Off base on critical race theory
Banning Critical Race Theory in no way forces or implies “skipping over the unpleasant parts” of history (“Banning critical race theory will gut the teaching of Jewish history,” July 23). What it does do is prevent a propaganda effort that only separates us by race. It is undoing the good work of civil rights demonstrations and legislation over the last 60 years that had largely succeeded in uniting us.
For the record, when I grew up attending Baltimore’s public schools in the ‘40s and ‘50s, there wasn’t much attention at all given to modern history, whether American or beyond. Maybe that was a good thing, maybe not, but I suspect it avoided having to deal with the politics of current affairs. Certainly today school children should learn about World War II, the Holocaust and the Civil Rights demonstrations and laws of recent times, but in as objective a fashion as possible, if that is possible. There should also be discussion of our treatment of Native Americans and of the Civil War.
As a lifelong student of history, I am very familiar with Russia’s laws about the Holodomor and Poland’s laws attempting to absolve Poland of any responsibility for crimes committed on its soil during the Nazi occupation. I am also aware of, and approve of, attempts made in recent times to atone for the confinement of Japanese Americans in WWII and the real genocide that we as a nation committed against so many groups of Native Americans. But while reparations in near time to Japanese Americans made sense, as do government attempts to improve the living conditions, self-reliance and self-government of American Indian tribes, pretending that Americans living today are fiscally responsible for the actions of their ancestors 150 years ago does not. I may have ancestors who were forced out of Spain in 1492, but that hardly gives me the right to demand money from the Spanish government.
Ben & Jerry’s is wrong
Ben & Jerry’s rationale is faulty in their effort to be on trend and follow a “progressive” narrative (“Ben & Jerry’s meltdown,” July 30). On July 28, 2021, Bennett Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben and Jerry) wrote in a New York Times op-ed: “We unequivocally support the decision of the company to end business in the occupied territories, which a majority of the international community, including the United Nations, has deemed an illegal occupation.”
Israel’s presence in the West Bank in not an “illegal occupation.” The 1967 Six-Day War ended with an internationally recognized, U.N.-approved ceasefire pending a permanent peace agreement. Until that has been achieved, Israel’s presence in the West Bank is legal in international law. Meanwhile, the Jewish state’s rejectionist foes regard all of Israel down to the last grains of sand on Tel Aviv’s beach as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.”
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada