Thank you for including Marisa Iati’s review of Critical Race Theory and its critics on the opinion page online on May 30. The attacks come from the same types of public-relations firms that have denied health risks of smoking, denied climate change, and denied Joe Biden’s election. They take shadows of truth to cast doubt and confusion. The article cited a CRT critic: “We have successfully frozen their brand … and are steadily driving up negative perceptions.”
Already Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants to ban CRT from Alaska schools.
What is the critics’ brand? The status quo that maintains inordinate power for the wealthy and applies “divide and conquer” to keep white people better off than people of color because the wealthy believe racial conflict distracts from class conflict.
Why? CRT exposes the gap between the ideal of U.S. democracy and reality. CRT factually identifies the many laws that separate African Americans from whites, and set up obstacles to Black economic and social advancement.
These laws forbade marriage across races and allowed people to own humans with darker skin. They forbade Blacks to own land, to have more than menial jobs, to go to school with whites. Laws and regulations and customs prohibited Blacks from buying property in white neighborhoods (the words still exist in some Anchorage deeds). Such laws made it illegal for Blacks to be outside after dark or for Blacks to swim in public pools or beaches.
Nazi Germany sent scholars to the U.S. to study those laws in the 1930s and used what they learned to establish their own racist regime, stripping Jews of German citizenship and eventually attempting to exterminate them. (Native Americans didn’t get U.S. citizenship until the 1920s)
CRT writers, like “Caste” author Isabel Wilkerson, also expose painful truths like, “forced labor camps that were politely called plantations.”
Folks shouldn’t be distracted by the organized campaign to demonize CRT. CRT is about removing the legal obstacles to make the American dream equally accessible to all.
— Steven Aufrecht
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