My view of the future of our town feels ominous. Judging from the experiences in many small towns in the US, it feels like its only a matter of time before Critical Race Theory (CRT) becomes a focus in District 13. Not unlike the Omicron Variant, sooner or later, the issue might become front and center in our town. Ever since our last president invited Christopher Rufo ( the guy who Tucker Carlson and Fox put on the map) to the White House and openly embraced CRT, the subject has become the most misunderstood subject around today. Much has been written on the subject. My recommendation, if you want to learn the basics is to go to Wikipedia , which has a very comprehensive and long history on the subject. The first thing you’ll learn is that the study of CRT isn’t being taught at the grade school level and also that it isn’t a socialist plot to brainwash our children. Not any more than teaching them geometry.
For my purposes today, it is only important to know that in spite of CRT being the “go to ” place for many people who are objecting to it being taught in our school (which is isn’t), that we are seeing many teachers and administrators being fired, put on administrative leave or just made irrelevant because of their support of wishing to teach their students a side of our history that is all too often glossed over. This has happened in Southlake, Texas and captured brilliantly on the podcast SOUTHLAKE. For me, its message is a scary, somber reminder of persistent undercurrents of racism that lurk beneath the surface in many (probably all ) America suburbs.
If our children grow up not knowing the full story of both slavery and racism in our country than there’s less hope that these same children will have the necessary tools to overcome this disease in their lifetime or their children’s lifetime. I read about many parents voicing concerns that delving into this matter is going to hurt their children’s self esteem. I couldn’t disagree more. Children, for the most part are empathetic , wanting to know the whole story. There can be no doubt that the history of POC in this country is riddled with horror and disgrace. Knowing what went before is the best and almost only way to help prevent racism from going forward. That and great legislating. It confuses (and yes, infuriates) me to know that there are people amongst us who would rather “move on” and not face this shameful part of our past (and present, for that matter)
My hope is that if a CRT controversy surfaces in District 13, that all sides will be able to talk, listen and respond as decent human beings. It certainly hasn’t been that way in other towns. In Bucks County, PA members of the school board who were in favor of educating our children about an unbiased history of race, were physically threaten. One board member resigned, rather than be subjected to the verbal abuse and the potential physical abuse that was all around them.
As a white person in a white town, facing the present day realities of racism is hard, challenging and full of pitfalls. One’s going to make mistakes. And that’s ok as long as we all keep trying. An open heart and mind will go a long ways towards helping to make our country an egalitarian and safe place for all citizens. For myself, this struggle is an every day thing. There ‘s so much more that I need to know. So much.