To the editor,

I have been following the developing discussion on The Palladium-Times opinion page on the topic of critical race theory. It’s a term that is as new to me, as it is to most people. The “AP Explainer”

published in the June 11, 2021 Pall-Times was a good resource for the facts of the situation. While I do know past laws, policies and practices have sustained, and continue to sustain, racist inequality in our nation, I didn’t know about the term “critical race theory,” commonly called CRT.

Rangit Dighe’s recent column (“Critical race theory and cynical fear-mongering,” July 16, 2021) is a well-supported explanation of how this term is being used by conservatives and white supremists to frighten white people, especially those in the so-called Republican Party base. Dighe quotes conservative activist Christorpher Rolfo: “The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’ We will eventually turn it toxic.”

Apparently, it’s working.

Dighe tells us Fox News has mentioned “critical race theory” 1,300 times in the past few months. Viral videos have been viewed 30 million times, and “22 states have introduced legislation banning or limiting the teaching of CRT... without accurately defining or describing it.”

A letter to the editor from Gabriel Wingfield (“Critical race theory deserves a close look,” July 20, 2021) claims to respond to and rebut Dighe’s article, yet Wingfield fails to directly address almost everything Dighe says as well as the evidence Dighe gives to support his statements.

The author says CRT “reflects the association of CRT with Critical Theory in general, a Hegelian/Marxist framework for a critique of society,” but drops that confusing potential topic and moves on. The author suggests Dighe further educate himself by reading economist Glenn Loury at Brown, who is involved with a project called “1776 Unites.” He never says what this project has to do with CRT becoming a “dog whistle term” for the conservatives, so I turned to Google. I watched an interview with Professor Loury during which he clearly states his support for the teaching of critical race theory in the schools. Finally, Wingfield charges Dighe with elitism. He says Dighe should at least acknowledge that people who opposed last summer’s BLM protests (the vast majority of which were peaceful) are not “hicks and rednecks.” Not once did Dighe’s article even imply disrespect for any group of people. To read only Wingfield’s response is to be left with a completely false impression of Dighe’s article. I, however, do disrespect the politicians and media pundits who support campaigns to convince fellow white people we should vote against any law or policy that benefits people of color and immigrants, even when those same policies also hurt us. As my grandmother told me: Don’t bite off your nose to spite your face.

For a comprehensive, history-based, discussion, I strongly recommend “The Sum of Us: What racism cost everyone and how we can prosper together,” by Heather McGhee.

Betsy McTiernan

Oswego

(1) comment

LAW

Well said.

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