I was unaware and appreciated the brief history provided by Ms. Gusman in her June 25 column of the length of time it took for Loudoun County schools to desegregate following Brown v. Board of Education. Appalling, but that was more than 50 years ago. She also opines that history textbooks used back in the 1970s contained “grievously false statements” related to slavery. Whether her opinion is accurate or relevant, that was 40 years ago.

From my experiences in today’s Loudoun County, this is an incredibly diverse and inclusive community with equal opportunity. Yet we now find ourselves divided by, among other things, the imposition of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in our publicly funded schools. Ms. Gusman claims to be a scholar of CRT and suggests that CRT has been mischaracterized and is essential to combating systemic racism. After all, as she states, “…racial oppression, discrimination and inequality…are rife within our nation’s institutions [emphasis added].” What discrimination? Which institutions? I have heard similar rhetoric increasingly over the past year but have yet to hear or see examples or statistics that support this position. But this is a classic method for dishonestly trying to advance an agenda – repeat unsubstantiated statements enough (that are politically incorrect to oppose) and eventually people take a knee. While I disagree with the notion that we live in a systemically racist society and that CRT has any place in improving race relations, my focus here is to counter the proposition that CRT is misunderstood by the parents of Loudoun County school-aged children.

From the parent speeches I have heard, there doesn’t appear to be any misunderstanding or mischaracterization of the application of CRT in our schools. Fortunately, our last child graduated from LCHS in 2020; however, for the hundreds of Loundoun County parents that have showed up at School Board meetings with examples of the divisive teachings that their children are receiving, I suspect that they are more concerned with the application of CRT in the schools than the academic, theoretical nuances of the theory. Proponents and opponents have diametric views of how CRT expands upon the seed of Critical Theory and Ms. Gusman offers no example of its criticality in addressing racism. But examine their origins — both are Marxist theories, the later having been developed by three acknowledged Marxist legal scholars in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Whether the political ideology of its founders defines the movement, it could be a starting point for personally judging the concepts and value of CRT and its application in schools, government, and business. Consider that included in his writings on social structure, Marx assumed that different races differed in ability and “civilization-potential.” That sounds fairly racist — how ironic. As far as an example of the application of CRT in LC schools, consider the March 2021 interaction between a high school student and teacher that went viral where the teacher berates the student for seeing the picture of two girls as…“two girls”, instead of a white girl and a black girl. The teacher eventually tells the student “…you can’t look at the people and not acknowledge that there are racial differences.” Apparently, the student could. Are we moving backwards to the 1950s? And it’s the attempted indoctrination of younger students that I find most concerning. While I wouldn’t have an issue with intellectually mature high school students being exposed to Marxist theories as a contrast to other forms of government, I do have a problem with elementary school age children being told that because of the color of their skin they, and their families, are either oppressive or oppressed. To what end is this beneficial? And what is the take-away for a child with mixed-race parents? I can’t help but believe that had CRT been covertly introduced when my children were in the LC schools, that the multi-ethnic outings, parties, sleep overs, etc. would have been, unfortunately, much whiter. CRT will diminish the quality of education in the County while reversing years of progress towards achieving some semblance of color blindness. Parents: monitor the curriculum if you haven’t; keep digging, keep challenging, and keep teaching – to paraphrase MLK – that it is the content of charter not the color of skin that defines a person.

Joseph Balac, Esq.

Leesburg

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