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As a retired middle school counselor, I am dismayed by the recent arguments and fear surrounding the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our public schools!

So much misinformation abounds about what these charged words actually mean! I worked most of my professional career in 2 different suburban St. Louis, MO school districts and I saw, first-hand, the disparities between one majority Black, lower-income and one majority white, upper income districts.

One of my co-workers and I formed a student group called HEART (Helping Everyone Achieve Respect and Tolerance) in the latter district. As part of our work, we learned aspects of CRT without even knowing it!

We studied the history of various laws across our country and what impact they could have had on African-Americans going forward. We learned that it was once illegal for them to be educated and that, in many states, they were not allowed to own property or start businesses.

We talked about how they were prevented from voting and how the effects of these laws could have an impact even today. The purpose was NOT to make white students feel guilty. Instead it was to broaden their understanding of the world.

One of the key words in CRT is "Critical". Education should be teaching our students how to think critically. To evaluate something with a critical eye doesn't mean to put down, nor does it mean "essential". It means to question, reflect and think in new ways! We should encourage, not limit, students' thinking!

MARY CORSAIR / Indianola

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(1) comment

Bohlken1

Congratulations on teaching your students an honest history of racial discrimination in our country. I assume you also taught the history of white people who were abolitionists, union soldiers and activists in the civil rights movement. I especially thank you for teaching your students to “think critically. To evaluate something with a critical eye,”

If you did the above, you taught the opposite of Critical Race Theory. Critical Race Theory is a Marxist theory which rejects the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s proposition that people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. It rejects rational analysis of history and culture in favor of stereotypes. Critical race theory promotes the racist stereotypes that all whites are oppressors and all Blacks are victims. Critical race theory rejects Barack Obama’s statement that “[Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s] remarks . . . expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic.” It also rejects the view of vice-president Kamala Harris and Senator Tim Scott that, while racism still exists, America is not a racist country.

Christopher Rufo, in “Critical Race Theory: What It Is and How to Fight It”, revealed:

“[C]ritical race theorist Cheryl Harris has proposed suspending private property rights, seizing land and wealth and redistributing them along racial lines. Critical race guru Ibram X. Kendi . . . has proposed the creation of a federal Department of Antiracism. . . . independent of (i.e., unaccountable to) the elected branches of government, and [with] the power to nullify, veto, or abolish any law at any level of government and curtail the speech of political leaders and others who are deemed insufficiently ‘antiracist.’”

. . .

[The application of Critical Race Theory] . . . would mean the end . . . of private property, . . . of individual rights, equality under the law, federalism, and freedom of speech. These would be replaced by race-based redistribution of wealth, group-based rights, active discrimination, and omnipotent bureaucratic authority. . . . [It] would overturn the principles of the Declaration and destroy the remaining structure of the Constitution.”

In contrast to what you did, Rufo noted that:

“In Cupertino, California, an elementary school forced first-graders to deconstruct their racial and sexual identities, and rank themselves according to their ‘power and privilege.’ In Springfield, Missouri, a middle school forced teachers to locate themselves on an ‘oppression matrix,’ based on the idea that straight, white, English-speaking, Christian males are members of the oppressor class and must atone for their privilege and ‘covert white supremacy.’ In Philadelphia, an elementary school forced fifth-graders to celebrate ‘Black communism’ and simulate a Black Power rally to free 1960s radical Angela Davis from prison, where she had once been held on charges of murder. And in Seattle, the school district told white teachers that they are guilty of “spirit murder” against black children and must ‘bankrupt [their] privilege in acknowledgement of [their] thieved inheritance.’”

Similar nonsense is now being taught in government and corporate America, as well as in education. Thank you for not teaching Critical Race Theory.

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