Letter:  Petition to Ban Teaching Critical Race Theory

• Topics: Whatcom County,

Recently, several of my neighbors signed a petition to the Meridian School Board trying to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory in our schools. I urge the school board and anyone else that receives the petition to do the right thing and chuck it straight into the recycling bin.

 This tempest in a teapot is just the latest in a series of freak outs at the prospect that our children might learn some history and be a little kinder and more understanding towards the people around them. We cannot let this censorship effort go unanswered. Our kids have to learn about history - especially here in Washington State.

If you drive out to Yakima, you can see the concentration camps where our country imprisoned Americans with Japanese ancestry, a generation or two after we did the same thing to local tribes.

 A hundred years ago, armed mobs chased every Sikh resident from Whatcom County. Twenty years later, the largest KKK rally ever recorded in the Pacific Northwest was held at the Lynden fairgrounds. The KKK had a regular float in the Ski-to-Sea parade until the mid-30s.

 In Fairhaven, there were laws on the books that you couldn't own a house in south Bellingham unless you were white - until 1957!

 The racist actions of Ferndale Schools employees against Lummi children are actually part of the public record of the landmark Boldt decision in the 70s which secured fishing rights for our local tribes.

 All of these things are documented history and by learning about them, how they came to be and why, our children can prevent them from happening in the future.

 I don't think that's scary - I think that's reassuring. The better we understand the path that leads us to today, the brighter course we can chart for all of us. Learning our local history shouldn't be a terrifying experience but rather a noble cause of uncovering the truth.

Again, I urge the Meridian School Board to ignore the panicked voices of today and continue to support teaching our kids about the world around them, no matter how it makes some people uncomfortable. 

Riley and Bryna Sweeney, East Pole Road

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Citizen Journalist • Member since Oct 12, 2020

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