Escaping 'wokism': Former 'woke' activist shares how she came to reject critical race theory

critical race theory
People hold up signs during a rally against "critical race theory" (CRT) being taught in schools at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Virginia on June 12, 2021. |

An activist who spent over two decades advocating for critical race theory has opened up about how she came to understand how the theoretical framework contradicts Christian teachings. Now she is encouraging supporters to reach out to friends and loved ones "wrapped up in the critical social theories."

Monique Duson, the co-founder of The Center for Biblical Unity, spoke about her experiences with woke ideology and CRT as part of a livestream event sponsored by Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina on Saturday. 

CRT, which is tied to Marxist critical theory, criticizes the U.S. and Western nations as being oppressive and promoting institutional “systemic racism” or “white supremacy.” It teaches that systemic racism is ingrained in every aspect of American life.  

Monique Duson
Chantal Monique Duson, the co-founder of The Center for Biblical Unity, speaking about her time as a proponent of critical race theory at a virtual event held by Southern Evangelical Seminary on Saturday, Aug. 7, 2021. |

When discussing her eventual rejection of CRT and overall woke ideology, Duson said that “leaving wokeness is never done alone, and it's rarely done without a fight.”

Duson cited her lengthy dialogue with theologian Krista Bontrager on issues like CRT, social justice and other provocative topics as a key factor in her leaving “secular frameworks."

“If your friends or loved ones are wrapped up in the critical social theories, critical race theory or social justice, don’t get mad at them,” Duson advised.

“It’s usually done or embraced from a posture that is very compassionate and wanting to do good. They’ve just not been [given] a proper exegetical framework.”

Duson told her audience to encourage their CRT peers, especially their Christian friends sympathetic to the worldview, “to truly get into the Word of God to understand truly what it means.”

“We must have compassion as we embrace young people and older people who are espoused to this ideology so that we can influence them with the Gospel of truth,” she continued. “Jesus is our only hope for racial unity.”

“If someone in your life is espousing critical race theory or the social theories, know that it is not too late for them to walk out. Your participation is going to be desperately needed.”

Duson talked about her upbringing in South Los Angeles, California, growing up in a predominantly black neighborhood.

She explained that her childhood involved living in a crime-ridden neighborhood rocked by the Rodney King riots of 1992, with a heavy emphasis on learning to be black, especially “in contrast to what it means to be white.”

Duson noted that while the term “critical race theory” was not used by the people she knew growing up, “everyone used some of the same terms or some of the same phrases.”

These terms and phrases included the ideas that racism was pervasive, that whites will not change on a race-related issue until it directly benefits them and allegations of “white privilege.”

“I knew Bible verses, but I didn’t know context. I knew about justice, but I didn’t know the bigger story of the Bible,” said Duson, who became a Christian as a teenager. “These are things that help to prevent or offer boundary with things like critical race theory.”

“Knowing proper context, knowing the bigger history or the bigger story of the Bible. Like many CRT-affirming Christians, I participated in syncretism, where I mixed Scripture and culture.”

Regarding her eventual departure from CRT beliefs, Duson credited “divine intervention,” saying, “I did not wake up alone."

“It takes divine intervention,” she stressed. “God Himself is the primary agent of my awakening. He orchestrated specific encounters with people who caused me to begin to question my paradigm.”

This included meeting white individuals who were victims of racism or suffered economic injustices comparable to African Americans living in the inner-city, such as rural whites living in Appalachia.  

Duson was part of a one-day virtual event titled “Awaken: Thinking Well About Wokism, Social Justice, & Racial Reconciliation.”

In addition to Duson, other featured speakers for the digital event included civil rights activist Bob Woodson of 1776 Unites and former police officer Eric Muldrow of Code Red Conversations.

“The ‘Awaken’ event will examine the questions surrounding systemic racism in America, police violence and people of color, the nature of true social justice, and how someone can escape wokism,” explained SES. “We cannot love others well by sacrificing truth on the false altar of wokeness ideology.”

The Christian Post’s Executive Editor Richard Land was the president of SES until July 2021 and presently serves as an adjunct professor and president emeritus.

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