Basketball player

Basketball player shows why critical race theory shouldn’t be in schools | VICTOR JOECKS

If you want to see why schools should reject critical race theory, watch Las Vegas native Orlando Robinson.

Last month, Robinson hoped to be drafted by an NBA team. He certainly had a case to warrant a selection, starting with his nearly 7-foot frame. He played three years at Fresno State, helping the Bulldogs to a 23-13 record last season. He averaged over 19 points and eight rebounds per game. Impressive.

Just being tall wasn’t enough to make Robinson a good basketball player, although that obviously helps. He worked diligently on his game. As Sam Gordon of the Review-Journal recently detailed, Robinson’s father pushed his then 11-year-old son through his daily exercises. The elder Robinson was tough on him, as he knew it would make his son mentally strong.

Young Robinson even skipped his senior year at Centennial High School to maximize his basketball potential. He completed a California college preparatory program for athletes. There he had to get up at 4 a.m. and go through a strict training schedule. He ended up with 30 scholarship offers.

“My development is in my hands,” Robinson said. “No one is going to believe in me. No one is going to put more work into my own game than me.”

Despite all that discipline and diligence, he was not drafted.

He signed a contract with the Miami Heat, but he only gives him a chance to attend training camp. Instead of being bitter, Robinson is grateful that a team wanted to give him an opportunity.

Look at the admirable qualities of character shown by this 22-year-old player.

He worked hard, which improved his skills. He is mentally strong, overcoming his youthful taunts about his coordination. He is grateful for the opportunity, instead of comparing himself to others. He is resilient, finding something positive in disappointment.

Chances are Robinson’s stay in the NBA will be brief, although I wouldn’t bet against him. But the chances of him succeeding in life are extremely high. It is because these character qualities will help anyone succeed in life, although they cannot guarantee that you will become a famous millionaire.

Contrast that with what Critical Race Theory — which the Clark County School District embraces — teaches students. He argues that America and its institutions are deeply racist. Skin color, not choice or character, determines whether one is a victim or a recipient of unearned privilege. It deprives people of free will. No matter what choices people make, they cannot escape the box they are placed in by their immutable characteristics.

The CRT tells white and Asian students that their accomplishments are undeserved and hollow, the result of “privilege” rather than effort. He tells minority students that they can only succeed if they the whites, who hold the power, destroy the rigged system.

This worldview was a major factor in Superintendent Jesus Jara’s decision to reduce disciplinary action and gut-grading policies. The results were disastrous.

Here’s a better message: whatever obstacles you face, the decisions you make are the most important variable. Be like Orlando Robinson and improve the trajectory of your life by making good choices, not excuses.

Contact him at [email protected] or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.