By Selwyn Duke
“What is truth?” This well-known question is what Roman governor Pontius Pilate, infamously and perhaps cynically, asked of Jesus. Yet Truth is still under attack 2,000 years later, and, warns an Ivy League professor, one front in this war is critical race theory (CRT).
In fact, says Randy Wayne, associate professor at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science, CRT curricula are being used to eliminate the concept of Objective Truth from classrooms.
“We’re supposed to be training people like biologists that will become doctors to make us healthier. Mechanical engineers that will build bridges or skyscrapers,” he told Fox News Digital in a telephone interview this month. “And if they are trained on a foundation that there is no truth, nobody wants to be operated on by such a surgeon, or drive over a bridge made by such an engineer.”
“Wayne, a self-described ‘squeaky wheel’ at the Ivy League institution, has been battling critical race theory and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at the school for the last year and a half, since he first noticed the faculty senate was discussing mandatory critical race theory training for faculty,” Fox informs.
Wayne said that, as a scientist and professor, it’s his duty to seek Truth and teach his students how to do likewise. According to Fox:
“Critical race theory, which is based on the postmodernist assumption that there is … no objective truth, it’s just a no[n]-starter for me,” Wayne said. “You could create any fantasy land you want, it has nothing to do with reality.”
What’s more, the very impetus for Cornell’s CRT embrace — which Wayne said was the 2020 death of drug-addled criminal George Floyd — itself reflects detachment from Truth. It’s not just that the university obviously operated based on the untruthful Floyd/BLM narrative, however. It’s also that it didn’t respond to a perceived moral problem by seeking to cultivate the tried and true virtue (which reflects Truth), but instead did the most unintellectual of things: embraced a fad.
Consequently, in “July 2020, President Martha Pollack declared Cornell would: create a mandatory class for students on racism, bias and equity; launch a review of courses to ensure they were diverse; create an Anti-Racism Center; develop programs on the history of race, racism and colonialism in the United States; train campus police in ‘anti-racist policing’; work to require DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] statements as part of hiring and promotion among faculty; and implement mandatory ‘equity and cultural competency’ training for employees,” Wayne wrote in a September 6 College Fix article.
While Wayne appears to be addressing the denial not only of Moral Truth in particular, but of Truth in the physical and mathematical realms as well (it has even been suggested recently that 2+2 can equal 5), the attack on Truth greatly predates CRT’s spawning. Philosopher G. K. Chesterton addressed the phenomenon in his 1905 book Heretics, and 2002 Barna Group research found that only six percent of teens believed in Moral Truth (universal and objective by definition).
Barna released another study last year vindicating this, finding that 54 percent of Americans surveyed supposed “there are no moral absolutes.”
This notion absolutely does infuse CRT, too. For example, students at the Claremont McKenna Colleges claimed in 2017 that the idea “there is a single truth–‘the Truth’–is a construct of the Euro-West that … is a myth…. The idea that the truth is an entity for which we must search … is an attempt to silence oppressed peoples.”
Then, Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic wrote in Critical Race Theory: An Introduction that whites “do not believe that they think and reason from a white viewpoint, but from a universally valid one—‘the truth’—what everyone knows.”
Regardless of how it’s sold or packaged, however, claiming there’s no Truth wreaks havoc upon society, as Barna president George Barna illustrated last year. “If I decide it’s in my best interests to lie to you, I’ll do it,” he said, providing an example of its harmfulness. “Interpersonal deception will become more common and we’ll have lower levels of trust toward other people, making it harder to have relationships because we’ll no longer trust that what other people tell us is real.”
And what’s the appeal of this misbegotten pseudo-philosophy? Professor Wayne touched on it, telling Fox that “training people to treat the truth fast and loose” is something you do “in order to obtain just what you want” — such as “social justice.”
For sure. On a basic level, the appeal of moral relativism/nihilism (Truth’s antithesis) is that “it’s the ultimate get-out-of-sin free card,” I wrote in 2018. “After all, my sins can’t be sins if there are no such things as sins, only ‘lifestyle choices.’” CRT and other false ideologies are akin to sins in that the Truth refutes them; thus, they can only proliferate in a Universe in which Truth is denied.
To analogize the matter, imagine you aimed to convince people to ingest poison. This is more difficult if they widely recognize and seek to learn the rules of human nutrition and health, which inform that poison’s existence is an Objective Truth, the ignoring of which can be deadly. But what if you could convince people these rules didn’t exist, that everything was relative and that one man’s poison is another’s delicacy? It’s then a lot easier to convince your unwitting victims to ingest toxins with a tasty coating.
It’s no different with moral and cultural poison — except that what can die is a whole civilization.