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CRT 101

To the editor:

Those who promote the ideas of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in our community often find it difficult to understand why anyone would oppose it. They view it as “the Truth” about racial issues, and they wonder why anyone would be against teaching the truth. I am hoping this letter might help them to begin to see why so many are so vehemently against it.

The starting point of all Critical Race studies is inequality. Any educated adult knows that there are many inequalities between the races in our country. On average, persons of color (particularly blacks) are not as wealthy as whites. Proportionately speaking, blacks make up a greater percentage of the prison population than whites. They also are less likely to own their own home or have a college degree. On average.

The proponents of CRT claim that they have performed careful and honest research on these inequalities. They tell us they have examined all of the possible social and cultural causes of inequality between the races in America, and they are positive that they have identified the root cause of it all: racism. Racism, they tell us, is the reason why these inequities exist.

And now that they themselves are convinced of this, they seem to have decided that the question should be settled for everyone. In their minds, the debate is over, and we should all simply accept their studies as “the Truth”, welcome the teaching of CRT into our schools, and work with them to establish “justice” in our society.

But those of us on the other side say, Wait a minute. Not so fast. To say that the institutions in our society are basically racist – that’s a serious charge. To say that we need to radically change the institutions that have served our country well for so long – that’s something you don’t just do at the drop of a hat.

We need to examine these CRT studies very carefully. Are they honest, or were they designed to arrive at a predetermined conclusion? Did they honestly consider other possible reasons why blacks have not been as successful as whites in our society? Did they consider differences in the value systems of black culture versus white culture? Did they place any weight on the importance of individual choices and decisions?

The fact that inequalities exist is not, in itself, evidence of racism. CRT is not proven fact. It is a theory, which in my view does not adequately answer the question of inequality between races in America.

Michael Thom

New Ulm

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