Fear-based politics are dangerous and divisive

| 09 Aug 2021 | 04:02

    In the recent front-page article in The Warwick Advertiser, Critical Race Theory ‘rewrites history...and provides false narrative on our most impressionable youth’, Assemblyman Colin Schmitt makes some serious allegations about the education of our children and accuses our teachers of “indoctrinating” our children to think that they are to blame for the ill effects of racism in our culture.

    He makes these claims without any evidence or facts to back him up. His statements are even more egregious since he does not represent the Town of Warwick.

    The truth is Critical Race Theory is not being taught in our schools and tragically, Mr. Schmitt is engaging in fear-based scapegoating while using our children as political pawns to further his agenda.

    He is not alone. All across the country Republican legislators in predominantly red states are passing laws to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory and even going so far as to mandate that teachers be fined and, in some cases, lose their jobs if they discuss uncomfortable truths about the racist history of this country.

    Is this the party of personal freedom, independence and minimal government interference?

    Not if the state is dictating what is appropriate to teach our children and making it harder for educators to do their job.

    How easily Republicans are turning their backs on their principles in the name of political expediency.

    Critical Race Theory is an “academic concept with the core idea that race is a social construct and that racism is not merely the product on individual bias or prejudice, but something embedded in our legal systems and policies.”

    It has been existence for over 40 years and I find it curious that only now, Republicans are using it disingenuously as an issue to divide our citizens.

    Who wins in this scenario?

    Not our children or our communities.

    We live in a time when disinformation and misinformation abound. From health concerns related to the pandemic to these sorts of cultural issues, it is becoming more difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction.

    It requires critical thinking.

    We need facts and the truth, not opinions from politicians who stand to gain from our lack of knowledge.

    Mr. Schmitt is hoping that the fear he and others are generating will cloud our ability to make informed decisions and come together to tackle important issues.

    Let’s not let that happen.

    Patty Cook