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Article Published October 28, 2020

Compelled to Write

By Ann Westerlund

It deeply saddens me but I feel compelled to write in regard to the complaints about the Guilford Public Schools curriculum on racial justice. My husband and I moved to Guilford 29 years ago from a New Orleans suburb to take care of our granddaughter while her mother was attending a PhD program at the Yale school of Public Health. Our family was very happy to leave an area of rampant, blatant, horrid racism.

I can’t even begin to fathom any reason why we as a community would object to teaching racial justice to our young people. I have little sympathy for White people being treated unfairly simply by educating young students about rampant racism, which has existed as structural and individual racism in this country from slavery to the present day. Few could deny that Black Americans and other people of color are treated as sub-human beings without regard to their rights, dignity, or life. I really expected better from my co-residents.

I am an 85-year-old woman who cannot see anything but good for our country’s future with the teaching of social justice as outlined by Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Freeman. Are these objectors at odds with Martin Luther King’s brilliant statement that we should “not judge others by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”? Whites should not continue to be given better status or opportunity as they have for centuries. We are all human.

Ann Westerlund