F. Wendell Miller Associate Professor
Sociology and Criminology and African American Studies,
The University of Iowa
Nonresident Fellow in Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution
Critical Race Theory and the Interest Divergence Dilemma
In this talk, Dr. Ray draws on two central critical race theory concepts—racial progress narratives and interest convergence to explain the current backlash. Ideas from critical race theory can explain the recent uproar over this insurgent body of knowledge. In opposition to mainstream notion of inevitable progress, critical race theorists see racial progress as fragile and contingent. And some political actors are pushing the United States toward a period of interest divergence. As some white Americans increasingly see their interests as fundamentally different from those of their nonwhite fellow citizens.