It seems there’s quite a wild debate going on in the always-entertaining Georgia State Legislature this session regarding CRT – Critical Race Theory. Forget the fact that apparently no one can actually define what CRT is. Some lawmakers want to ban the teaching of it in Georgia schools. Others say it’s not being taught in public schools at all.

Some contend CRT is an old concept used often in higher education to talk about how racism has shaped society. Not individual by individual, but more about how racism affects legal systems and culture to the extent that it produces unequal outcomes. Critics zero in on the idea that some teachers are casting white people as oppressors and people of color as victims.

As the accusations fly both ways, I think I’ll just steer clear of the topic. Instead, I thought I’d suggest another area of school curriculum where perhaps teachers and legislators might focus their combined attention. That would be the Critical THINKING Theory, with a bit more concentration on math skills.

A friend of mine sent me the following examples of education in action. I can’t vouch for the validity of the encounters, but I believe we’ve all seen enough similar examples to believe they’re true.

Here’s one of the stories I received:

“So, I am at (large grocery store) scanning and bagging my almost $300 worth of groceries while the employee that wants $15 an hour “monitors,” and then this happens.

Employee: Why are you double-bagging all of your groceries?
Friend: Excuse me?
Employee: You’re wasting our bags!
Friend: If you don’t like the way I’m bagging the groceries, feel free to come on over here and bag them yourself.
Employee: That’s not my job!
Friend: Okay, then I will bag my groceries how I please if that’s all right with you.
Employee: Why are you using two bags?
Friend: Because the bags are weak and I don’t want the handles to break or the bottoms to rip out.
Employee: Well, that’s because you are putting too much stuff in the bag. If you took half of that stuff out and put it in a different bag, then you wouldn’t need to double-bag.

  • 10 seconds of friend just staring at employee.

Friend: So, you want me to split these items in half and put half of them in a different bag so that I don’t have to double-bag.
Employee: Exactly.
Friend: So, I would still be using two bags to hold the same number of items.
Employee: No, because you wouldn’t be double-bagging.


Friend: Okay, so here I have a jug of milk and a bottle of juice double-bagged. If I take the milk out and remove the double-bagging and just put the milk in the single bag and the juice in that single bag, I’m still using two bags for these two items.
Employee: No, because you are not double-bagging them, so it’s not the same number of bags.


Friend: Is this like that Common Core math stuff I keep hearing about?
Employee: Never mind. You just don’t get it.

Another story:

“My husband and I went through (a fast food) driveway window, and I gave the cashier a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her 25 cents.
She said, ‘you gave me too much money.’
I said, ‘Yes, I know, but this way you can just give me a dollar back.’
She sighed and went to get the manager who asked me to repeat my request.
I did so, and he handed me back the 25 cents, and said, ‘We’re sorry, but we don’t do that kind of thing.’
The cashier then proceeded to give me back 75 cents in change.”

And, finally,

“We had to have the garage door repaired.
The repairman told us that one of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the opener.
I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one made at that time, a 1/2 horsepower.
He shook his head and said, ‘You need a 1/4 horsepower.
I responded that 1/2 was larger than ¼, and he said, ‘NOOO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.’”

Do any of those examples sound familiar to something that’s happened somewhere along your recent life’s journey? It occurs to me that if the above encounters are kind of the rule rather than the exception these days, perhaps instead of spending time and energy on Critical Race Theory we should be looking more at Critical ‘RITHMATIC Theory.


©MMXXII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer