When Freedom’s Compass Goes Awry
A Look At How CRT Impacts Freedom
The best road to progress is freedom’s road.
— John F. Kennedy
There is something very confused within a society when people are not free enough to follow their conscience and maintain their job. When an ideology — any ideology — moves into policy, we are deluding ourselves if we think we value freedom.
“Would you (University of Vermont) please disallow policy proposals that give me a false choice between accepting a particular ideology and being understood as a racist? I have read Kendi and DiAngelo and I do not find wisdom there. I find the opposite. Pretending that I find wisdom in these authors would cause me a kind of spiritual sickness.”
In ‘the land of the free’ he is told his freedom to disagree has limits. To maintain his job, he must pretend he agrees with an ideology that he feels is deeply flawed.
And even though I also disagree with critical race theory, as stated in my article Why Critical Race Theory Rubs Me The Wrong Way — my disagreement with that perspective is not why I feel the move of ideology into policy is always a move away from freedom. That would also be the case even with a perspective I resonate with — such as the ‘common humanity’ perspective of Martin Luther King, Jr.
If it became policy that people had to agree with the perspective of Martin Luther King in order to maintain their jobs — that also would violate freedom.
Mandating ideology — any ideology — violates our freedom at a very fundamental level. And if we don’t see that clearly we are in deep trouble as a society.
Freedom allows freedom of thought (and behavior — as long as the behavior doesn’t interfere with the freedom of others). This is what Martin Luther King’s perspective made clear. He didn’t try to police how others were thinking or shame them into thinking differently — he dealt with specific behavior that limited others’ freedom. What became policy during the Civil Rights Movement was an acknowledgment of our expanding understanding of Freedom itself — that freedom is natural to everyone, not just white people.
And we’re certainly not done yet — in our expanding understanding of Freedom.
There is nothing like freedom itself that allows us to refine and expand our understanding of freedom. Whenever we take one small step, individually or collectively, toward freedom, our understanding of freedom expands to match those steps.
But the opposite is also true. Whenever we take steps toward control and manipulation, our ‘freedom compass’ becomes cloudier and cloudier. Gradually, we may get to where we feel we’re in favor of freedom, yet we advocate for the limiting of freedom for those who disagree with us, as well as a host of other reasons we feel are justified. Our freedom compass lens is so cloudy we don’t see that inconsistencies become inevitable whenever we put ideology over freedom.
We need to clear off our freedom lens. And reminding each other how wonderful freedom actually is seems a decent place to begin.
I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much Liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
— Thomas Jefferson
Thank you for reading this article. If you’re like me, you know there has to be a better way for us to live together — and compromising freedom is not it.
My future articles will be an ongoing exploration of universal principles such as freedom — and their many radical implications.
If freedom interests you also and you’d like to be notified when a new article comes out, please email me a ‘yes’ at dhyanastanley(a)gmail.com
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