Author and educator Marc Lamont Hill broke down the value of critical race theory to a conservative guest on The Black News Channel's Black News Tonight.
Hill welcomed white conservative commentator Christopher Rufo on a recent episode to discuss his argument against the intellectual movement, which recognizes that racism is systemically entrenched in American society and shaped the country's history.
Critical race theory has been a subject of contention as of late. Several state governments have sought to ban its teaching in public schools with Idaho, Oklahoma and Tennessee being effective in outlawing it in their schools.
Hill and Rufo debated on how critical race theory is applied in practice, how the movement incorporates race into various elements of society and whether it is actually effective in addressing racism as a social construct. Throughout the conversation, Hill confronted Rufo about the societal advantages of being white.
At one point in the video, Hill flat out asks Rufo, “What do you like about being white?”
Rufo rejected the white identifier as an “amorphous term,” and skated around answering the question. However, the persistent professor pressed the matter with the contributing editor to City Journal.
“You surely recognize that the world sees you as white…Name something positive you like about being white,” Hill said.
In response, Rufo said that he rejects the idea that values like “timeliness” and “objectivity” uphold systems of white superiority and should be identified as a “white dominant."
“These are very strange things to be ascribed to a racial identity,” Rufo said. “My view is that these actually should be ascribed to every individual human being.”
Hill interjected with his question another time, “That doesn’t answer the question though. Name something that you believe is positive about being white.”
Dodging the issue once again, Rufo replied, “I don’t buy into the framework that the world can be reduced into these metaphysical categories of whiteness and blackness.”
With his time on-air running short, the 42-year-old activist launched into a teaching moment that related their past conversation to the need to educate others around the intellectual movement.
“The idea of saying that ‘I don’t see my whiteness, I don’t recognize whiteness,’ is something we can say but to me that is something just as fantastic,” he began. “To that extent, it’s why we need critical race theory. We need to expose whiteness. We need to talk about race and we need to talk about a racial construct.”
"Critical race theory is trying to expose that and talk about the intractability of it," he added. "The intractability of racism, the inability of this country to come to terms with that is why we need critical race theory in schools.”
Earlier this month, Hill had a blunt message for Black Americans regarding why they should be concerned with Israel's ongoing attack on Gaza, Blavity previously reported.
"As Black Americans, we are taxpayers," he said. "As long as the United States continues to fund Israel with up to four billion in funding for their military, supply them with weapons and help them sustain what's going on over there, we are responsible."
For those in the Black community who may be apathetic to the plights of Palestinian people, Hill urged them to consider that the issues they face at home are being enacted upon many other people around the world. The TV host said capitalism, homophobia and racism are a core part of the struggles had by many people of color globally.
"If you want to stop oppression here, you have to stop oppression everywhere," he said.