Wikipedia Editor Responds to ‘Critical Race Theory’ Edit War

Josh Peterson, Daily Caller, March 12, 2012

A Wikipedia article devoted to Critical Race Theory, a controversial legal theory crafted to respond to the alleged role of “white supremacy” in American law, was placed on a temporary editing lockdown over the weekend after bloggers determined that CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien had relied on Wikipedia’s introductory definition of the theory—verbatim—during on an-air debate. A second lock was placed on the article Monday to protect it from politically biased editors who adjusted it following O’Brien’s gaffe.

The flurry began after editor Joel Pollak made a guest appearance on O’Brien’s show to explain a video clip depicting a close relationship during the 1990s between President Obama and the late Derrick Bell, the Harvard Law School professor credited with originating the theory.

During her show, Pollak repeatedly reminded O’Brien that Critical Race Theory was created as a backlash against perceived “white supremacy” in America. O’Brien denied this with equal force.

An editing war ensued almost immediately between pro- and anti-O’Brien partisans, alternatively removing and reinstating references to white supremacy from the Critical Race Theory article.

The article’s current lockdown, instituted by the same Wikipedia editor who froze it over the weekend—until “the media attention cools down,” he said—will last one week.


Such a lock, Wikimedia Foundation spokesperson Matthew Roth told TheDC, is not uncommon when an article becomes the center of a political debate. The popular online encyclopedia is supported by the Foundation.

“That is often an approach when topical media reports turn an article into a contentious editing space,” Roth said in an email. ”In this case, he reverted to the form the article was in before the CNN story.”

That definition did, in fact, mention “white supremacy” in two specific places.

It cites a definition from the UCLA School of Public Affairs, saying Critical Race Theory holds that “existing power structures” are “based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.”

It also concludes that Critical Race Theory “asserts that white supremacy and racial power are reproduced over time, and in particular, that law plays a role in this process.”


[Editor’s Note: For more on the Soledad “implosion,” see here.]

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  • For about a year I had a sentence in the wiki article on “white male privilege.”  Then, I noticed it was deleted and the title changed to “white privilege.”  I tried to restore my post, in which I denied the very notion of white male privilege.  However, someone immediately would erase my comments and restore the article to pure politically correctness.—–Hugh Murray
    Wiki can be helpful for a beginning into researchof a topic, but it is often pc.  I have also encountered errors on various topics, from the city in which a university was located, to the birth-city of a mathematician (and I do not mean Obama).   

    • anonymous_amren

      I hope you fixed those errors. That’s the thing about Wikipedia. If you can criticise it, you can fix it (unless you go against PC dogma).

    • Oil Can Harry

      Good article. You mention Obama marching with infamous racist Malik Zulu Shabazz. A “Malik Shabazz” is listed numerous times on the White House visitors logs since Obama was sworn in.

      Given some of the incendiary anti-Semitic speeches Shabazz has made, it just might cause a firestorm if it could be shown that this guy was a guest of Hussein.

    • R P

      Great article Kyle.

    • R P

      Read one of the articles Kyle cited:

      Because the the author has one thing correct:

      The Census Bureau now projects that by 2042, the United States will become a majority-minority nation, eight years sooner than once predicted.The challenge is America’s history of discrimination has created an enduring legacy of economic oppression for people of color.There simply won’t be broad enough a base of high-wage, taxpaying young people of color to maintain the U.S. as a superpower.

      The continuing racial disparity will be too great to ignore, the report warns. “The country runs the risk of becoming disturbingly similar to apartheid-era South Africa, with a minority of relatively well-to-do whites barricaded in gated communities, using the full force of the law to protect their wealth to the exclusion of others.

      He’s got the end result correct, but he assumes that result can be changed simply  by giving negroes and meztizos better paying jobs ….. and that is where is dead wrong. 

  • The_Bobster

    O’Brien, who is half Cuban black,  half Australian Irish, has gathered many boring conventional awards, including one named after herself: the “Soledad O’Brien Freedom’s Voice Award”  from the Morehouse School of Medicine for being a “catalyst for social change”.  

    But, because the competition is stiffer, ours is harder to win—and therefore more prestigious.

    I note that the “O’Brien Award” given to O’Brien is significant because, as you will soon learn, she’s in love with herself.

    O’Brien has also been included twice in Irish America Magazine’s list of top 100 Irish Americans—as well as on Black Enterprise’s hottest list! 

    • gemjunior

      Disgusting.  She is no fellow ethnic kin of mine.  I reject her.  And as usual, they identify with the BLACK side.  Hey, it’s hip right now.  And of course there are the rewards…

  • Alexandra1973

    Every time I visit a Wiki site concerning race, I’m sure to rate it as “heavily biased.”

  • JohnEngelman

    Critical race theory ignores the fact that the races differ in terms of average ability levels. This is why some races achieve more than others. Even when Jews have faced discrimination they have usually performed better than Gentiles. The same can be said of Chinese immigrants everywhere in the world that they move. 

  • First, there are no such things as “white privilege” or “white supremacy”.  Check your Dictionary.  They’re not in there.

    “privilege” and “supremacy” are in The Dictionary but these two things can apply to anyone of any race and to anyone anywhere.  I get sick and tired of made-up words.

    If they’re looking for supremacy and/or privilege, look to the non-whites in America for they Truly do, have it all.  I personally know of no other Country that has it written into Law, where non-whites get considered simply because they’re not White.

    All I can hope for is, White People get so sick and tired and to death, just to death of this “white racism” crap that they will turn their backs, close their doors and never again, feel sorry for or want to help, another non-white for all the rest of their days. 

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    The Wikipedia entry for Critical Race Theory “was edited 28 times that day After this exchange.”  The original talked specifically to white supremacy, and the edited version took it out completely. Before that day, the entry had been edited twice in the last year. Here is a link to the before and after version on Wiki..

    Here is the version after Soledad made a fool  of herself.


  • anonymous_amren

    Wikipedia’s article on Jane Elliot, started me becoming a race realist, and their article on race and intelligence helped after that. We need to ensure that wiktators don’t remove all the race realist content. Either that, or we need to make the anti-racists look insane by making sure wikipedia articles praise their stupidest theories.