News and Commentary

Cornell Professor Invents Critical Race Theory Watchdog Site

A Cornell law professor unveiled a website to track the rise of critical race theory on college campuses.

   DailyWire.com
Protesters from Students For a Democratic Society and Black Lives Matter demonstrate on the University of Utah campus against an event where right wing writer and commentator Ben Shapiro is speaking on September 27, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
George Frey/Getty Images

Cornell law professor William Jacobson unveiled a website to track the rise of critical race theory — the ideology that claims America is irredeemably rooted in racism — on college campuses. 

CriticalRace.org is a resource for parents and students to examine the impact and scope of critical race theory on higher education institutions. The website claims to be “the most comprehensive database” of its kind. It currently tracks 200 schools, though Jacobson told The Daily Wire it will likely expand to monitoring 500 schools in the coming months.  

The website also provides students and parents with the ability to submit information about ongoing critical race theory training and curriculum they come across on campus.  

The site describes critical race theory as an outgrowth of European Marxism which argues that American social life, political structures, and economic systems are founded on race. The ideology observes issues only through a racial lens. 

Critical race theory is not new nor is it exclusive to college campuses. Critical race theory began in the 1980s in law schools under the name “critical legal theory” and has since expanded to include librarians via “critical librarianship” and general “anti-racist” thinking and behaviors. 

Jacobson told The Daily Wire that his team began tracking college campuses — as opposed to libraries or secondary schools — because he believes the foundations of critical race theory are most prominent in higher education. 

“[Higher education] is the source of the problem, it’s where the ideological foundations were developed, and the training of activists takes place,” Jacobson said.

Boston University has become the leading example of critical race theory in use in higher education. The school — with the help of “anti-racist” scholar and author of “How to be Antiracist” Ibram X. Kendi — founded the Center for Antiracist Research and a “Racial Data Lab.” The goal of these institutions is to push critical race theory in all facets of higher education. 

Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, other universities have been pressured by activist students to undertake “anti-racist” actions. Universities have changed admissions policies, implemented “anti-racist” training, changed curricula, funded critical race theory programs, and even “re-imagined” campus police departments. 

Pressure from activists has been largely successful. At the University of Chicago, the English department announced it will only consider graduate school applicants who are interested in “Black studies.” Johns Hopkins University announced it will delay the development of a campus police department for at least two years to re-evaluate policing in society. 

Jacobson, who also runs a conservative blog called Legal Insurrection, has fallen prey to supporters of critical race theory in the past. In June of 2020, Jacobson critiqued Black Lives Matter’s ideology — which is infused with critical race theory — and was met with backlash from the Black Law Student Association, Cornell alumni, and law school faculty who wanted the university to “take immediate action” to fire him. 

CriticalRace.org is hoping to expand to monitoring primary and secondary schools in the future and plans to roll out listicles and rankings of top institutions promoting critical race theory. 

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