.

Read more at EarthBeat here.

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