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Critical Race Theory in context

To the editor:

In 25 states so far there has been some sort of legislative attempt to ban or limit the teaching of Critical Race Theory. Luckily Minnesota is not one of those states. In my opinion, it’s absolutely ridiculous and totally unacceptable to ban the teaching of a theory. That is something that I would expect in Communist China, but not in this country. I know of no other parallel during my lifetime of a theory being banned from being taught in America. Even if someone disagrees with the “theory”, which they are free to do, to take steps to prevent it from being taught can’t possibly be a good thing. To be fair, I have yet to see that being advocated for in New Ulm, but it is clear based on several recent letters to the editor that the theory rubs some people the wrong way, and it is also clear that some people don’t want it to be included in the new Social Studies Curriculum.

History is history. What happened happened. Racism was and still is very real. Personal choices and consequences are very real as well. The “theories” of the Nazis are still taught because the Holocaust is an important historical event that actually happened. It happened partially because the Nazis believed that Jewish people were inferior to “Aryan” people. If that doesn’t fit someone’s definition of “racism,” I’m not sure what will. Slavery actually happened in America, and between 1776 and now it happened for longer than it didn’t happen. These are indisputable facts. Preventing teachers from talking about racism or attempting to discipline them when they say true facts about history is not something that should happen in America. We can have open, honest conversations as a community. We can carefully, intelligently debate the specific points of any social theory, and I am willing to do that. Sometimes when we get bogged down in the details though, we start to lose the bigger picture.

Matt Mihlbauer

New Ulm

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