Editor’s note: A previous version of this letter had an incorrect date for the enactment of Indiana’s constitution. It was enacted in 1851.
Criticism of critical race theory is indoctrination! Denying America’s history of racism is indoctrination.
Consider: Benjamin Franklin in 1751 preferred only English-speaking whites from England emigrate to Pennsylvania. No Germans. No Italians, etc. Timothy Pickering coined the terms “negro president” and “negro congress” because the Constitution’s three-fifths clause gave Jefferson’s South a representation advantage in electors and Congress. Twelve of the first 18 presidents were slave owners.
In the 1830’s Alex DeTocqueville wrote: “The prejudice of race appears to be stronger in the states that abolished slavery than in those where it still exists.” Indiana’s 1851 Constitution Article 13 stated: “No negro or mulatto shall come into or settle in the state.”
In 1858, Abraham Lincoln said: “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 white and Black races … and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”
In his book, “The Strange Career of Jim Crow,” C. Vann Woodward observed: “The South’s adoption of extreme racism was due not so much to a conversion as it was to a relaxation of the opposition.” Now is not the time to relax the opposition to increased racism in America since 2016. We must talk about it, including in our schools. Education is indoctrination! Racism is central to our history. Racism is learned. We must unlearn it.
Bruce Braden, Carmel