James Lindsay: How Trump mainstreamed Critical Race Theory

Read the accompanying article on UnHerd here:

Freddie Sayers spoke to James Lindsay about Critical Race Theory and what kind of threat the ideology poses.

It was was officially mainstreamed last month when President Donald Trump called the ideology in a speech last month a “Marxist doctrine” that was “inundating students across America”. This week, it came up again in the presidential debate after Trump defended his decision to a memo condemning the federal funding of any training based on it.

One person who understands this subject better than most is James Lindsay (whose work, reportedly, influenced the content of the President’s speech). Along with co-author, Helen Pluckrose, who has a piece in the magazine today, these two academics co-wrote a book called Cynical Theories, which provides the most comprehensive analysis of the rise of CRT to date.

Written by UnHerd


  1. Its amazing how so many intellectuals, right and left, write off Trump as a bumbling fool stumbling his way through the past four years. Yet, he has been able to do in the past four years what they and the smartest and brightest in our country haven't been able to do in the past forty years. Simply, they failed and in time became insular and arrogant and now those outside the club have sent a bull to tear apart their china shop. Its no wonder they are fighting like mad to destroy and stop Trump.

  2. Imagine the insanity of trying to push the idea that desiring success, having a nuclear family, and being a generally productive person is attributed only to white people.

  3. Leftism (wokeness) is best viewed as an addiction disorder. The addiction is to virtue signaling. The addict's "high" is the feeling of being morally superior. This is why leftism is so seductive. It also explains why leftists are indifferent to the negative consequences of their policies. Trump is the pragmatist who is trying to clean up the damage done by the leftist virtue signaling addicts.

  4. I have read CRT. It is pure speculation from a race-hatred bias. It seeks only to vilify “the bad race” as mis-informed explanation of all social phenomena. It sounds like an argument in a divorce court -“Everything my spouse does is bad”.

  5. James you’re very careful with your words I can appreciate that. But don’t play naive please. CRT DIE communists perfectly know how to eradicate racism: destroy the culture, the nation states, the spirit, the family values, the political systems and ultimately the very lives of the racists. Oh and let’s be very clear how they define racists. Racists = pale skinned people. Bad ideas never die. Don’t be too charitable with ideological monsters. Bring back McCarthy.

  6. The President mentioned CRT because ideologically and politically, it is a direct threat to democracy, freedom, and the rights of the INDIVIDUAL. It is hopelessly, and dangerously eutopian in nature, and is base and despicable, exchanging the theories on capital of classical Marxism, with those arguments over skin colour of the narrow minded, and blinkered bigot.

  7. England just past a law while we weren't looking at the behest of BLM a thought law no opposition. Why is Boris Johnson using Joe Biden's campaign message.

  8. Good discussion; however the idea that Trump or conservatives or populists are anti-Enlightenment is not supported br the facts. I would like Lindsay and an opponent flesh out this premise with facts.

  9. Martin Luther King Jr, the godfather of PC-ness, was a deceitful, racist hypocrite. Like Hitler, he made a certain race of people scapegoats for the flaws and shortcomings of others.

    Excuse me, if you find that blunt, but after seeing a little girl being used to spread racial hatred in the YouTube video 'Martin Luther King Jr's granddaughter speaks at march on Washington', I decided to say what needs to be said.

    Mainstream media makes MLK out to be some kind of peaceful, benevolent saint. He did have some good qualities. He did seem to have compassion for poor black people. He was a good speaker and he was a charming character. However, there are some unpleasant truths which mainstream media has ignored.

    While we are on the subject of unsavory uses of children, remember that scene in the Russell Crowe film Gladiator where the bad guy uses a child as a shield when he approaches the gladiator? On May 2, 1963, teen-agers and children, some as young as six, marched in Birmingham to protest segregation. Violence occured, arrests were made. Hundreds of children and teenagers were put into overcrowded jail cells. Still, kids were used in the demos the next day – and the day after that. Malcolm X criticized MLK for the event, saying that “real men don’t put their children on the firing line.” MLK, on the other hand, called it “one of the wisest moves we made.” It is said that the demos were peaceful, that the only violence was on the part of the police – but they say that about modern-day BLM riots.

    MLK denounced racism but made sweeping racist generalizations of whites. He said the "white man" is guilty of a series of crimes and is the cause of black crimes. He also trivialized anti-white violence and the black crime rate. He blamed whites, not laziness, for black poverty and underachievement.

    MLK denounced violence while creating the conditions for violence. Violent crime increased dramatically after the civil rights bill was passed. He had an interesting opinion of race riots, saying “They are mainly intended to shock the white community”, in the speech mentioned below.

    MLK said this, among other things, in a speech at the American Psychology Associations’ annual convention in Washington, DC, in September 1967:

    "The policymakers of the white society have caused the darkness; they create discrimination; they structured slums; and they perpetuate unemployment, ignorance and poverty. It is incontestable and deplorable that Negroes have committed crimes; but they are derivative crimes. They are born of the greater crimes of the white society. When we ask Negroes to abide by the law, let us also demand that the white man abide by law in the ghettos. Day-in and day-out he violates welfare laws to deprive the poor of their meager allotments; he flagrantly violates building codes and regulations; his police make a mockery of law; and he violates laws on equal employment and education and the provisions for civic services. The slums are the handiwork of a vicious system of the white society; Negroes live in them but do not make them any more than a prisoner makes a prison. Let us say boldly that if the violations of law by the white man in the slums over the years were calculated and compared with the law-breaking of a few days of riots, the hardened criminal would be the white man. These are often difficult things to say but I have come to see more and more that it is necessary to utter the truth in order to deal with the great problems that we face in our society."

    He is blaming black poverty, underachievement, crime and violence on white people. However, the levels of these are similar in black countries where they do not have many whites to blame.

    What's the best way to make a friend? To make yourself appealing to that friend so they will want to be your friend? Or to lay guilt trips on them and bully them if they fail to meet your expectations?

    And what methods did MLK use to 'integrate' the races? Have you seen the film Stalking Laura with Brooke Shields? Like Richard, the stalker in that film, he used coercion to achieve his goals. His goal was forced integration and he got the legal system to back him on this.

    MLK also a gained his PhD fraudulently because he copied much of what was in his research paper. Furthermore, he was well known as a philanderer, the FBI had files on this, which they gained by monitoring his activities.

    Now why would the FBI have been monitoring him if he was so peaceful – as mainstream media makes him out to be?

    Leftist will claim that the FBI made up the reports of philandering to smear MLK. But how how many other people does the FBI do that to?

    I know it seems inappropriate to criticize a guy who's been dead for over 50 years, but I am illustrating the point that political correctness is rotten to the core. Furthermore, there are many whites who have been dead for over a hundred years who are criticized.

    If you want to read more about our friend MLK, see:

    'Don’t criticize Black Lives Matter for provoking violence. The civil rights movement did, too. Martin Luther King Jr. deliberately courted violence.' Simone Sebastian, Washington Post, 1 Oct 2015.


    There are some who claim to be anti-racist but say that anti-white racism is okay. This is a very racist view. Anti-white racism is racism. Furthermore, it is one of the most problematic forms of racism in our time. A major cause is deceptive media. Many anti-white racists are white. There is a lot of support for anti-white racism and the racist notion of 'historic liability'. If you are white your ancestors were probably enslaved by the Romans. Would you therefore feel justified in taking revenge on a vulnerable Italian? If your grandma was mugged by blacks, would you feel justified in bullying a vulnerable black person? Of course not. This is racial scapegoating – yet much of the public support it when it's done to whites.


    References to Hitler, made by leftists, are often hypocritical. Hitler repressed free speech and advocated violence. He believed that the strong should dominate the weak and he made a certain race of people scapegoats for Germany's shortcomings.

    Modern-day leftists have a similar ideology. They repress free speech and advocate violence. Most of the politically motivated violence in America (where the leftist PC movement started) is carried out by leftists. Most violent attacks carried out against people who are a different race than the attacker are carried out on whites. Most of the victims of these attacks are weak, elderly, homeless, handicapped or otherwise vulnerable people. Whites are made scapegoats for the shortcomings and crime rates of ethnic minorities – when in reality, the crime rates and poverty rates are great in countries where those minorities are the majority. Leftist ideology is Hitlerian and hypocritical.

    Furthermore the 'hate speech laws' in Europe effectively discriminate on grounds of race and religion because they cater only to those who make a great deal of fuss when they are criticized. So 'hate speech laws' actually help the hateful, while denying others a right to free speech. East Asians, Whites, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus generally do not make a great deal of fuss when they are criticized. Whereas representatives of other races and religions do. 'Hate speech' can be innocent constructive criticism. 'Hate speech' is defined by the amount of objection it gets. So people offering useful, constructive criticism can be punished simply because other people don't like criticism. These laws effectively cater to certain races and religions while discriminating against others. They are denied freedom of expression. One-sided reportage incites hatred. Let's not forget the misrepresentations of the Rohingya crisis in 2017 by mainstream media, the media blackout of the terrorism which preceded the Rohingya crisis and the attacks on Buddhist monks which followed the misrepresentations.

    Mainstream media attempts to link right wing xenophobia with mass killing. Mass killings, throughout history, have most often occurred when there has been a large-scale encroachment upon a territory of people of a different tribe, religion or culture. In many cases xenophobic people are the people who want to avoid violence. They're the people who want to stop the cause of mass killing. So, in many cases, the xenophobic have actually prevented mass killing.

    People who object to mass immigration into their country or who simply object to a illegal immigration into their country are labeled racists or xenophobes by mainstream media and by leftists. The mainstream media and leftists incite hatred towards xenophobic people by pointing out a worst-case scenario – i.e. Nazi Germany – and implying that this is the goal or outcome of most forms of xenophobia. One can take worst-case scenarios for many things – including falling in love, which also has resulted, in some cases, in mass killing and say "Oh, this is what will happen!" to villfy people who fall in love. You know, this is just silly.

    Many leftists try to find reasons to label anybody who disagrees with them a "racist", "white supremacist" or "Nazi". It's like the boy who cried wolf. Interestingly enough, there is certainly a link between drinking water and racism. Everyone who drinks water will, at least occasionally, make judgements based on race. It is difficult to take leftists seriously these days. Especially when they claim to be anti-racist, in one sentence – and then express a racial bias, in another.


    PC-ness causes violent crime, hence fear, hence more law enforcement, hence more power for the ruling classes. While PC-ness favors groups with aggressive representatives, it neglects the homeless, the poorest, most marginalized people.

  10. Civil war is inevitable. Of that, there is no question. The only question is what the trigger will be. The left….BLM/antifa, the dems, academia, the media, the Hollywood entertainment culture have been agitating for conflict under the mistaken perception that their anti-white social justice "revolution" imperative will be successful. The fact that there are 250 million well armed American Patriots who do not want their way of life changed and will never submit to their insane demands seems to have escaped their notice. It's going to be awful, but there is no political solution left.

  11. Trump's CRT speech was ignored by the media, (the speech was good but he didn't write it as was evidenced by his lack of articulation of it at the debate.) The "mainstream" still has no idea what it is. I spoke with a 77 year old liberal progressive democrat yesterday and she had no idea what CRT is, nor do most.

  12. First time I heard some of the tenets of CRT I thought "what idiot believes this" and then ignored it in the early 90's. Now watching idiot suburbanite white's marching down the road demeaning their own existence based on these notions just makes me ill. Progressivism is just the embrace of self negation. It's playing out on our streets daily now.

  13. If there is discrimination those discriminating should compensate those who were discriminated. Giving degrees at easier standards makes no sense. It just inflates the degrees of the minority members.

  14. I fear that a fourth branch of government with the mission described in this video might look something like the french committee of public safety. That did not go well.