Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, Dr. Carol Swain, to the studio.
During the third hour, Swain explained the meaning of critical race theory and was perplexed by how diversity training has entered the corporate workplace. She questioned how it is that hard work and individualism could be considered racist when that is what had brought her up from poverty on her own personal journey.
Leahy: I wanted to bring up to you a recent development on critical race theory. This is something you have really analyzed thoroughly. You’ve written a great deal about this. Critical race theory I think you would generally debunk.
Swain: I can tell you that my last few years at Vanderbilt, I taught a class that really looked at the impact of communism on American political thought. As part of that course, we dug deeply into critical theory, and some of the discussions that we had in that class I wonder about my students, because they are seeing exactly this manifest which, at that time, had not gotten to the point it is today.
We are living it now, what we discussed in that class. And that class always had a waiting list. It was very important. But we also knew that what was taking place in that classroom would be threatening to the political left, because I was exposing their agenda.
Leahy: So last week President Trump barred propaganda training sessions on race. Critical race theory. I’ll read this from CNN. “President Trump on Friday night banned federal agencies from conducting racial sensitivity training related to white privilege and ‘critical race theory’ that is divisive anti-American propaganda.” How about that?
Swain: Yes. And let me explain what critical race theory is. It comes out of Marxism. And it divides the world into oppressors and the oppressed, or the victims. Minorities are the victims. White people are the oppressors. It argues that all White people are racists. That they have a property interest in their whiteness. That they should divest themselves of their whiteness. And they divest themselves by becoming anti-racist.
And you become anti-racist by actively engaging in the society in fighting racism wherever it appears. The problem is the left continually redefines what is considered racist. And the whole exercise of this diversity, equity and inclusion training focuses on making white people aware of their privileges that are undeserved – that is tied to the sins of their fathers and themselves.
Leahy: And their great great great grandfathers.
Swain: It argues that all white people are racist. It’s not enough to say that you are not a racist. You have to actively do something that proves that you aren’t. The problem in America, and the problem for churches, is that it’s like a whole new gospel, because it requires every white person to confess with their mouths that they are racists.
Because they were born with white skin color, they are required to become woke. And when they become woke, then they have to engage in anti-racist behavior to make themselves right on this issue. And we know that for Christians that racism is a sin, just like there are other things that we do that are sins.
And that all a person has to do is to confess that sin. And we believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our past and present sins. And so it’s not a thing that you have to continually apologize for. And we also believe, I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. But here’s the issue.
In America it is unconstitutional, I believe, it’s a violation of the equal protection clause to single out one particular race for shaming or for discrimination. And it’s also a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits racial discrimination. And what takes place in those sessions, and in many orientation exercises, is a shaming of white people that would be inappropriate if it was being done to any other group.
Leahy: So here’s the story that’s relevant to that, which kind of prompted the president’s order to stop the critical race theory training – Sandia National Laboratories. I’m going to read this story from the Daily Lobo, which is a left-wing student publication at the University of Mexico. But it has some information on it. “Sandia National Laboratories employee Casey Peterson sent out a lab-wide email on August 25 that contained a self-made YouTube video titled, Pushing Back on the Narrative of Modern Systemic Racism and White Privilege.”
(Laughs) This is how the lefties described it. They called it a racist video. Right? Oh my gosh. Peterson basically said that the ‘anti-racism training’ was inappropriate. Yeah, I think it is. The president agrees with that. All of the white executives at Sandia Labs, as part of the Department of Energy, were required to basically undergo this critical race theory training that basically says all white people are bad.
Swain: Well, they have forced sensitivity training. And for one thing, it doesn’t work. There is no evidence that it actually works. It creates more resentment. And I have come out publicly in favor of unity training based around principles. Shared principles that can change the culture of an institution in a positive direction while respecting the human dignity of every individual in the workplace of the school.
Leahy: So this is Reason Magazine, which is a libertarian outlet. “National Nuclear Lab’s employees sent to seminar that claimed ‘rugged individualism’ and hard work are ‘white male culture.'”
Swain: Would you repeat that again?
Leahy: National Nuclear Labs sent to the seminar for quote rugged individualism and hard work.
Swain: You mean what helped me overcome my poverty?
Leahy: Yeah, that.
Swain: That is racist?
Leahy: Let me continue. Yes. The seminar for Sandia Labs executives also involved writing apology letters to marginalized people. The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. found itself in a small scandal last month, after visitors to its website discovered an infographic listing hard work and rational thought as traits of white culture.
Their crude stereotypes drew well-deserved derision. It’s not just the museum but Sandia National Labs, a federal contractor responsible for building nuclear weapons, sent its executives to mandatory diversity training with the white men’s caucus on eliminating racism, sexism, and homophobia in organizations.
Swain: OK. That’s enough.
Leahy: I know.
Swain: I want to make a connection. Do you remember when black kids we learned that if they studied hard they were shamed for acting white? Who would have thought that that would have found its way into the workplace?
Leahy: It has.
Swain: That would be people that would be paid to come and say that if individuals believed in hard work and individualism, that they were acting white. It’s almost like the political left is trying to destroy minorities by any means possible. And the defund the police movement, and the pushing of abortions and the destruction of education, all of these things are destructive.
The re-segregation they are pushing, that is for the betterment of America. We all need to push back against it. If your corporation or your school, and I’m speaking to Belmont, Lipscomb, and all these places that have hired these diversity equity trainers and officers you need to get rid of these people. And you need to go back to first things and principals of the American way. That’s not the American way.
Leahy: I have sensed that you could really provide some help to those institutions, Carol. (Swain chuckles)
Swain: They need help.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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