Letters to the Editor: I was a teacher in the 1960s. My white colleagues berated nonwhite students

Two people embrace side by side while looking at a memorial
Mourners place flowers at a makeshift memorial to the Tops Friendly Market victims in Buffalo on May 18. The alleged mass killer has expressed agreement with a racist conspiracy theory.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: In his latest hard-hitting column on the racist “great replacement theory,” Gustavo Arellano mentions a junior high science teacher in Anaheim who told his primarily Latino class that they didn’t compare to his white students in the 1970s.

In the spring of 1968, I was a teacher in training at a public high school in Hartford, Conn. I was shocked my first day in the teacher’s lunch room as I overheard the older white teachers berating the intellectual capacity of their mostly Black and Puerto Rican students. The teachers were comparing their minority students to the white students who had formerly populated the school.

I disagreed with their analysis of the students’ learning abilities. I found the students to be sharp, analytical, curious and hungry for knowledge.


It was my introduction, as a 21-year-old, to blatant racism within the American school system.

Bob Lentz, Sylmar


To the editor: For all the folks who believe in replacement theory, consider this: Unless you are 100% Native American, someone in your family came to the U.S. as an immigrant or refugee.

Get a grip, people. This is the story of the United States.

My maternal great-grandparents came from Ireland and Germany. These groups were discriminated against when they arrived. We don’t need to continue that practice.

Cathy Gregory, Lompoc