Critical Race Theory / Politics

CRT Would Make America More Balkanized Than the Balkans

AMAC Exclusive by Daniel Roman


While conducting extensive research on the break-up of Yugoslavia, I had the chance to travel to the region and converse with many locals of every background. One thing that always struck me at bars or restaurants was how well young people had integrated in a society that from 1991-1995 had torn itself apart, witnessing untold destruction and atrocities. Serbs and Croats, Muslims and Christians, could eat, drink, and laugh together, often in the capital city of those who may have been their enemy just a few years earlier.

More importantly, they could do so in a way which did not deny their ethnic status or the past. One of the more popular recent Serbian songs was My Dad is a War Criminal!, while “Thompson,” the performing name for Marko Perković, is the most popular musical performance in Croatia, even attracting the attendance of the former President of Croatia. Both are by any objective measure “extremist.” The title of the Serbian tune is transparent about the content, while Thompson openly mocks the post-1990s view that collective guilt requires individual apologies as the prelude to social interaction between individuals from different backgrounds

It is no surprise then that journalists searching for stories to predict future outbreaks of violence have zeroed in on the rise of such “extremist media” as evidence of growing polarization. But if they looked deeper, they would see the opposite. That rather than celebrating violence and urging its renewal, the rise of this music among the young has actually indicated a willingness to shed the norms that required every interethnic interaction to be couched in terms of guilt.

 It was not only the President of Croatia who is a Thompson fan; also at his events are Serbs. As for that popular Serbian song, it was played alongside Thompson tracks at a recent high school debate event in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Rather than being incitement, a new generation has grown up making sense of past horror, racism, and conflict by making light of it, and recognizing that in an imperfect world inhabited by imperfect human beings, we all have a choice: to treat everyone as a member of a group in a world where score is kept between ever more arbitrary racial and ethnic categories, while those who are “down” are urged to seek to even the score, and those who are ahead are taught to fear such an effort–or, we can recognize that such an enterprise only dooms everyone.

The Marxist roots of Critical Race Theory have attracted the most attention when it comes to the debate over its role in teaching. This makes sense, but not for the reasons those on the Left think. It is precisely because the American history of ethnic and racial violence has never exploded into outright pogroms or genocide that discussions of historical injustice can afford to be conducted on a level of abstraction which focuses on differential economic and academic achievements. Even the U.S. Civil War was largely a war between two predominantly white sides. People spend their time discussing the impact of slavery and Jim Crow on current property values precisely because there are no mass graves to discover, and it cannot be assumed that out of every 12 students, five had close relatives killed by relatives of another four within the lifetimes of their parents.

Education in Bosnia is an excellent example of what not to do. There is almost no more perfect example of Critical Race Theory in education than that applied to Bosnian schools by the academics working for the UN High Commissioner. Students are forced to identify themselves by their ethnicity, with those of mixed background (nearly a fifth of Bosnian marriages were mixed in 1990) forced to chose one. Then in turn each is required to recite the “history” of what their group did in the 1990s.

Woe to the odd Serb, Muslim, or Croat student who objects, either because they do not believe their classmates are racist, or because their parents’ lived experiences did not match up with the black and white binary portrayed in the curriculum. Informed by the principles behind CRT, the UN-sponsored schools reserve a particular ire for anyone who does not neatly fit into the proper boxes of “perpetrators” or “victims.” Much as a white student who stands up for a black friend charged with being a “bad African American” would both be proving their own racism and confirming the “guilt” of their accused friend, so too are Muslims and Serbs who fail to play out the script assigned to them. Not just Serbs, but Muslims who reject the Islamist narrative are termed “genocide deniers” a crime punishable by prosecution.

The results could have been predicted. With schools transformed by well-meaning western Marxist academics into trauma factories designed to promote ethnic polarization, parents have voted with their feet, abandoning the internationally funded system in favor of religious schools backed either by the Catholic Church (Croats), Saudi Arabia/Iran (Muslims), or the Orthodox Church (Serbs). Whereas the children of Croatia and Serbia’s 1990s Presidents have since married members of the opposite ethnicity, in Bosnia interfaith relationships have all but ceased.

This is precisely the model being taught here in the United States. It is one where score keeping between groups is the core of society. More than anything else, this is the truly dangerous part of CRT. It is neither false, nor innately dangerous to teach about the injustices in American history. But when this is taught without context, without reference to other areas in the world where similar dynamics played out in infinitely more destructive ways, then the lesson that is taught is that we need, for example, more score keeping of exactly what whites owe Asians and what Asians owe African Americans.

Liberals have long liked to cite the examples of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in Rwanda and Burundi as examples of forward-looking historical justice where societies seek accommodations with their past. But the lessons they teach us are the opposite of CRT. Burundi saw genocides of Hutus in 1973 and Tutsis in 1993-1995, Rwanda of Tutsis in 1994. The two groups, indistinguishable to outsiders, were kept in existence quite literally by grievances passed down educationally generation to generation, where in their very own schools they were taught about the horrors of the previous genocide and taught about the need to ensure payback in the following generation.

Rwanda has made segregation or even publicly identifying one’s ethnicity illegal. Why? Well, it is obvious. One only has to imagine the consequences of a teacher telling their students to separate, with the Tutsis going to one corner of the classroom and the Hutus to the other. That simple act would be enough to trigger PTSD in parents for whom that exact instruction in a school room was the prelude to massacres in the past. Separating children into groups and giving each a reason to hate the other has proven time and again to cause violent conflict. By contrast, banning any identification by ethnicity has allowed Rwanda to become an African success story, with the fastest growing economy on the continent.

American schools should teach more, not less about conflict—but not just conflict in America, conflict around the world. Countering CRT is not merely about teaching the consequences of Communism, as Florida is poised to do. It should also be about teaching what happens in societies which allow themselves to be consumed by the past. No society that has been through the consequences of pitting children against each other from childhood, like Burundi and Rwanda, can possibly contemplate the prospect of doing so in the classroom with their own children today. We should teach why that is the case.

We should show children the experiences of societies where “fighting” for “justice” became a score keeping exercise, and how that ended in horrors.

America is not unique in having suffered periods of inequality. But the United States is unique in that for most of its history, our ancestors pulled back from the brink of conflict because they recognized that violence is negative sum–everyone loses and no one wins.

CRT should be put on trial for the lack of answers it provides. It lacks any answers to the needs of anyone, of any background, for jobs, security, education. It lacks answers other than violence to injustice, or how violence is supposed to bring about justice. And it lacks any awareness of where the ideas behind its approach to “justice” have tragically led in so many countries around the world. In this way, the solution to CRT is more history—not less.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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2 months ago

C r t. The last word being theory. Am I missing something here? Why are they so passionately angry about teaching a theory? Excuse me for pointing this out but the King has no clothes on

2 months ago

CRT isn’t its only name. It can be disguised as “ethnic studies” and other misdirection to avoid or confuse the issue. Critical Theory,Marxist version, had labor faced off against industry. The plan was for the laborers to take over the businesses. That didn’t work. Now it is morphed into pitting individuals of various ethnicities or races against each other. Balkanization as it were. It finally did not work there.
CRT has to be confronted face up. History is History. Accept it. Learn from it. DON’T REPEAT IT!
Stop trying to change what was. Stop blaming white folk for your poor poor pitiful me attitude. CRT is a major fog bank magician misdirection. Watch the right hand and don’t pay attention to what the “left” hand is doing. Indoctrinate and sit back to enjoy your elitist lives while the people entertain you with their petty training that you provided.

Patriot Will
2 months ago

It is criminal to teach race theory in America as a way to redistribute wealth and make whites feel guilt for actions they had no part of. It’s pure evil and racism to encourage hatred against whites just because they have the same skin color as the “Crackers” of the Old South. Also, how can one not carefully study many examples of racism which have taken place through out world history for thousands of years? The Democrat Communists are doing their best to balkanize this wonderful country. They are wickedly and stupidly unleashing forces of blind, irrational rage which have the potential of destroying many tens of millions of innocent lives.

Stephen Russell
2 months ago

See So Africa as CRT Role Model, end product of .

2 months ago

The dumbing down of America has been going on for some time and based on our last presidential election it’s definitely working!

aluminum head
2 months ago
Reply to  Barb

It was the engineered mail-in voting which was hooked with the chinese fungus hoax and the useless ‘masks.’ The 9 D ) communists used dominion voting machines for good measure. They saw no other way Trump could be beat legitimately.

Ed J
2 months ago
Reply to  Barb

Maybe we should institute a national Idiocy Index, with values ranging from 0 to 100 – the greater the idiocy, the higher the assigned (or earned) number. Such an index would provide the American public with an objective standard to measure all the various players on the American stage.
Using this index, we could assign Biden a value of 110, Harris a 125, Pelosi, Schiff and Schumer at least 150, and the rest of their cronies some values in between. Note that none of these “idiots” would ever score within the established range. This speaks volumes regarding the danger we are being exposed to as a nation by these misguided people.
Welcome to being governed (actually, misgoverned) by the Charter Members of the Idiots “Я” Us Club!

John Karkalis
2 months ago

A stark, sobering reminder of recent history, its horrors and its warnings.
Thank you, Daniel Roman.
One might argue for the need of the “strong man” to prevent the excesses following balkanization. The former Yugoslavia did not have a constitution in the sense we understand it, but it had a Joseph Broz Tito. So long as he was in power the center held. After his passing the nation fractured. Things quickly went south. Old enmities surfaced. It was an “us” against “them”.
Sound familiar?
Where is our strong man?
I ask that rhetorically because I can guess how most AMAC members would answer.
“He’s waiting in the wings for a return to his former residence”.
The term CRT makes me gag.
Yes, its intent is to divide, to balkanize our nation. Start with our young children and allow the cancer of CRT to spread. That’s how you fracture the greatest nation on earth.
2022 and 2024 never looked so critical.

Darlene Morris
2 months ago

Please consider making your articles such as this one sharable to other platforms like Parler, Gab and MeWe.

2 months ago

there are more people around the world who prefer freedom to socialism. it’s high time that we take advantage of the current “open border” being forced upon us and organize a mobilization of THOSE freedom-loving people to enter our southern border instead of watching helplessly as the wrong people flood in and out-number us. fight fire with freedom!

2 months ago

Excellent, thoughtfully written article. More Americans should have the opportunity to read it.

2 months ago

To respond to the title of your article, that is the specific intent of CRT. To permanently fracture American society and unity of country by dumbing down and indoctrinating society to hate each other, so the ruling elite are free to enrich themselves with little to no opposition from the masses. To create permanently balkanized segments of society, that are in de-facto opposition to each in perpetuity. That makes it far easier for a small group of ruling elites to control and manage the population without having to expend a great deal of time and resources to maintain power.

2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Well said.

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Paul, the dumbing down was well on it’s way before CRT raised its malignant head. I think CRT just might be the coup de grace that becomes the tipping point if we are not vigilant.

2 months ago
Reply to  John Karkalis

As long as the vast majority of the American public chooses to NOT stand up and defend their rights and freedoms from those that are actively and openly seeking to strip them all away. each and every day, the situation is only likely to get worse. Vigilance requires more than simply passive observance of what it transpiring. It requires that people take action to stop the threat before more damage is done. So far the American people generally seem to recognize the immediate threat to their rights and freedoms, but they lack the will to do anything about it. Thus the left is emboldened even more.

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Paul, it’s said that the headlight of an approaching locomotive in a tunnel appears benign and stationary until it suddenly rushes up on you with no means of escape.
I have a friend who believes it’s best for the country if the passive, the disengaged stay home on election day so that our vote carries more clout.
I’m not sure that his take on this passes muster, but it sure as h*ll has it’s appeal.

2 months ago
Reply to  John Karkalis

Sitting at home and choosing to NOT participate in voting is essentially giving the opposition more votes and a higher probability of winning. Even the dead vote in our elections for the Democrats on a regular basis and everyone on our side just tolerates that fraud. Our side is far too passive and disengaged as it is. We don’t need any more people simply choosing to check out completely.

If everyone on our side decided to protest by simply sitting out the elections, then it would only take one opposition vote in each race for the other side to win every single election. Tell your friend that throwing childish temper tantrums, by sitting on his hands, is no way to stand up for this country’s values and principles.

John Karkalis
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

The calculus is that Conservatives will make it to the polls come whatever, while the clueless and disengaged have no concept of our nation’s values, principles and history and simply don’t care.
I am sure my friend had his tongue planted firmly in his cheek when he proposed the idea.
I do plead guilty to a well earned temper tantrum now and then.
Certainly we will always have participation by the dead since the old days of Richard Daley, the Great Resurrector.
If my vote carries the weight of four or five or six of the terminally indolent, well that’s fine with me.
If the passion displayed by AMAC members in this forum serves as a marker of a commitment to get to the polls then I can’t wish for more.

2 months ago
Reply to  John Karkalis

My friends, we need to inform other people about AMAC and to join. I try to read all articles, I notice who are consistently converse and monitor the articles and find that there too few participants. I recruit/inform when I can, but know I can’t force people into uncomfortable situations. I find too many people believing in what the LEFT media sites put out.

Victoria Johnson
2 months ago
Reply to  John Karkalis

C R T was conjured up and initiated in the Colleges and Universities since the 1970’s. They are just trying to harvest the ‘fruits of their labor’ today.

Victoria Johnson
2 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

The age old tactic of “Divide and conquer”.

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