To the Editor:
As a member of Milton for Peace, which was founded in 2003, I’d like to make clear that Milton for Peace has no connection of any kind with the organization Milton PEACE (Parents for Excellence in Academics and Child Equality), recently announced in an opinion letter in the Milton Times.
That opinion letter, one of a string of similar recent letters to the editor, seems clearly to me to be a part of a nation-wide, right-wing campaign to make public education the battle field for the reclamation of white privilege and dominance, a dominance felt by many to be losing ground.
We could call this campaign the “War on CRT” (Critical Race Theory), but at least formally, Critical Race Theory isn’t taught in K-12 public schools, any more than particle physics. CRT is taught in law schools.
CRT is being made into a code word – like “test scores” and “urban crime,” terms that evoke discomfort without explicitly naming the uncomfortable thing.
To quote Christopher Rufo of the Manhattan Institute (a right-wing think tank), "The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think 'critical race theory.’ We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans."
So when you hear or read someone (who isn’t an historian or legal scholar, that is) using the term “critical race theory” you should understand that an attempt is being made to manipulate you and not make a reasoned argument.
Add to this brew “neo-Marxist”, “woke”, DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion), and we see how our Milton writers are building the case that Christopher Rufo is talking about.
Don’t be surprised if this letter writing morphs into candidacies for the Milton School Committee.
It’s happening all over the country on the local and legislative level: a movement wanting to ban books, silence honest reckonings with history, and take education back to patriotic indoctrination.
Behind it all is some people's feeling that a longstanding, profitable, and comforting dominance is slipping out of their hands.
I’ll close with another quote: “When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”