History lesson needed

Dear Editor:

The author’s poorly constructed rant in “Payback for participation trophies” on July 22, which lumps together the banning of plastic bags, awarding of trophies, critical race theory and so-called left-wing parents and educators has inspired this response.

The slave laws of Massachusetts in 1641 and Virginia of 1661 paved the way for African “slavery” in the U.S. Indentured servitude was no longer profitable to the wealthy landowners, thus slavery became a more profitable and renewable source of free labor.

Comparing slavery with the practice of indentured servitude is erroneous and painful. Indentured servants voluntarily signed contracts agreeing to work for a person of means in the colonies for a set period of time (four to seven years) to pay back their debt of transport, lodging and freedom dues. Slavery, on the other hand, captured individuals and cruelly transported them across the ocean, where they were sold to landowners. There was no way out of slavery unless you happened to have a benevolent owner who freed you. Even free slaves were treated poorly and had few rights bestowed to them until 1865 with the Emancipation Proclamation.

“Critical race theory” has been around for over 40 years. It is not about calling individuals or groups of individuals “racists.” It is teaching how the historical patterns of racism are ingrained in laws and other aspects of our modern institutions and are the legacy of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow.

Slavery, segregation and Jim Crow are not theories or “false ideas” dreamed up by the so-called “left wing”. These were constructs created by wealthy, powerful “white” people who believed that people of color were subhuman. This is true and the repercussions of it are still a part of our society today.

How does it serve our society to keep the truth about slavery, segregation and Jim Crow from our kids? This is not a left wing/right wing issue as the author tries to conclude.

Using a lot of shallow, negative adjectives to describe any person interested in raising and educating today’s youth on American history fails to give the author’s points any validity.


Dan, Dee and June Rieber

Prospect Harbor

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