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Letter: Why limit what teachers say about racism?

Letter: Why limit what teachers say about racism?


In his opinion piece “Whither patriotism in coming generations? Can it survive? Should it?” (Oct. 28), John Long says that some educators “seem to consider the U.S. an irredeemable regime of oppression,” and “it’s from such extremist views that so many parents want to insulate their children.”

It’s my sense that Mr. Long is attacking a straw man.

The vast majority of teachers are conscientious imparters of knowledge, undeserving of the criticism being leveled at their profession.

I also think Mr. Long gives the protesting parents too much credit for sharing his nuanced view “that the United States of America is an imperfect nation ... but has made and is making progress toward the horizon of goodness.”

Teachers have received death threats, and some have resigned out of fear, because they acknowledged the history and persistence of racism.

Mr. Long hearkens back to his “school days long, long ago” when “general support of America was built into the curriculum.” I hearken back to those same school days. We said the pledge of allegiance at assemblies, and learned nothing at all about the Black people in our community segregated from us and deprived of their basic rights as citizens, or about their courageous efforts to claim those rights.

And why was that? For the same reason, I think, that angry parents and their political allies now seek to limit what teachers can say about racism, so that injustice can be ignored and the status quo maintained.

H. Scott Butler,



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