Tom Waddell: The True Story of America Prepares People for a Complex World

“It is high time America got rid of the left-wing myth of systemic racism,” former Vice President Mike Pence said during a 2020 presidential campaign shutdown in New Hampshire. Pence believes the ineffective racial equality measures the nation has attempted mean the mission is done!

The truth is, it’s high time America got rid of the right-wing myth of American exceptionalism. This myth was deliberately created by rewriting American history to fit the narrative of an egalitarian America. Historical fabrications include that Christopher Columbus discovered America, the Puritans came to America for religious freedom, and robust individualism allowed the pioneers to move west and settle in the country. How do you find out about land already owned and occupied? How is forcing everyone to obey their beliefs religious freedom? How does the Christian concept of Manifest Destiny give whites the right to steal land from Native Americans?

Critical Race Theory advocates helping young people understand America’s real history, however contradictory and convoluted it may be, to prepare them for success in a complex world. Who wouldn’t want students to know America’s messy and complicated history instead of teaching them a whitewashed version that prepares them for anything? As Chris Myers Asch, professor of history at Colby, put it in a recent column, “Young Mainers (will enter) adulthood unprepared for life in a multiracial society if they do not know the language. history of the country on the race. “

Looking at American history through the prism of blacks, we see Jim Crow, then and now, and systemic racism, reinforced by law, throughout our culture. The CRT is not about blaming whites for being oppressors; it’s about teaching our young people the truth that will set them free to better rebuild America and create racial equality.

But those who oppose the CRT are not just seeking to suppress America’s racist history; their ardent desire is to preserve a conservative view of America that a majority of people no longer support.

In addition, the Conservatives know they must increase turnout in the 2022 and 2024 elections to defend this point of view. So, because social issues drive participation, the Conservatives shifted their priorities from a small government, limited spending and low taxes to oppose CRT, stop abortion, limit immigration, uncover fraud. electoral campaign and make Christianity the de facto national religion; all the social issues that strike voters at a visceral and politically motivating level.

Jessica Anderson, executive director of the conservative Heritage Action for America, believes the Conservatives have moved on to influence the Red States because they know they have no chance of advancing their fundamentalist agenda at the national level. Many conservative states have passed laws that severely limit abortions, deny transgender people their human rights, prevent CRT education, promote Christian privilege, and deny liberals and people of color the right to vote.

Most conservatives believe Christianity is under attack by progressive elites who promote same-sex marriage, transgender identity, voter access, abortion, and CRT education. However, they also believe that the Conservatives represent the real America, and that they should be the ones with the power to stop the Liberals from turning America into something they wouldn’t recognize.

The Conservatives know they are fighting a losing battle. More than half of those who grow old enough to vote each year in many southern states are people of color. To keep the Tories in power for the next 10 years, or at least to delay the day when this emerging liberal coalition can make America what it claims to be, the Tories will thus gerrymand the congressional districts, even if the liberals and people of color manage to work. around voter suppression laws, their vote will not change the balance of power.

Now is the time to create a society where, to paraphrase Martin Luther King Jr., people will not be judged on the color of their skin but on the content of their character. To get there, we need to make sure everyone’s vote counts by ending voter suppression, gerrymandering, voter ID cards and the Electoral College. We must also stop honoring those who fought for slavery by removing monuments to those who supported slavery.

We must end the practice of police conducting roadside checks for the crime of driving in black and, if arrested, create police procedures that ensure the black driver does not need to stay in. life its top priority. We also need to end a criminal justice system that warns white offenders but incarcerates blacks.

Teaching critical race theory will help America become the nation it claims to be in the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution.

Tom Waddell is president of the Maine chapter of the Freedom from Religion Foundation. He accepts comments at [email protected] or ffffmaine.org.


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