Cal Thomas validates two major points made by teachers of critical race theory and anti-racism (“Democrats need a day of atonement,” June 23).

First, history is important. Thomas lists many historical events that have resulted in huge cumulative disparities in familial wealth and social capital between whites and people of color. The logical conclusion is that these racial disparities are now baked into the system, another way of saying that we suffer from systemic racism.

Given this history, how can we straight-facedly expect a simple “color-blind” approach to yield up equal opportunities?

Second, we all unknowingly perpetuate this system, and we must now educate ourselves and contribute to the solution rather than the problem. Many people reject critical race theory and anti-racist practice because they cannot acknowledge white people’s complicity in the continued disadvantaging of people of color.

One need not “be a racist” or hold racist views to be complicit. Since our institutions have racial disadvantage baked in at this point, it takes effort to see and push back against these disparities.

Thomas indicts the racist history of the Democratic Party from 1866 to 1966 and demands atonement, but he fails to see that the current initiatives (Juneteenth, Voting Rights legislation just filibustered by Republicans, support for BLM and changes to policing, to name a few) that he dislikes are exactly that: an effort to finally see the problem and address it.

In recent history, Democrats have indeed supported structural change and, sadly, Republicans have obstructed at every turn.

Seri Lowell, Buckfield

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