The CRT ‘monster’
To the editor:
The Independent recently published a cartoon in which “critical race theory” is depicted as a Frankenstein monster. Although not the intent of the artist, it is fitting that CRT is presented as a fictional bogeyman, since that is what it is. As witnessed at the Sept. 30 presentation by Sheila and Kendall Qualls, these three words together are a nothing more than a convenient vehicle for demeaning the intentions of those who seek to address historic wrongs.
It hardly matters what term really means; actual facts get in the way of a good scare. The Qualls never explained what CRT is, except that “they” use “code words” like “equity” and “social justice” to hide CRT from an ignorant public.
The Qualls and the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) are part of a national “anti-CRT” scare campaign, fomenting unreasoned anger on behalf of their major donors, like the Bradley Foundation, who want to privatize public education, taking it away from communities and giving it to market-driven corporations for profit. The first step is to present public education as a danger to society, beholden to a secretive subversive CRT elite that is conspiring to, to, well that part is never explained. But that does not matter either since the goal is to convince people that public schools are the enemy and should be replaced with private schools, voucher schemes, and the like.
Enraging people with a false narrative that “they” are “weaponizing our children” (in the words of Sheila Qualls) is not only divisive, but dangerous. Already members of the statewide committee addressing new social studies standards are being threatened with violence.
This cockamamie “anti-CRT” witch hunt, manufactured and promoted by the Qualls, CAE, and others, wants us educators to feel we have targets on our backs, to discourage us from engaging in our democracy. I refuse to give in, and will continue to hold that social justice “promotes the general welfare,” equity and equality of opportunity makes us “a more perfect union,” and understanding one another helps “insure domestic tranquility.” The values of the Preamble are my values too.
Dr. Thomas J. Williford
— Dr. Thomas Williford is a professor of history at Southwest Minnesota State University