Ontario’s Bill 67 is critical race theory in a thin disguise
“The result of Bill 67 will be to divide students by encouraging grievance and resentment in designated victim groups and by compelling guilt in white students. “
It is hard to overstate the illiberal nature of Ontario’s Bill 67, the Racial Equity in the Education System Act, now headed for third reading and certain passage. The ostensible purpose of the act is to establish “the policy of opposing racism including anti-indigenous racism, anti-black racism, anti-Asian racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia” throughout the pedagogical system.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Who could object to fighting racism and other forms of bigotry?
But that’s not the actual purpose of the act. You and I understand racism as Martin Luther King did. His dream was his children would be judged by their character, not by the colour of their skin. The actual purpose of Bill 67 is to entrench social-justice theory, subsumed under the rubric of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as the ruling principle throughout Ontario’s entire educational system, from kindergarten through higher education.
CRT does not care about your child’s individual character. CRT teaches that we should judge others and ourselves only by skin colour, gender identity, DNA (indigenous status), and other group markers. You will notice there is no policy of opposing “anti-Caucasian” bigotry. That’s because anti-whiteness is not only permitted in CRT, it is pivotal to CRT’s integrity, the sine qua non of the indoctrination that Ontario children will now be subjected to.
According to CRT, rights accrue to one’s identity group, not the individual. Racism need not be overt to be active. The only antidote to white privilege is constant anti-racist (i.e. anti-whiteness) education. Freedom of expression is understood as a portal to racism. Offensive words are understood to be a form of violence to the oppressed, and need not be respected where equity is at stake.
Equity! The word equity is mentioned 54 times in Bill 67, equality not once. Equity and equality sound similar, but they are worlds apart. Equality is about starting lines for individuals offered the same opportunities to exercise their talents and ambitions, but doesn’t guarantee equal success for everyone. Equity is about finishing lines for groups. If minority groups don’t achieve the same outcomes in proportion to their numbers in the population, there can only be one reason: racism or some other form of bigotry exercised by an oppressor group with privilege.
In practical terms, under Bill 67, students will be catechized constantly in CRT mantras. All white students will be compelled to feel perpetual group guilt for their inherent white “settler” original sin. CRT manages to project itself as a force for combating racism while obscuring its basic, profoundly racist premise.
Bill 67 defines racism as “the use of socially constructed ideas of race to justify or support, whether consciously or subconsciously, the notion that one race is superior to another.” Subconsciously is a weasel word. How can one prove one does not harbour racist thoughts? You can’t. This is the essence of CRT. Those who “feel” offended decide whether or not an act of racism has been committed. There is no objective threshold, no due process for the alleged perpetrator. If you say you are not a racist, this is deemed proof that you subconsciously are a racist. CRT tactics make any self-defense a no-win proposition.
The equity “experts,” upon whom Bill 67’s obligatory anti-racist training programs rely are ideologues well-trained in the art of inculpation on “subconscious” grounds. (For amplification of CRT ideologies and recruitment strategies, do visit philosopher James Lindsay’s site, New Discourses.) These “experts” have no expertise in anything but ideology. They are like the Soviet-style commissars who knew nothing about military matters, but were placed in positions of authority over commanding officers to ensure their ideological purity.
Purposeful vagueness is what gives ideologues scope for their recruitment purposes. For example, there is no definition of Islamophobia in Bill 67. Do you remember the controversy around M-103 in 2018? Its drafters refused to define it. Did it mean anti-Muslim or did it mean anti-Islam, in which case it had the potential to become a “blasphemy law” and punish critics of Islamism? You can be sure after Bill 67 takes hold, it will be considered racist for a student even to suggest that Islam is not a religion of peace.
The result of Bill 67 will be to divide students by encouraging grievance and resentment in designated victim groups and by compelling guilt in white students. White students will be too nervous to enter any discussion that comes near race or gender or indigenous matters with anything approaching frankness or even curiosity.
Under Bill 67, let any Ontario student say, “I don’t think racism explains all disparities in outcomes,” or “I don’t believe a man can literally become a woman no matter how much he feels like one,” or “I do not believe that the residential schools meet the standard for genocide,” and watch what happens to that poor naïve soul. His demonization won’t be pretty. But it will strike fear of uttering similar dissenting views into the hearts of everyone else. That’s the general idea.
Barbara Kay is a senior columnist for the Western Standard.