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11/16/2022 08:00 AM

Normalize Intolerance at Our Peril

Judith Andrews’ Nov. 3 letter (“Do You Approve?”) was frightening.

Not because she rehashed the tired potpourri of Marxist conspiracy theories with which we’re all quite familiar. We already rejected those by historic margins in 2021, when voter turnout in Connecticut was reportedly 30 percent. Guilford turnout, at 61 percent, easily topped the state. Residents weren’t disinterested onlookers. They were engaged.

Not frightening just because Andrews conflates Critical Race Theory, equity and social justice, and culturally responsive teaching. Perhaps because everything’s so confusing, we’re invited to visit the conspiracy theory website for clarity. I might question that site’s objectivity (I wouldn’t read Mein Kampf to learn about Jews), but it claims to be a thesaurus-of-sorts. It identifies which innocuous words (e.g. “diversity,” “equity,” “inclusion”) are double-secret Marxist code for... scary stuff I guess?

Not frightening just because Andrews reports (without citing sources), “GPS [Guilford Public Schools] ratings have fallen dramatically.” Apparently, I wasted time reading the 2023 ratings by an actual rating service (the popular Niche Education Platform) where GPS earned an ‘A’ rating (Ranked 19th in Connecticut and Guilford High School second in New Haven County).

The Row B team warned last year that supporting kids of color negatively effects white, Christian, or conservative kids. Apparently that wasn’t a “one-off.” Andrews’ shares this terrifying revelation about a certain consultant: “Dr. Donald Siler of the University of St. Joseph ‘focuses on... culturally sustainable pedagogy and supporting youth of color in schools.’”

Gasp! Supporting youth of color? In schools no less? What nerve! And what the heck’s that Ph.D. doing in Guilford? Doesn’t he know about the White Conservative Christian Crusades?

This stuff's frightening. We normalize intolerance at our peril.

Greg Kinsella