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To the editor:

A recent letter in the Manchester Journal illustrated some typical  manufactured hysteria from the right. Its headline, “To teach, or not to teach, Critical Race Theory,” seemed to promise some semblance of a balanced discussion. Instead, it was yet another alarmist distortion churned out by the GOP spin machine to gin up fear and confusion, while claiming to defend against what it’s actually creating: racial divisiveness.  The opening statement— “It is vital that parents know and understand the curriculum that has infiltrated our schools!” — is both inflammatory and inaccurate: critical race theory (CRT) is not a “curriculum” at all.

Portraying CRT as a hostile agenda to shame and humiliate white children is so outlandish it’s hard to believe it’s getting any traction at all. Yet here we are.

Rooted in the 1970s, CRT is simply an educational framework for examining the role of laws in both perpetuating and, potentially, dismantling racial inequality. It analyzes how inherent bias has shaped public policy, from redlining to police killings.

Systemic racism is real. Suffocating discussion of it with paranoid propaganda keeps us from seeing the real America, not the fantasy version in which Martin Luther King fixed racism, and Frederick Douglass is rebranded as Horatio Alger rather than the revolutionary he was forced to be. 

Incendiary rhetoric about CRT has produced reactionary and dangerous legislation across the country, often so vaguely worded that it will deprive students of the ability to discuss documented history and decide for themselves what America should be.

Robin Vaughan Kolderie

Hoosick, N.Y.


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