A review of The Dreadful Frauds: Critical Race Theory and Identity Politics, (Shotwell Publishing, 2022) by Philip Leigh

In one hundred pages, author Philip Leigh has given us a scathing indictment of Critical Race Theory, Identity Politics, and the corrupting influences of both on America’s two hundred and fifty year meritocracy. It exposes the power politics of the Victimhood Olympics that is dividing the nation into warring factions, rotting the military, transforming the government into a totalitarian bureaucracy of Diversity Commissars that is enslaving merit to carry the “affirmative action” deadwood that is the end of Identity Politics, and placing it in the hands of global oligopolists.

In her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt says that America no longer tries to assimilate immigrant groups, but politicizes them into militant factions based on race and gender. Philip Leigh not only does a masterful job of elaborating on this Identity Politics, he goes on to show how these factions are then placed into an hierarchy of victimhood by Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a derivative of Marxism, with class conflict replaced by race conflict – specifically, with racial and ethnic minorities in conflict with their “oppressors,” considered to be all white males.

The author states that there is nothing wrong in principle with teaching Critical Race Theory as a theory in, say, a college course that explores the origins and evolution of racism. But CRT is being taught as indoctrination, and allegedly in pre-college public schools down into the lower grades. As Leigh writes, “Since the minorities are presumed to be powerless victims, they cannot themselves be racists. Consequently, when CRT advocates tell whites that the two sides must have a conversation about race, they are really saying, ‘Shut up while I lecture you concerning all of my complaints about your racism.’” White guilt empowers so-called “oppressed” blacks, so blacks play the race card for place preferences in both the private and the public sector, leading to “quotas” through fear and intimidation, and leading to the erosion of merit in the long run. This is particularly dangerous when it seeps into professions that require the highest degree of merit, such as airline pilots, heart and brain surgeons – and the military.

Philip Leigh tells how President Barak Obama, in 2009, directed the military to prepare a unified plan to promote “diversity.” While the term “quota” does not appear in the Military Leadership Diversity Commission’s final report, a goal of equality of outcome in favor of blacks, women, and ethnic minorities is repeatedly emphasized, stating that attaining diversity “requires more than affirmative action.” The author states that under such circumstances, the military services can no longer be a meritocracy – and as goes the military, so goes the service academies. One Air Force Academy cadet is quoted as saying that “the Academy is the last place on earth you want to be if you are a white, male, Christian.” One result is that high school students are losing interest in the service academies, and even questioning the meaning of America.

Radical Feminists have long been in on the act of Identity Politics, with what might now be termed “Critical Gender Theory,” positing that women are victims of an oppressive patriarchy. Therefore – equating “sexism” with “racism” – they seek gender preference as their due. Aligning themselves in common cause with racial minorities to amplify their political clout is termed intersectionality. Among the list of powers that “oppressed” women have over men is public sympathy for women who claim to have been sexually harassed by men, whether true or not. This has led men to take safety measures to protect themselves from designing women who would bear false witness against them for their own, sometimes substantial, gain. Such had led Vice-President Mike Pence to never dine with a woman unless his wife was present, although in traditional times gone by, this would be just a matter of course and not worthy of comment. As Leigh states, “among men vulnerable to false #MeToo allegations, safety measures similar to Pence’s are growing.” Thus, one of the unfortunate results of Critical Gender Theory – as well as CRT – is the tendency for some white males to regard women and minorities as something akin to IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and to just avoid them altogether.

Again, as Philip Leigh makes clear, Critical Race Theory is a derivative of Marxism. Rather than promoting class conflict (which didn’t get much traction in prosperous America) it promotes race conflict (which is getting considerable traction in this country of multiculturalism, universal suffrage, and demagoguery.) History tells us that race conflict is the darkest of roads to take, but Cancel Culture silences history as well as people through fear and intimidation. Marxism and Communism thrive when people are silenced – they are like mushrooms: they sprout in manure and thrive in the dark. Therefore Critical Race Theory – as a Marxist derivative – goes hand-in-hand with Cancel Culture. Cancel Culture took to the streets in the summer of 2020 and it has been silencing people and history with fear and intimidation ever since. In addition, as the author states, the radical leftist executives of Big Tec – Amazon, Google/YouTube, Facebook, Twitter – have drastically added to the silence by censoring opposition dialog on their platforms.

History is not linear. It is cyclic, so there is no such thing as “the right side of history.” What passes for history in the darkness today is “presentism,” which is not history at all, but history twisted to conform to Identity Politics and Critical Race Theory. Presentism is power politics. As George Orwell famously said in 1984, “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” The toppling of the Confederate War Memorials is only the beginning of the darkness to come, if someone doesn’t have the courage to bring a light. Philip Leigh is one man of courage who has brought us a light, exposing The Dreadful Frauds of Identity Politics and Critical Race Theory.

H.V. Traywick, Jr.

A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, the author graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1967 with a degree in Civil Engineering and a Regular Commission in the US Army. His service included qualification as an Airborne Ranger, and command of an Engineer company in Vietnam, where he received the Bronze Star. After his return, he resigned his Commission and ended by making a career as a tugboat captain. During this time he was able to earn a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Richmond, with an international focus on war and cultural revolution. He is a member of the Jamestowne Society, the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Virginia, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Society of Independent Southern Historians. He currently lives in Richmond, where he writes, studies history, literature and cultural revolution, and occasionally commutes to Norfolk to serve as a tugboat pilot.



    Dear Mr. Traywick and fellow alumni: You speak a truth that should be shouted from every housetop and held dear in the hearts and minds of every American. Unfortunately, the real truth is this country is headed in the wrong direction. I don’t feel or see any sense of urgency among our citizens to turn it around. My time is past, I served my country (USAF, 1959-79), the pride is this has been greatly diminished. It would be a pleasure to meet you face-to-face sometime in the future, either in Lynchburg, or here in Tidewater. I’m a Brother Rat of the Class of 1957.

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