I don’t understand why you give space to Michael Bradley’s rants and threats about critical race theory, or CRT. If anything, his letter should be taught in social studies classes as a real-world, local example of racist misinformation.
His summary of CRT is remarkable. He wrote, “Critical race theory in schools seeks, under the pretense of ‘education,’ to indoctrinate children with the view that America is racist, that racism is systemic, that one is either an oppressor or a victim, that there is such a thing as white privilege and that anyone who doesn’t support critical race theory is a racist … These are all harmful to children. They’re false and dysfunctional doctrines that promote racism, a victim mentality, hatred for being an American and shame for having white skin.”
A good teacher would point out the following, and more:
First, systemic racism is an obvious fact, and Mr. Bradley is clearly concerned that it should be stronger.
White people can ask themselves if they’d rather be black, and the answer is obviously “no.”
That’s what privilege is. Denying it is just a way of lying, which sets a poor example for children.
Bradley wants to burn books because he’s afraid that children might want to change society after learning how it really got here.
For anyone interested in the truth, the book “When Affirmative Action Was White,” would be a good place to start.
Second, “intersectionality” is a basic concept of CRT. Identity is multi-layered for everyone. I have certain privileges as an upper middle class male, so I have the potential to be oppressive.
Being autistic and black has made my life suck in other ways. It’s complicated. CRT is also concerned with how members of oppressed groups might “internalize” racism and perpetuate it themselves, e.g., colorism.
In other words, it’s the opposite of what Bradley says it is.
Bradley is the one dividing people into “Americans” and “domestic enemies.” CRT starts from the premise that heroes and villains is too simplistic.
Bradley is wrong on basic facts. It’s not that every critic of CRT is racist, but you have to wonder why he cares so much when he can’t explain what it is.
Third, consider what Huey Newton said about white guilt: “The Black Panther Party is in the vanguard of the revolution that seeks to relieve this country of its crushing burden of guilt. We are determined to establish true equality and the means of creative work.”
Bradley is basically saying that he doesn’t know how to feel good about himself as a white American male while also knowing basic facts of American history.
Bradley thinks we don’t know the great secret of white people: it feels good to be white and think you’re better than other people.
Black people already know this, and we’ve been patiently waiting for white people to be honest for years.
For anyone struggling with white guilt, I recommend the book “Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History.” If the DeWolfs can solve their identity problems, I’m sure Mr. Bradley could do the same. Teenagers manage all the time.
It would definitely be good for our children if they knew enough to see through Bradley’s letter. A democracy needs informed citizens with critical thinking skills. We all want that for our children, right? We wouldn’t want them to be vulnerable to demagogues.