One of the anonymati asks for a simple explanation of Critical Race Theory in a thousand words or less! Well, fortunately, there is an excellent entry on the subject in Wikipedia which will save me a great many words. What is now called critical race theory has its distant origins in the work of the Frankfurt School. As I would have explained to my students if Columbia had agreed to let me teach the course I proposed, the work of the Frankfurt School was, among other things, an effort to unite the insights of Marx and Freud. At the same time, the failure of genuine socialist revolutions to materialize in the first half of the 20th century led many European scholars to try to understand the non-economic, bureaucratic or institutional or “structural” determinants of political developments in mature, or as we old unrepentant lefties used to say, late capitalism. They thought that what came to be called “economic determinism” could not adequately account for the world they saw developing around them.
As the work of European scholars made its way to America, notably in the work of W. E. B. DuBois (who studied for a while with Max Weber), it underwent a series of changes to take account of the effect of race in American history, economy, and politics – a subject about which Marx had little or nothing of any interest to say.
Marx himself had understood that the personal tastes, biases, interests, or desires of individual capitalists had very little to do with the overall shape of the development of capitalist economies, but he did not adequately appreciate the institutional or bureaucratic constraints that shaped economic developments.
Putting all this together in the American context led to the development of the notion of institutional racism, a concept absolutely essential to an understanding of American society which all Republicans and a great many Democrats find it impossible to grasp. As I spent many pages in my little book Autobiography of an Ex White Man discussing this subject, I will not repeat myself here.
All of this was imported into legal theory at a time of considerable ferment in that field by, among others, Derrick Bell, during the time that he was a professor of law at Harvard.
If you now go to the Wikipedia article, which can be found here, you should be able to get a pretty rich and complex understanding of the development of the field called Critical Race Theory.