I find CRT interesting, relevant and absolutely valid. Delgado points out in Chapter 6 that there have been many opponents to the theory and how there was massive pushback in the 1990’s from conservatives as well as crits themselves. Much of the debate pointed to some of the main issues of CRT – specifically that the movement had strayed “from its materialist roots and dwelling overly on matters of concern to middle class minorities” (Kindle loc 1407). One of these debates focused on affirmative action, specifically Hopwood v. Texas where students who were denied admission to the Univ. of TX law school challenged the university’s admission practices and eventually won their case. In Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi, state universities can no longer use race as an admissions factor. I can see all of the reasons as to why they would alter this admissions practice but, it impacts minorities in a huge way.
As Delgado points out, tests such as the SAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc. are “coachable”. And, if you have the money, such as many white middle class and affluent students, you can afford to purchase study guides and take classes to help your score on these tests. White privilege is a huge aspect in this regard.
One aspect of white privilege that I recently discovered was when I decided to hold my son back in first grade. Because his birthday is June 16, as early as pre-school, his teachers were asking me when I would have him start kindergarten. If he started the school year right after he’d turned 5, he would be one of the youngest kids in the class. A few months or even a year makes a huge difference in young children. Their maturity is a huge factor as is their ability to learn. I decided to go ahead and send him to kindergarten when he was 5 and he had a fairly difficult year due to a lack of maturity. However, his teacher felt like he was ready to move on to first grade. However, that year proved to be even harder so by the middle of that year, I had decided to have him repeat. It was a hard decision but, once I began talking to other moms, teachers and researching the issue, I discovered that “redshirting” has become a common practice among 5 and 6 year old children. Now, I held my son back because it was necessary. His teachers and the school counselor agreed with me that he needed to repeat first grade in order to succeed in school academically and that if we didn’t hold him back, he would continue to struggle as the years went by.
The TV magazine 60 Minutes ran a report about it last year because it has become so controversial. Basically, the issue is that by holding a child back from starting kindergarten and first grade for an extra year, you are giving that child a huge advantage. Because they are a year older than their classmates, they tend to have advantage over them academically. Further, as in the case for mostly boys, they will also have an athletic advantage throughout their years in school because they will most likely be bigger than their classmates. Socially, this helps them as well in middle school when they all hit puberty. This practice is just one aspect of white privilege that has white middle class families doing whatever it takes to give their child advantage.
White privilege does exist and it is an issue that we just need to be aware of. However, in terms of affirmative action being rolled back in three states, this is just one instance where gains that were created in the sixties by the Civil Rights Movement have been reversed. It has been ten years since Delgado wrote CRT and a lot and very little has changed over the past eleven years.