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The Critical Race Theory Letters

We have two letters, one from the Trump administration (Memo M-20-34) and a response from TCU professors and numerous scholars. In the letter from the Trump administration, I see exactly why we need training and more education. In this letter to the heads of executive departments and agencies, Russell Vought (Director) states employees “are required to attend training where they are told that ‘virtually all White people contribute to racism’ or where they are required to say that they ‘benefit from racism.’”  This statement is a clear example of white fragility; when it gets so uncomfortable hearing or conversing about racism, the person gets defensive and lashes out to deficit. Vought continues and comments, “we cannot accept our employees receiving training that seeks to undercut our core values as Americans and drive division within our workforce.” He calls to all departments to identify and eliminate “any training on ‘critical race theory,’ ‘white privilege’ or any propaganda efforts to teach or suggest that the United States is an inherently racist or evil country.” Critical Race Theory (CRT) training is not propaganda with steps of creating a hostile work environment. The memo’s comments make it obvious that neither the President nor his executives have attended one of the training or did not listen. I feel it ironic that the Memo M-20-34 is calling for an end to CRT training but is an example of why we need this training. As stated in the TCU letter, CRT is “committed to the historical documentation and naming of atrocities carried out in this country in the name of ‘freedom’ and ‘liberty.’” “We are clear that racial healing cannot occur absent the recognition of the historical and current struggle against all forms of structural oppression.” Like most nations, the United States was born with acts of violence and unequal treatment of vulnerable people. We must come to terms with this to prevent it from reoccurring. The TCU eloquently sums up my feelings. “We are disturbed that the Office of the President would denounce a well-vetted, rigorous, and theoretically sound framework that thousands of scholars have utilized for the last 40 years to understand how race shapes every imaginable societal system.”  Ignoring the past will do nothing for the future will set our progress backward and cause further division. The teaching and training of CRT will keep our great nation on the path to true equality. As George Santayana, a philosopher, stated, “those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.”


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