Disinformation and gaslighting seem to have worked very well in the November 2 election.
Take the Virginia governor’s race, where the Republican winner, Glenn Youngkin, vowed to ban critical race theory from K-12 education. That is sheer propaganda. I would have expected better from someone who made his fortune by being in lockstep with the real world.
By now, we should know that critical race theory is not taught in our elementary and secondary schools, and that when it is taught it is taught at the graduate school level, and then not to everyone.
Here is the working definition from Education Week: “Critical Race Theory is an academic concept that is more than 40 years old. The core idea is that race is a social construct, and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.”
For example, critical race theory might help explain why returning World War II Black soldiers were denied housing benefits contained in the GI Bill.
As someone who has long read about race and race relations, I have navigated my way through some horrible history that paints a picture of continuous unjust treatment directed toward African Americans, sometimes interrupted by long overdue attempts at fairness. To our benefit, enlightened Americans of all stripes have injected enough equity into the body politic to fortify my hope, paraphrased by Martin Luther King Jr. and quoted frequently by Barack Obama, that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
I believe that the frequently flamed fire of distrust is quenchable by people of good will committed to the notion that American society is not built on “I win, you lose” zero-sum thinking. We should not lose sight of the aspirational idea that America is a melting pot where everyone can succeed.
It is a curriculum requirement for German students to learn about the Holocaust. In addition to learning about the Holocaust, students visit concentration camps and/or Holocaust memorials or museums. Imagine how painful that must be.
There are few countries that can look back and claim no dark periods in their history. The best we can do is teach wisely and maturely and recognize that our best days lie ahead if only we chose to move forward with mutual respect.
Mr. Anthony is a former chairman of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee — Ed.
One fine body…