Critical Race Theory (commonly abbreviated as CRT) refers to a way of analyzing systems, institutions, and power through a lens of race and racism. Central to Critical Race Theory is the idea that many institutions are built on and enforce systemic racism and oppression of people of color, that this racism and oppression have a long history in the US and the world (including slavery and its legacy), and that they are ongoing and driven by white supremacy. As an academic, intellectual, or philosophical discipline or school or thought, Critical Race Theory is broad and encompasses the discussion and use of many related concepts and terms, such as implicit bias, intersectionality, and white privilege. Critical Race Theory has widespread influence among scholars who study race and racism and is also applied by scholars and professionals in other fields, including law and education. It is part of or is the basis for part of the curriculum in some schools and universities. The theory has become a target of criticism, particularly among conservative politicians and others who claim it is divisive and is used to further many of the policies and values that they are opposed to. Proponents of Critical Race Theory often accuse such critics of frequently misrepresenting the theory, the ideas behind it, and the ways in which it is taught or used as the basis for programs or policies.
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