Reader rebukes ‘hyperbole’ in previous letter to the editor


To the editor:

Every so often I feel the urge to rebut letters to the editor that engage in hyperbole. This rebuttal is in regard to Joe Spezia Sr.’s letter that “heeds a warning” to parents about critical race theory in Lindbergh schools.

 First, white teachers are not telling white students that if they are white they are racist. Second, I am not sure what talent has to do with race and how the “world of realism” does not include racism.

Third, understanding that the American political and social system was formulated by whites for whites does not mean that all contemporary whites are personally racist, it simply means that the United States system was not originally designed for Indigenous and Black people, or other persons of color. No need to take my word for it, it is well documented by the most important political leaders themselves. Lincoln, indeed a great president and thinker stated his views on race in Charleston, Illinois in 1858:

“I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the black and white races — that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any of other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

The words of Lincoln embody the majority of white thought in the North in 1865 and in 1965. The fact is that we as whites have been indoctrinated to believe that the United States solved the issue of racism after the Civil War, or that we solved it in days before I was born in 1965 with the passage of the Civil Rights Act.

 Case in point, intermarriage between Black people and white people was illegal until 1967 in Missouri. Fourth, as a white male I do not feel ashamed that I am white because none of us can change our skin tone. Acknowledging the truth about race as a system in the U.S. does not indict me or any other white on a personal level. What would indict me as a white would be to deny that racism was and is an integral part of United States history and society.

Last, your words, “Dummying down one race is not going to lift another…” is quite telling in that it seems to imply that the “races” are not on equal levels and that one “race” is smarter than the other. Critical thinking never hurts anyone, and in fact, it helps us to gain an understanding of the forces that have shaped American society.

Dan Davinroy