A Well-Educated Populace?

Editors’ Note: Reposted from the Roanoke Times, June 26, 2021. Our formal education systems are largely responsible for the transmission of the values of our society. Fear of examining the evidence of those values is unproductive.

By John Kitterman

Letter to the Editor: It's Freind who is blind on matters of race | Opinion | delcotimes.comNow that I am retired, I discover I have been teaching critical race theory for the last 40 years without knowing it.

I think this is because as an undergrad at UVA it was just assumed that if you were smart enough to get in Mr. Jefferson’s University, you knew that American political, judicial, educational, and religious systems were riddled with racism, just as they were with prejudice against women, gays, and other groups, including Sally Hemings.

It was the 1960s. It wasn’t like institutional racism wasn’t visible; if anything, it was so visible many white Americans didn’t even see it. Like today.

UVA too had few women and Blacks because you can’t just legislate away racism, patriarchy, and homophobia. That’s what institutionalized means: Everything around and within you has always been the way it is. Black people like to sit together in the back of the bus, don’t they?

UVA too had few women and Blacks because you can’t just legislate away racism, patriarchy, and homophobia. That’s what institutionalized means: Everything around and within you has always been the way it is. Black people like to sit together in the back of the bus, don’t they?

However, I’m not as startled to find that CRT is popularly linked to Marxism, because if you don’t have good evidence or cogent arguments just trot out that old war horse and the cultural militias will erupt in gunfire.
But does anyone even read Marx anymore? I thought he went out of favor with postmodernism, like Freud with the cognitive scientists.

Not reading Marx (or Freud) is a pity though, because you can’t understand capitalism without its critique, and you certainly have no idea what you’re talking about if you don’t get why Marx was one of the most important thinkers of the modern era.

So why are parents in Franklin County, where I live, upset about CRT? According to the June 16 Roanoke Times, a majority of county residents, which I believe is nine people at the School Board meeting, want it out of the schools where apparently it never was anyway.
This means the board will have to pass on it and put it up for a vote as was done with the Confederate statue at the courthouse which means that Franklin County schools will have their own Republican history curriculum that reflects the values of 80% or so of residents.
Last winter it was BLM seizing small towns across Southwest Virginia as an excuse for militias; now it’s CRT as an excuse to “exceed the state guidelines and actually teach the true history,” according to one board member.
Well, what is the true history of America, and which School Board members will determine it? I would think professionally trained historians might be better, which is why I pay taxes to support public education because like the founders I agree that you can’t have a successful democracy without a well-educated citizenry.
Well, what is the true history of America, and which School Board members will determine it? I would think professionally trained historians might be better, which is why I pay taxes to support public education because like the founders I agree that you can’t have a successful democracy without a well-educated citizenry.

History means times change, because now almost everyone can vote if they have a valid photo ID and can get off work and get a ride to the polls before 7 p.m.

At our founding only white propertied males could vote. Students today should see the details left out of my elementary school Virginia history textbook with those drawings of happy slaves spending their day off fishing in the plantation creek.
As for creeping Marxism, this isn’t Czarist Russia. Reading William Bradford is helpful, with his explanation of why God’s chosen people, the Pilgrims, could not form a commune in 1623 Plymouth and divide their labor and profits collectively. He argued it was God’s will to make men want their own stuff.

Since Darwin, we call God’s will human nature. It may be human nature to be afraid of strangers with different skin color or  customs, and human nature for males to want to dominate females, as in the animal kingdom.

We should uproot institutionalized prejudice everywhere, for the defining component of a democracy is a well-educated population constantly critiquing the evidence of things not seen.

But human beings are human by nature of their difference from animals, and we live now in a global village where humans are no longer strangers. Isn’t that what our American revolution and the New Testament have in common?

 



Categories: EDUCATION, HIGHER EDUCATION, Issues, National, racial symbols, State

Tags: , , ,

%d bloggers like this: