Great stuff by the brilliant Susan Mariner (among many other things, a star in the “Draft James Webb” movement – as highlighted in Netroots Rising – and formerly the Democratic National Committee’s Hampton Roads Political Director)
My email to Governor Youngkin’s “tip line” where we’re supposed to report on teachers who are teaching Critical Race Theory and using “divisive practices”:
I attended public school in Chesterfield County from 4th grade up through high school graduation. Because of the location and the time in Virginia’s history (1970’s and 80’s), I didn’t have a black teacher until high school. While at Monacan High School I had two black female teachers. I want to report that one of them, Mrs. Lewis – who taught me Algebra II through Calculus – was the best teacher I had in all my years in Chesterfield Public Schools. She made me love math, and I adored her. Mrs. Thomas – who taught me French – was also among the most talented teachers I ever had, and I continue to study French from time to time even now partly because of how inspiring Mrs. Thomas was to me.
I can’t help but think of these pioneering black teachers when I think of your public pretense that our public school teachers are teaching Critical Race Theory when you know it’s just not the case. It really is a slap in the face to these women, who had to be so much better at their jobs than their white counterparts because of institutional racism.
Don’t think that the majority of Virginians aren’t smart enough to understand that your aim in making CRT an issue is to gin up racial animus among voters. Personally, I had hoped Virginia might have evolved past having a governor who would do such things and am saddened to see the truth that we aren’t there yet.
Anyone who might have thought that institutional racism was simply a thing of the past would do well to note your present use of your position in government to stoke racial fears and tensions. Your campaign and conduct in office is proof that, sadly, institutional racism is alive and well in the Commonwealth.
And now you are asking for reports on teachers who are using divisive practices. Oh the irony. It’s clear who is using divisive practices, and it’s not Virginia’s teachers; it’s Virginia’s governor.
When I say my prayers over the next four years, I won’t forget to pray for strength for our teachers. I certainly hope that none of the great teachers of this generation are driven out of the profession in disgust over your cynical, hurtful ploy. On the bright side, if our talented public school teachers can hold on for four years, we’ll have a new, and hopefully much more ethical, governor.