‘Silencing ... the essence of our American ideals’

| 08 Aug 2021 | 04:27

    I am responding to your positive presentation of Assemblyman Schmitt’s widely discredited extreme right wing position on Critical Race Theory.

    Critical Race Theory (CRT) is a longstanding academic argument that racism in America extends beyond personal attitudes and has been embedded in our legal system and its policies in different ways throughout our history that continue to affect our society today.

    Some of the mainstream, longstanding topics in our curriculum that would be forbidden by the kind of legislation that Assemblyman Schmitt is proposing are:

    1. The treatment of enslaved people in the language of the Constitution.

    2. The role of enslavement in the causing of the Civil War.

    3. “Jim Crow:” the laws that were enacted after the Civil Wars to prevent formerly enslaved peoples from exercising their Constitutional rights.

    4. The history of lynching in our country.

    5. “Redlining:” the systematic excluding of Black neighborhoods from access to mortgages and other financing opportunities.

    6. The Civil Rights movement.

    7. Studying the lives and works of many prominent American such as Martin Luther King, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, etc.

    These are just a few of the topics Schmitt’s legislation would censor.

    Throughout our history, patriotic Americans have fought to defend the ideals on which this country was founded.

    One way they have done that is to confront these race related problems that have kept us from achieving those ideals. These patriots continue to confront them today.

    Those who, like Assemblyman Schmitt, try to silence Critical Race Theory should ask themselves whether what they are actually silencing is the essence of our American ideals.

    James Langlois