Against Illiberalism: A critique of illiberal trends in liberal institutions, with a focus on neoracist ideology in Unitarian Universalism

“I just fundamentally believe that we should be fighting for a world in which there are no caste systems, in which people are judged based on their individual merit and character, in which we move from the historical construct of race, rather than reifying it. I just don’t think you look at history and believe making people fixated on their immutable characteristics and saying those immutable characteristics have immutable power leads to anywhere good.”– Bari Weiss, author of How to Fight Anti-Semitism

The below linked peer-reviewed 56-page paper (pdf) examines recent illiberal trends in traditionally liberal institutions. Specifically, it critiques radical “anti-racism” approaches based on critical race theory (CRT) and the ideas of academics such as Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo. It also focuses on Unitarian Universalism, a historically liberal church whose national leadership has adopted an extreme version of critical race theory.

Racial and other inequities are problems in all societies and all of human history, and there are no simple, easy or objectively correct solutions. While critical race theory (CRT) offers important insights on racism and racial disparities, I believe in liberalism (in the classical not American political sense), freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas, things that extreme CRT adherents including Kendi and DiAngelo oppose.

Freedom of speech and expression and the free exchange of ideas support diversity, multiculturalism and marginalized groups. Illiberalism, dogmatism and authoritarianism are oppressive of all groups, minority and majority, and should be rejected wherever they appear.

Link: Against Illiberalism: A critique of illiberal trends in liberal institutions, with a focus on neoracist ideology in Unitarian Universalism