Who is Ty Smith? Black dad slams critical race theory, says he's not 'oppressed'

Who is Ty Smith? Black dad slams critical race theory, says he's not 'oppressed'
Illinois dad Ty Smith condemned critical race theory in a blistering short speech (Twitter/@bennyjohnson)

An Illinois dad, who hosts a weekend radio show, blasted critical race theory during a crowded district school board meeting in a blistering short speech, the video of which went viral and was reposted by a number of Republicans including Texas Senator Ted Cruz. 

Cruz retweeted the video posted by the chief creative officer at conservative organization Turning Point USA, with the caption, "Powerful," followed by three fire emojis. In the video, Ty Smith ripped into critical race theory, criticizing schools for teaching the controversial ideology that has a few parents across the nation upset and frustrated. 



What is LatCRT? Latino critical race theory and the 'problem of the color line'

Critical race theory: Why Tucson banned Matt de la Pena novel 'Mexican WhiteBoy'

Who is Ty Smith?

He began his speech by sharing a personal experience from childhood. When he was in grade school, he and other children who were on public assistance were forced to be the last ones to receive lunch. At the time, being a third-grader, he became frustrated at his friends who were not in his group and stopped talking to them. However, as an adult, he understood that it was not their fault that they were being segregated. "I'm mad at them for something that wasn't even their fault... they weren't looking down on me. They didn't think they were better than me," Smith said. "I'm the one that came up with those false perceptions of what my friends were. Not them."

Smith added, “Critical Race Theory is pretty much going to be teaching kids to hate each other, how to dislike each other…You’re going to deliberately teach kids, ‘this White kid right here got it better than you because he’s White’? You’re going to purposely tell a White kid that Black people are all down and oppressed? How do I have two medical degrees if I’m sitting here oppressed?” This drew loud cheers from the crowd. 

Smith then opined that critical race theory's tenet was deeply flawed because it taught that White people have it better in life because they are White and that Black people are oppressed because of their skin color, citing his personal experience as proof that none of it was true. “No mom, no dad in the house. Worked my way through college, sat there and hustled my butt off to get through college. You gonna tell me somebody that looked like y’all White folks kept me from doing that? Are you serious? Not one White person ever came to me and said ‘well, son, you know you’ll never be able to get anywhere because the Black people'”, Smith remarked. 

The Illinois dad also blasted the notion that White people "kept him from" accomplishing his achievements. He said, "Not one White person ever came to me and said 'well, son, you know you'll never be able to get anywhere because the Black people.'" He also condemned the notion that Black people today are being taught that they won't be successful because "the White man is going to keep you down." Saying that no White person oppressed him, Smith concluded that the critical race theory is a "lie" that is the "complete reverse" of Martin Luther King's teachings to judge people by their character instead of their skin color or race.

A debate also started in the comments section of the video, as some of the social media users took Smith's side and others chose to criticize his theory. "So his argument boils down to 'I got mine, so who cares about anyone else,'" one such person wrote, while another noted, "You didn’t listen. His argument boils down to 'I got mine, so I am an example that kids from similar backgrounds can get theirs and should not be told that they’re destined for failure based on the color of their skin.'"


Among those who spoke out against Smith, one user commented, "Ah yes. One person has succeeded, therefore no other person has been prevented from succeeding. Which medical school?" Another said, "There is so much to unpack here. First off. ????? What? Racism can exist and people who traditionally would be the targets of racism can also be successful. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Second. Is he the only Black person in this room of 60, despite him saying that all Black ppl pretty much feel the same way he does? Lastly, didhe say he has 2 medical degrees and very successful, but he’s in the hood everyday?" One more quipped, "Why would he have two medical degrees? Did he forget he already had one and went back to medical school?"




However, there was also praise for Smith's speech. For example, one person remarked, "WOW WOW WOW. I just want to hug him. That's how I raised my children. Respect! These amazing!" Another commented, "Goosebumps by the end. This man gives me hope for our struggling country." One more tweeted, "Amen! This needs to be everywhere! This is America." The next reacted with, "Powerful & very much needed & very well put." Outrage-stoker Ann Coulter said, "This is so great. Love his impression of white people. If this medical thing doesn't work out, he could do stand-up."






Share this article:  Who Ty Smith Black illinois dad slams critical race theory not oppressed 2 medical degrees reactions