Ethnic Studies Review

Ethnic Studies Review


Paul C. Mocombe

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Ethnic Studies Review



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Black Lives Matter Special Issue


Critical Race Theory (CRT) seeks to apply the negative dialectics of critical theory to the intersection of race, law, and power in the pursuit of racial and ethnic equality in Western society. That is to say, critical race theorists seek to convict Western society for not identifying with their values due to the prevalence of racial and ethnic oppression and subordination in the society. I argue here that this pursuit of racial emancipation and anti-subordination through the negative dialectics of critical theory by critical race theorists offers a false sense of racial difference which is convicting the values of the West for an alternative ontology and epistemology upon which to re-constitute its ideals in particular and society in general. I conclude that the postmodern/ poststructural emphasis on the politics of the racial and ethnic physical bodies as offering an ontological and epistemological difference from the episteme of the West is baseless. The tenets of critical race theory are a reflection or inversion of the values and ideals of the West against themselves for their non-identification, and do not offer an oppositional alternative discourse from which to replace Western ontology and epistemology for its oppression and subordination against humanity and the earth. As such, I conclude that critical race theory is a conservative discourse that offers no real substantive solution to the crisis facing humanity and the earth in the face of the Protestant Ethic and spirit of capitalism’s exploitation and oppression. In fact, I want to go so far as to suggest that CRT prevents social change amidst the social and ecological devastation Western episteme has unleashed unto the world.