To the Editors:
I am deeply distressed by the loss to our school and students of Dr. Rydell Harrison. That he was hounded, even persecuted, is apparent. The flurry of fliers and letters full of righteous indignation over DEI efforts are astounding given centuries of evidence.
Who can honestly deny white privilege? Anyone who doubts that systemic racism exists in the U.S. and has hindered Black opportunity and advancement has cocooned themselves from history and current events.
Beyond the obvious stain of slavery and its role in building the foundations of America’s economy, in my ignorance, I did not know about redlining or the Tulsa Massacre until recently. I did not know that the provisions of the G.I Bill that awarded mortgages, tuitions, and jobs to white soldiers returning from WW II were denied the brave Black soldiers who sacrificed just as much.
I did not realize that voter suppression could be sanctioned so overtly and legally. How do the signers of the July 25 letter view these rank injustices?
Education is not just English, math, and science. It is critical thinking, teamwork, exposure, expansion, and problem solving. If anything, those are the skills most required in today’s world, and it would be an insult and hindrance to our students to deny them the debate and exploration of challenging issues.
If the “traditional academic excellence” sought by the letter’s signers means education with blinders, then it is no education at all. Those blinders have morally crippled our country since the start and prevented us from realizing the aspirations of the Founders to “liberty and justice for all.”