Critical Race Theory (CRT) was originally a progressive movement that challenged the ability of conventional legal strategies to deliver social and economic justice to black Americans and specifically called for new legal strategies that took into consideration race as a nexus of American life. In recent years, it has expanded beyond legal theory. We now find CRT influenced awareness training in our schools, military, and large corporations.
A fundamental tenet of CRT, known as the “interest convergence principle” was first defined in 1980 by Derrick Bell, a Harvard law professor. Expanding the interest convergence principle further in Derrick Bell’s Dilemma, Brandon Hogan, an assistant professor of philosophy at Howard University observed that “the interests of black Americans will only be promoted when they either advance or do not impede the interests of white Americans. Perceived racial progress only occurs when the interests of blacks and whites align. Moreover, racially progressive measures are systematically rolled back when those measures no longer serve the interests of whites.” In other words, the interest convergence principle posits that all individual interests are defined by and subordinate to racial identity.
However, the above summation of the interest convergence principle extends beyond race and can be applied to any minority/majority vote. So, for the sake of argument, we could make it purely political by saying “the interests of
black Americans (Democrats) will only be promoted when they either advance or do not impede the interests of white Americans (Republicans). Perceived racial (political) progress only occurs when the interests of blacks and whites(Democrats and Republicans) align. Moreover, racially (politically) progressive measures are systematically rolled back when those measures no longer serve the interests of whites (Republicans).” We could go further with examples such as labor/management, poor/rich, or cats/dogs but you get the drift. When the racial element is removed from the equation, Bell’s convergence principle merely states the obvious – in a democratic society, the will of the majority should prevail.
By narrowly defining the minority position by racial identity instead of policy driven issues, Bell removes the chance of consensus building and condemns the minority group to exist indefinitely in the status quo that oppresses them. Bell’s interest convergence principle creates within CRT a logic trap from which no racial identity group – or individual member of the identity group – can escape.
Hopefully, it will only be a matter of time before those individuals who are adversely affected by race-based politics see the logic trap for what it is – a prosperity robbing dogma predicated upon an assumption of perpetual inferiority – a dogma that is untenable as it is intellectual lazy.