Monday, June 05, 2023

Letters to the editor March 28

| March 28, 2023 12:00 AM

Racial divide

Conservative complaints about the teaching of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in schools as early as elementary school has fallen on the deaf ears of woke liberal activists. Rather than eliminating this garbage that teaches all whites are guilty oppressors and all blacks are oppressed, it is still alive and well, only forced underground in conservative jurisdictions.

In my 76 years, I have never seen a greater racial divide than we currently have. Is it dangerous? Ask two white students at a Springfield, Ohio elementary school who were dragged across a playground and assaulted by a group of black students until they uttered the mantra, "Black Lives Matter." Although the incident was captured on video in early February, the school district has done nothing and the police are supposedly "investigating the incident."

Much of this black on white racial hatred is sparked by woke white middle- and upper-class liberals who are desperately seeking their cause celebre. A case in point is the reparations package being pushed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (comprised predominantly of white men and women) which includes: $5 million per person, $97,000 a year for 250 years and the right to purchase any house for $1. And, of course, no discussion of how to pay for it. The city, which never had or condoned slavery, as of 2019 had a black population of 6%, a number sure to increase if this bonanza passes. And what proof of ancestral slavery will be required?

I fear the world my grandchildren will inherit if this country does not change course. Identity, be it race or gender, seems to have surpassed competency and accomplishment as goals for our latest generations. A robot takeover powered by artificial intelligence may be our only hope (smiley face).

— David Myerowitz, Columbia Falls

Soft censorship

On a recent trip to the library, I noticed two things. Although it was February, there was no display in honor of Black History Month. I know the trustees have expressed displeasure at displays celebrating our black friends and neighbors, and this was very disappointing. What other explanation can the public discern other than Black History is not valued in our community?

If the library is to be a safe space for everyone, everyone needs to have representation. I deeply hope that this will not occur again next year.

My second concern is the “parent resources” shelf. There, in the middle of the shelf, were two copies of "Not My Idea," a children’s book on racism, and "This Book is Anti Racist" by Tiffany Jewel. I was so embarrassed for our community. The two copies of the children’s book were the only children’s books on the shelf.

It made me think; shouldn’t we be consistent with this theme of protecting children from feeling bad about themselves? Along those lines, I checked out two copies of books for children that contained stories from the Bible. In these two books, I read about God saying things like: “From now on, the lives of humankind will be full of trouble and worry. Now that you have eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, your bodies will eventually die .... Adam and Eve shivered as the gates of Eden clanged shut behind them. Greed had taken them from a place of gentle breezes to a cruel world where the wind blew and the rain soaked their bodies.” (Children’s Bible Stories, Autumn Publishing, page 28)

“…But people were not good. They were violent and selfish. They stole and told lies. The sight saddened and disappointed God. “I am sorry I made them, God said. “I will drown the whole world and bring it to an end.” (Children’s Bible Stories from Genesis to Daniel, retold by Miriam Chaikin, p.16.)

We read on to discover that Noah and his family were saved, and were the only people left to repopulate the world, which could lead to troubling questions about incest. Other stories go on to tell about brothers plotting to murder their youngest brother, but throw him in a well instead with the plan to human traffick him to traders. We read about an angel sent by God to kill the eldest son of every family living in Egypt.

Should young children be subjected to stories that are so frightening and violent? Should they be taught from such a young age that they are evil, violent, greedy and selfish?

If one follows the reasoning put forth by the library board concerning "Not My Idea," a child in the children’s section could find these books, read them to themselves, and be traumatized with fear of violence, feelings of guilt and poor self-worth.

Am I advocating that these children’s books of Bible stories be removed from the library, and/or placed on the “Parents Resources” shelf? Absolutely not. I know there are parents who choose not to teach their children that God is violent and full of revenge. And some parents want their children to grow up in fear and reverence for God.

I am simply pointing out the hypocrisy of removing books that are anti-racist, while allowing books about God to remain on the shelves. All these books should be on the general shelves, not sequestered where parents will have a hard time locating them.

This is soft censorship, and the library trustees and the commissioners are in a very delicate position. Sequestering only some books makes it very clear what the agenda is here. Please remove the copies of Not My Idea from this sequestered shelf, or be prepared for the community to demand equity in these types of decisions.

— Valeri McGarvey, Kalispell

Recent Headlines