American News Jun 22, 2021 11:43 PM EST

WATCH: Joy Reid asks founding CRT scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw 'is critical race theory Marxism?'

Kimberlé Crenshaw, the activist turned Columbia University law professor who came up with the concept of intersectionality, could not deny it, and chose instead to dance around the question.

WATCH: Joy Reid asks founding CRT scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw 'is critical race theory Marxism?'
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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In an interview with MSNBC's Joy Reid Tuesday, Kimberlé Crenshaw, the activist turned Columbia University law professor who came up with the concept of intersectionality, if critical race theory is Marxism. Crenshaw could not deny it, and chose instead to dance around the question.

Reid asked Crenshaw: "…what people are calling critical race theory. 'Marxism, racism, bigoted.' Lets start with the Marxism, that's their favorite one. They're using that every single time. I hate to ask you, I hate to ask dumb questions so please don’t think that I’m dumb, is critical race theory Marxism?"

"Critical race theory is not so much a thing, it's a way of looking at a thing," Crenshaw said. "It's a way of looking at race. It’s a way of looking at why after so many decades, centuries actually, since the Emancipation, we have patterns of inequality that are enduring. They are stubborn."

"And the point of critical race theory originally was to think and talk about how law contributed to the subordinate status of African-Americans, of Indigenous people, and of an entire group of people who were coming to our shores from Asia," she continued.

Crenshaw stated that critical race theory builds on the works of Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King Jr. to work on understanding problems being faced in order to overcome them.

"And the point was, quite frankly, to understand the problem in order to intervene in it. To understand why the greatest hopes for our republic were not being realized, even though these hopes were encoded in law," said Crenshaw.

"So critical race theory just inherits the beliefs and the hopes of Frederick Douglas, of Martin Luther King, who basically want the law to do for the freed people what the law did for enslavers," Crenshaw added.

"And we picked that up in the 1970s and 1980s after the Civil Rights Movement to say 'okay, so now we’ve had this big Civil Rights Movement, we have all these laws in the books, but things really aren’t looking as different as they should.'"

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