Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Letter off-base on Critical Race Theory

I understand that the Addy Indy has a (rightful) interest in printing letters from across the political spectrum in order to promote “responsible debate,” but I am genuinely unclear about what is “responsible” in the letter by Mr. Jackson on CRT (Critical Race Theory) that ran in the June 10 edition. The problem with Mr. Jackson’s letter is that it is wholly incorrect about literally everything he claims about CRT, starting with the first sentence, and continuing for every sentence thereafter. CRT is not known as “Courageous Conversation.” It is not “instructed by teachers.” Unless primary education has started teaching legal positivism and legal realism in the past two weeks, no complex legal theories are taught in public schools. It has nothing to do with “self-loathing.”

In fact, going through the letter, I found myself at a complete loss as to what Mr. Jackson was talking about. He made no reference to any CRT scholar. He made no description of any CRT text. He appears to have no knowledge of any of the actual claims in CRT, instead making bizarre statements, like: “According to CRT, all whites must atone for their racist beliefs” (CRT does not say this), “[CRT] forces one race into believing they are inherently racist” (CRT does not do this), and saying that CRT is “being taught to our students” (it definitely is not. There are maybe five or six classes in Middlebury College that talk about CRT, so there is zero chance it is appearing anywhere in the school system).

Returning to my first point, the issue with printing a letter like this in the interest of “responsible debate,” is that it’s impossible to have a “responsible” debate with an argument that is wholly ungrounded in reality. It is fine and completely expected that some people who are familiar with CRT will disagree with it. I am familiar with and teach many academic theories that I disagree with. I do not expect everyone to be a fan of CRT. However, at a minimum, people who think they are against a theory really should have some idea what it is they’re opposed to, rather than rotely repeating what sounds like talking points from the comment section of Parler.

Kemi Fuentes-George

East Middlebury

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