Christopher Rufo is the latest poor, unfortunate soul who tried to challenge Marc Lamont Hill on critical race theory and got shut all the way down.
Rufo appeared on Black News Tonight Tuesday to debate critical race theory with Hill. Critical race theory asserts racism affects the United States at an institutionalized level. Republican leaders in several states want to ban critical race theory from public school curriculum because they don’t want white people to feel bad.
Rufo is a major part of the anti-CRT movement and during his interview with Hill, he deemed critical race theory “state-sanctioned racism.” After a spirited debated about the inclusion of CRT in public schools, Hill had one question for Rufo.
“If I were to say to you right now, Christopher, what do you like about being white? What would you say?” Hill asked.
Unsurprisingly, the self-described Italian American danced around the question.
“I don’t know,” Rufo conceded before he said white is an “amorphous” term.
Hill didn’t let up.
“You surely recognize that the world sees you as white,” Hill continued. “You know the world reads you as white and if you were to ask me about some things I like about being Black, I could talk about cultural norms, I could talk about tradition, I could talk about the kind of commonalities I feel around the diaspora.”
Eventually, Rufo came up with a confusing answer.
“There are a lot of documents floating around public schools that say timeliness, showing up on time is a white supremacist value or a white value, things like rationality, things like the enlightenment, things like objectivity, and these are very strange things to be ascribed to a racial identity,” he said. “My view is that these are actually — should be ascribed to every individual human being.”
After Hill called him out on the non-answer, he asked the million-dollar question again. Rufo flat-out refused to answer.
“The reason I’m not going to answer your question is I reject that categorization,” he said. “I think of myself as an individual human being with my own capabilities and I would hope we could both judge each other as individuals and come to common values on that basis.”
Hill rejected this assessment and noted the ability to opt out of race is also a privilege.
“I would argue that ability to say, ‘I don’t see race, I don’t recognize or own whiteness,’ is an extraordinary white thing to be able to do,” Hill explained. “It’s an exercise of power and privilege. You can ignore the label of whiteness and still be able to enjoy all the spoils of whiteness.”