There are not "two perspectives"
There are not “two perspectives” on the Holocaust. There are not “two perspectives” on Sandy Hook. There are not “two perspectives” on what happened to Ruby Bridges when she went to school.
On October 14, NBC news broke a story about teachers at a school in Southlake, Texas who were told that if they have a book in their classroom about the Holocaust, then they should also have a book with an opposing view or another perspective. Despite the fact that, in 2021, nothing should surprise me anymore, rage and disbelief rocked me for a moment.
But this isn’t new. In July, Anti-Critical Race Theory parents in Tennessee brought strong objection to the book “Ruby Bridges Goes to School,” written by Ruby Bridges herself. They also brought opposition against the entire Wit and Wisdom curriculum that this book was part of. The reason they opposed the book? There wasn’t enough “redemption” for the white people. Think about this for a moment. They wanted to silence the first-hand perspective of the woman who this happened to. They wanted to hear “other perspectives” on what happened to HER.
A third example of this frightening trend is not as recent. There was a story on one episode of NPR's This American Life about Alex Jones, the host of Infowars, who is famous for his extreme conspiracy theories, especially regarding the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook. He made the lives of grieving parents miserable with his behavior. He also was a big player in the conspiracy theories about Obama’s birth certificate. A reporter who worked with Alex Jones for a long while went back to his hometown to find out what his life was like growing up. Alex Jones was remembered as a high school student who caused trouble, got into fights, and made false accusations. He accused their high school’s DARE officer of distributing drugs to high school students. It was never proven. He made very few friends, but was very memorable for his extreme behavior. When asked, nobody he went to school with believed the things he said back then….BUT…when asked if they believed the conspiracy theories he was spreading in his adult life, they felt he could be credible. His venom poisoned even those who knew him for what he was.
These three examples highlight exactly why we need fair and reasonable school board members and an equity policy that serves our students and keeps radical ideologies out of our schools. To turn the anti-CRT-crowd’s own words against them - teachers are ALREADY teaching multiple perspectives and multiple viewpoints when it is appropriate to do so. It’s even in our state standards. Schools are already doing this - we don’t need outside influence to make it happen. But there are some perspectives that aren’t based in reality, that don’t deserve a platform.
How would a crowd that calls themselves Patriots, but denies the Holocaust, answer to an American soldier who liberated a Nazi concentration camp? How would a crowd that calls themselves pro-life, but doesn’t believe Sandy Hook really happened, answer to those grieving parents who were further traumatized by Alex Jones and his followers? How would a crowd that quotes Martin Luther King’s words to explain why equity is racism reconcile the image of a white woman holding up a black baby doll in a coffin while a first grade Ruby Bridges walks to school every day? This isn’t truly a call for multiple perspectives and viewpoints. I’m sure an opposing perspective on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor would not be welcomed by anyone who calls themselves a Patriot. This is an attempt to control information being made by people who are either scared or power hungry. Keep these radical practices OUT of our schools.