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It was with considerable interest that I read the Courier’s account of a recent budget hearing and your characterization of a resident’s language in a letter to the Board of Finance as “racist.” As the charge of racism can be a career-ending proposition, I made it a point to read the letter in question. The resident’s comments are largely a critique of a controversial work by Ibram X. Kendi titled How to be an Antiracist. This book was purchased for all teachers in the Guilford School system at the direction of Superintendent of Schools Paul Freeman. Dr. Freeman used $6,000 of discretionary spending from the school budget to cover this expense.
One may agree or disagree with the resident’s analysis of How to be an Antiracist, but by no means can the comments be construed as racist. Unfortunately, incidents of this type have become all too common in this age of cancel culture and other attempts to silence opposing points of view.
The matter of race relations and its unbiased, historically accurate treatment in our schools is a matter of critical importance for our nation’s future. This goal is not well served when members of the media resort to such inaccurate and polemical language as “racist” to groundlessly attack a resident exercising First Amendment rights to speak at a public hearing.
Editor’s note: As noted in a March 18 correction, the Courier’s use of the term “racist language” was inaccurate.