To the Editor: What’s the Solution?


As an American who has lived overseas for over 30 years and who only recently returned to the U.S., I read with interest the letters and articles surrounding the parents who are suing the Albemarle County School Board (Crozet Gazette, March 4).

I’m curious to know what is being proposed as a solution to what some see as a system that is inherently and systemically racist? What new system is being proposed? Who will lead this new system?

The answer may seem obvious, but I wonder how a curriculum that overtly teaches some students to see themselves as victims of oppression then expects those same students to turn around and be among the leaders of any new system, or in fact of their own life?

If the expectation is to raise a new generation of leaders, then nurturing a victim mentality is a curious way to go about preparing them, especially as this is a generation that is attending therapy in ever-increasing numbers. Or are therapists now also encouraging children to see themselves as victims in a system stacked against them? This then seems counterintuitive, as how can feeling victimized make anyone feel good about themselves and their place in the world, assuming feeling good about yourself is what therapy is still being used for. And I’m curious to know if there are any leadership courses specifically targeted toward the oppressed to be able to lead this new system?  What do those look like?

On a related note, I’ve also read with interest how the expectation is for the “oppressors” (white and perhaps now even the white-adjacent?) to constantly apologize for their privilege and for the transgressions of their ancestors, no matter if they ever played a part in oppression.

But what good does an apology do? Why not give respect and appreciation for what their ancestors have endured in order to build them up and achieve true equity instead of keeping them down? Unless they don’t want to be built up? I suppose that would fit better with the victim mentality narrative, as well as put the oppressors in their place.

Putting the oppressors in their place also begs the question: What role will oppressors play in the new system? Will they only be allowed to participate once they have sacrificed themselves on the altar of being sorry? Or will they become the new oppressed and the cycle starts again?

So many questions, and yet these “courageous conversations” haven’t answered any of them beyond labelling, dividing and eventually destroying the self-confidence and self-esteem of all children.

Visiting the “Courageous Conversation” website, it seems they are set up exactly as a white “oppressor” organization. So, what is the difference and what are children who are being taught that they are victims of systemic racism to look forward to after all the “courageous conversations” are over and everyone is labelled as either oppressor or victim of oppression?

It is hard to understand how “courageous conversations” can be a recipe for uniting people when white people are labelled as having no culture other than one of oppression and so have nothing of merit they can contribute to the new system.

So again, what is the new system going to look like and who is going to lead it after the old racist system (that Glenn Singleton is benefiting from to the tune of $15,000 an appearance at hundreds if not thousands of school districts) is gone?

Sue Marguerite Dootson


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