Critical Race Theory. It has been the hot topic in the area lately, despite appearing nowhere in any local school district. It's like a specter haunting the minds of racists. Right-wing individuals and groups have simply conflated anything to do with equity, systemic racism or any honest U.S. history curriculum with "Critical Race Theory" and have jumped at the chance to draft a resolution banning it outright while making poor lip service towards condemning racism.

Resolution 2021-11 - promoted by a radio host that has defended blackface, used racial slurs towards indigenous people and proudly broadcasts from a building named after a klansman - seeks to ban Critical Race Theory but the real purpose is the last line: "This replaces Resolution 2020-09." That was the Board Equity Resolution from exactly one year ago. That resolution not only condemned racism, but acknowledged the history of systemic racism in the U.S. and committed the school district to anti-racism and equity. It was a beautiful piece of progress.

Resolution 2021-11 does not have that same verbiage and does more to disregard and dilute racism than oppose it. Resolution 2021-11 is not necessary as Resolution 2020-09 already condemned racism and Critical Race Theory is not being taught. This is a campaign of racist fearmongering by the right-wing zeitgeist in this county to counteract any progress of the last year.

The North Bend School District should not pass or revise Resolution 2021-11 at all. They should reject it entirely and uphold and maintain Resolution 2020-09 as well as the crucially important values of anti-racism and equity. Folks should submit written comments to the North Bend School Board on this if they want to uphold anti-racism and equity. Also, North Bend School Board members have expressed that some have felt uncomfortable in the diversity trainings or learning about racism.

Good, you need to feel that uncomfortability. Imagine how racism has felt like for those it has been purveyed against throughout our history. Facing history is uncomfortable, but trudging through the uncomfortability is absolutely necessary.

Kamryn Stringfield

Coos Bay


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