Re: “Schools in America”, Diana Thorn (Voices, May 16).
Diana Thorn believes that Critical Race Theory being taught in schools is divisive, irrelevant and a slippery slope towards a “socialist” America.
Ms. Thorn falsely presents our most cherished historical documents as camouflage for her “nothing to see here” fantasy.
Although the Declaration of Independence promised “LIfe, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness,” it was never guaranteed. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution called for “equal protection of the laws,” but it has not been enforced.
Abraham’s Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 freed the slaves, but the Civil War was fought because half the country wanted slavery to endure. Some on the radical far-right would like to pretend that slavery in the U.S. did not exist for more than 240 years prior to the Civil War. Like it or not, that’s part of our history and should, absolutely, be taught in our schools.
In our more recent history there has been “redlining” to keep minorities out of white neighborhoods, “separate but equal” schools, “Whites or coloreds only” signs at public facilities and Jim Crow voter suppression laws. Finally, were Dylann Roof (who murdered nine African-Americans at a church service in Charleston, S.C.) and George Floyd (who might have passed a counterfeit $20 bill) given equal protection of the laws? That’s a rhetorical question.
Simply put, systemic racism is a fact. That doesn’t make us a bad country, but we need to be honest about our past … and our present.
In spite of those who reflexively regurgitate Fox News talking points, Critical Race Theory is not Marxist. Karl Marx’s theory is about class inequality, not racial inequality. It was espoused in opposition to the reign of Czar Nicholas II of Russia, leading to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. Other than that, an entertaining letter by Ms. Thorn.
Yeosu, South Korea
(formerly of Goleta)