A favorite technique of abusers, and their admirers, is to blame the victim. This happens literally all the time. Nobody wants to feel they’re doing something for a shitty reason, we need to feel justified in our actions. So if I beat you to a pulp I have to believe, and convince everybody else, that you richly deserved your beating. My story will include a host of provocations that would have tried the equanimity of Buddha. Sure, you got hit, but look what you did to me over and over leading up to it.
We hear this in defense of deadly police shootings and chokings — “the video doesn’t show what happened right before the officer justifiably reacted with deadly force!” Part of this syndrome is claiming the other party has no right to feel upset or angry about how things are — that they are, in fact, ungrateful fucks who deserve whatever punishment they provoke.
It is easiest to make the argument that there is no systemic racism in America (and therefor it is the fault of angry Blacks when they are met with deadly force) by attacking a theory that lays out how racism is not only an individual belief system, but has long been embedded in American law and law enforcement. A theory making the case that racism in American institutions is not an aberration, it’s the norm.
If you look at disparate results by race (street stops, arrests, police killings of unarmed civilians, long prison sentences, death sentences) you will not win many arguments on this score, based on data, based on the facts.
So it is much better, before the largely uninformed (or deliberately misinformed) jury of public opinion, to attack a law school theory that says our institutions are, to a largely unacknowledged extent, marred by racist assumptions and practices (see, e.g., bloviating Bagpiper Bill Barr‘s asinine ‘argument’ to refute this self-evident truth — a “small handful” of unarmed Blacks are killed by police every year, what’s the big deal?).
The theory’s name plays into the talking point that this theory critiquing racism in American law is itself racist. Critical (mean, carping, negative, often unfair, nobody likes a critic) Race (mentioning race is itself an indication of racism, we’re colorblind!) Theory (an argument supported by facts, a very unfair way to make a point!).
Here is a capsule description of the controversial graduate school theory:
As Nazi piece of shit, pardoned immaterial perjurer Mike “Lock Her UP!” Flynn, caller for martial law to overturn the presidential election, follower of the rabid QAnon conspiracy “theory”, urges his people “where we go one, we go all” — take over all local school boards and stop this BLM/antifa/Commie bullshit in its goddamn tracks before it poisons more of our white Christian youth !!!! The problem is the goddamned colored people who hate us for no reason! They are the racists, not us! That’s why they must not be allowed to vote, and if they do vote, why their votes should not be counted! USA! USA!!!
Makes me wanna holler, it really does.