Letters to the Editor: Bring critical race theory from the coasts to flyover country

White children hold up signs reading "I Am Not an Oppressor" among other protesters.
People opposed to critical race theory in schools protest at the Loudoun County Government center in Leesburg, Va., on June 12.
(AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Columnist Jonah Goldberg draws on personal experience in claiming critical race theory is an unnecessary shot across the bow in a culture war with conservatives. He comes from a privileged background and discovers when searching for a place for his daughter among Washington’s elite private schools that teaching about racism has long been part of their curricula.

Could it be that the same curricula may not be taught in rural Alabama, Texas or Idaho? It is preposterous to think that personal experience such as his is in any way reflective of what is taught in most conservative school systems.

As for culture wars, Goldberg is right that critical race theory is red meat for the Republican base.


Greg Fancon, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: Goldberg makes a great point that schools already teach about racism.

I attended a local public school from 1988-92. In our junior and senior English classes we spent several months reading books by Black authors and studying the African American experience. We were immersed in the topics of slavery, racism and civil rights. We studied not only Martin Luther King Jr., but also Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

While our teachers were mostly white, they did not hold back on the reality and consequences of Jim Crow and the truth about slavery and the Civil War. It was all profoundly eye-opening to me, and the lessons continue to resonate powerfully today.

I can truly attest that we were not at all given a “Gone With the Wind”-style education.

Heidi Spilman, Rancho Cucamonga


To the editor: In downplaying the need to teach critical race theory, Goldberg seems oblivious to flyover states bent on whitewashing history.

He should read the 2018 op-ed article in the L.A. Times written by author of “Hanging Bridge,” a book that recounts the last century’s notorious racial lynchings conducted from an still-extant bridge outside a small Mississippi town. No memorial to the victims has been erected, and no easy access to the lynching site exists.


When asked about the hanging bridge’s inaccessibility, a local resident told the book’s author Jason Morgan Ward, “People don’t need to see that.” Yet those lynching victims are buried in unmarked graves on which an imposing Confederate monument casts its shadow.

Goldberg should spare us his take on the folly of teaching critical race theory until memorials to thousands of lynching victims have been erected and prominent Confederate monuments have been removed.

Sandra Perez, Santa Maria