Letter: Learned much as part of debate team at OHHS

Editor,

Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Oak Harbor High School had a debate team, I learned all about critical race theory and queer theory and radical feminist critiques of military patriarchy — right here in Oak Harbor. We brought trophies home for arguing about those topics and the education has served me extremely well in life.

I’m Black and I wasn’t diagnosed with autism until my 30s. It turns out that critical theory is about precisely the unspoken social norms that angry white man letter writers like Michael Bradley would lie to my face about.

I’m all in favor of teaching accurate American history, which is that it’s racist. Quoting James Baldwin, “It is the innocence which constitutes the crime.”

My dad, who was Black, joined the Army to escape sharecropping in Mississippi. He was stationed in Germany, where he met my mom, whose family suffered at the hands of Nazis. I heard all of the stories throughout my childhood.

I don’t know anything about this “childhood innocence” that Bradley writes of, except I’ve heard it’s a bunch of lies white people raise their kids with, much to my inconvenience dealing with them as ignorant adults.

Nothing has made me support socialism like growing up with military benefits and then getting full-ride “diversity” scholarships based on success debating about critical theory. If it worked for me, it would work for everyone else too.

Sharing is caring, as illustrated by American heroes like the Black Panthers, murdered by the FBI for their consciousness-raising free food programs, among other things.

It’s amazing that I got a good education in this town, moved away and came back. The debate team is gone, and now people like my coaches are being written about like lynching targets in the local letters section.

Michael King

Oak Harbor

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