Letter: Mazzuca’s misunderstanding
It does not appear from his column in the June 7 edition of the Vail Daily that Butch Mazzuca has actually read much into Critical Race Theory, or if he has, he has greatly misunderstood it. His examples of CRT’s supposed flaws are slippery-slope, theoretical examples of individual bias. CRT’s focus is on policy. As Ibram X. Kendi says, “If a policy is leading to racial injustice, it doesn’t really matter if the policymaker intended for that policy to lead to racial injustice.” CRT is not about teaching white children to feel guilty, it is about teaching history in a way that is honest about how certain groups have been disenfranchised by many of our modern systems from their inception.
Mazzuca and those who espouse similar ideas seem bent on rejecting the notion that the past has any effect on the present. He seems to believe that the Founding Fathers viewed Black people as equals (“(they) are inferior to the whites in the endowments of both body and mind.” — Thomas Jefferson) and that abolition and the Civil Rights movement solved all of our racial problems. He suggests that systemic racism does not exist and is not the root cause of racial inequality. This implies then that the cause of modern inequality between racial groups must be cultural or genetic, a dangerous belief that has been proven false time and time again and is the very root of white supremacist ideology.
CRT is not about blame or guilt or personal feelings, it is about pushing all of us to confront and acknowledge the very real inequity that has been built into our society since its founding. The sooner we stop making these conversations about “Me” and whether people think “I” am racist, the sooner we can actually begin to grapple with our past and better our future.