There have been a multitude of discussions and adopted resolutions lately from elected officials regarding the teaching of race in America and people’s concerns over Critical Race Theory. As confusing as these discussions may be, there is nothing remotely racially critical in Frederick County Public School’s social studies or history curriculum.

Now let me be abundantly clear, I am not trying to bring Critical Race Theory into our K-12 curriculum, nor do I know anyone else that is attempting to do so. We’re manufacturing outrage over a problem that isn’t present and around an area of study that most of us don’t even truly understand.

If we are all honest with ourselves, America is a country with an undoubtedly proven history of racism. From the Trail of Tears, the Naturalization Act of 1790, Turner’s Rebellion, the New Orleans Massacre, the Tulsa Massacre, Japanese internment camps, Redlining, and so many more, the direct and indirect acts of racism are evident. Because of these events, traces of discrimination are still present today when evaluating the discrepancies in economic security, healthcare, educational access, and more. Do I expect anyone reading this to feel ashamed for these events? Absolutely not. I do not want anyone, including our children, to feel bad for things they didn’t do.

These are uncomfortable topics to reconcile with — even for people in those targeted groups. But to have us get swept up in a debate about whether our county is or is not racist misses the point altogether. That debate makes us focus on our pride and desire for exceptionalism instead of identifying how we can acknowledge our country’s past, evaluate where we are today, and work together to move forward into a better tomorrow. Ironically, getting caught up in that racial debate affirms the type of political indoctrination it seeks to resist.

By refusing to confront the truth of our past and rejecting only those items of which we are scared to teach our children, we end up teaching our children to only look through one lens when evaluating issues, to falsify their past, and that it is okay to live in your own reality. We are also limiting our students in reaching their true potential by not allowing them to think critically and evaluate complex, intersectional issues.

But we can do better Frederick County. We can look to our past, identify our current state of affairs, and collectively develop plans on how we can achieve that ultimate goal of equality. Let us focus our time acknowledging our past to learn from previous generations’ mistakes instead of trying to censor our history. That is how we grow together.

Just a quick reminder, early voting starts Friday, Sept. 17. Make sure your voice is heard.

Eric Reifinger is a candidate for the Shawnee District seat on the Frederick County School Board. 

(19) comments

dmjc

Coherent and well said. Thank you.

Blackhorsegirl

Hysteria, misinformation, and outright lies over nothing. Sounds like the Republicans.

Old Western Man

CRT may not be an official part of the curriculum, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t being taught. I know firsthand that it is.

The only dishonesty with regards to history, is the teaching that racism and slavery are somehow unique to America or Western Civilization. Literally nobody is suggesting that students not learn of the various events in history, but such instruction is only of value when weighed against the context of the time in which it occurred. Measured against the values of today is just slandering the past. As to any residual systemic racism against historically discriminated groups, it doesn’t exist and their are scores if not hundreds of federal/state laws to demonstrate. By refusing to acknowledge the incredible strides the nation has made on the hard work and sacrifice of remarkable (yet imperfect) Americans, we debase the titanic struggles of our ancestors.

The American experience summed up in one word is “Liberty”. It is the singular objective of both the Founders and Framers and of the American experience. “Equality” is a false god, and offers no guarantee of Liberty. It is the objective of the socialist/marxist models, and such equality of human misery is prevalent all over the world. The Declaration’s phrase “all men are created equal” is not a guarantee or even desire for equal material outcome. It is a phrase that dovetails with our inalienable rights, and reflects our creation in God’s image and the natural rights bestowed upon us. Perfectly conceived if not perfectly executed. The Founders recognized the problems with the European and African slave system they inherited from the century and a half of British rule, and they did what they could in the time in which they lived. Liberty was their objective, and Thank God for it.

As a clear endorser of hyper-bigoted doctrine of CRT you have demonstrated an unfitness to hold any position of authority, particularly anything to do with children and/or education.

hagansan

Oh Please. Like a pouting, resentful adolescent the Old Man insults an introspective and remarkable Forum. Reifinger should be commended for his insight and clarity; instead we get surly, malignant slander and a poorly executed semantic counterpoint. Our spittle-flinging Lizard Prince radicals again play the founding father necromancer flouting their own hyper-bigoted doctrine in an assault on our Mother Tongue, as Inigo Montoya would say “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Thanks, Mr. Reifinger, and Good Luck in the election.

Spock Here

So you would teach that slavery was an inherited mess from the British?

Blackhorsegirl

Actually, Mr. Spock, British aristocracy used slaves heavily in their Caribbean sugar plantations. Anti slavery advocates took at least 14 years worth of fight and a little political slight of hand for slavery to be outlawed in Great Britain.

FYI, see if you can find the movie “Amazing Grace” which portrayed that anti slavery fight. Excellent story.

lebkuchen

A convenient "mess," to be sure. Slaves built the mansions here in VA as well as our federal govt buildings. Slaves worked our fields and created a milling industry that promoted international trade, making their masters rich. But hey, that's just the way it was. Americans inherited the British untidiness so can't possibly be held responsible for enslaving peoples from other countries. I think that is supported somewhere in the Bible, right?

TheOneAndOnlyNuri

You know first hand that CRT is being taught? Show us.

lebkuchen

Yeah, I'm curious, too. Teachers have a curriculum to follow.

Blackhorsegirl

Yes, liberty was their objective: liberty for land owning white males. Obviously, God did not grant favor to poor white males, any person of color, or women.

Old Western Man

[rolleyes] yet today they are all enfranchised. Weird.

lebkuchen

Huh?

lebkuchen

At least men allowed women to vote in the 20th Century. How about that? ;)

Doc Samson

" Literally nobody is suggesting that students not learn of the various events in history, but such instruction is only of value when weighed against the context of the time in which it occurred."

As we can see by the Prog-Left responses, that simply isn't good enough. They are only happy when kids are taught that America sux. How sad that this mentality has been allowed to get this far and that this is even a "debate"... [rolleyes]

lebkuchen

Are you opposed to slavery? Do you even agree that the US had a slave institution that drove US' agriculture and manufacturing to handsome profits (not "profit-sharing" mind you) worldwide? Good or bad? What is it that you don't want taught?

lebkuchen

god again. boy, am I sick of that.

Spock Here

Thank you! German schools teach about the Holocaust and those kids are ok.

lebkuchen

German children visit a concentration camp at some time during their education.

Jonboy3000

Thank you for bringing sanity to this issue. As you mentioned, no one wants our students to have a self loathing over things that they didn’t do. We learn from our history and it helps us to become a better nation for all of our citizens. We acknowledge both the good and the bad and recommit ourselves to do better. That’s the only way to move forward.

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