Outspoken author, entrepreneur counters ‘divisive’ anti-racism training with ‘pro-human’ theory

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An author from New Orleans is getting noticed for her proposed alternative to the divisive “Critical Race Theory” curriculum being pushed in today’s educational and business settings.

Chloe Valdary, a 2015 graduate of the University of New Orleans, began her anti-racism journey by developing a thesis about how love can solve problems, which then led to creating programs geared towards high school students on character development and interpersonal growth; she soon was giving talks at major universities and even did a TED talk entitled “How Love Can Help Repair Social Inequality” in June of 2020.

The end result of that is there is a pro-human, non-divisive approach to anti-racist training, called the Theory of Enchantment, the New York Post reported.

In an interview with the Post, the 28-year-old Valdary recounts her “a-ha” moment in 2020 — after seeing the death of George Floyd, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and the desperate corporate responses —  when The Theory of Enchantment (ToE) came into full focus: “All of a sudden, companies were in search of training that could help them have conversations about race, but DEI programs take an approach that is oftentimes hostile, oftentimes lacking in empathy, and oftentimes perpetuating stereotypes about both black and white people alike.”

Valdary then began speaking on the podcast circuit and writing op-ed pieces for outlets on all sides of the political spectrum. Newsweek, Reason Magazine, The Atlantic, and Megyn Kelly, in addition to the New York Post, have all given her a platform to convince people of her ToE Three Principled Practice:

  1. “Treat people like human beings, not political abstractions;”
  2. “Criticize to uplift and empower, never to tear down, never to destroy;” and
  3. “Root everything you do in love and compassion.”

Critical race theory, according to Valdary’s 2021 op-ed post in Newsweek, is problematic because it “stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the complexities of our social and political realities, reducing them to a single factor: racism. But when it comes to how race and power intersect, black history is far, far richer than critical race theorists allow.”

Instead, Valdary in her program proposes addressing the issue from a more personal standpoint.

“Enchantment . . . is a state of being where you’re in a healthy relationship with yourself, which allows you to have a healthy relationship with others,” Valdary told a NY Post writer recently.

“So much bigotry and prejudice comes from insecurity. We take what we don’t like about ourselves and project that onto others,” she continued. “Instead of doing that, we can get in the right relationship with ourselves, our imperfections. It’s an incredibly difficult task, but if we can get right with ourselves first, it would go a long way in bringing us together.”

Ultimately, according to Valdary in that same interview, she wants people to “develop a spiritual discipline against the politics of resentment.” She says she wants to remind people of all the things that unite us, as opposed to focusing on the relatively few things that divide us.

“It’s the only thing that can counter racism in the long term.”

Some props from the Twitterverse:

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