Yo, Legislature -- listen up!

An open letter to the Utah Legislature (and Utahns generally):

I hope this message finds you well. My name is Grant Baldwin, and I am one of your constituents in Provo. I’m writing about the resolution presented at the current legislative special session that seeks to ban the teaching of critical race theory in public schools. This issue is very important to the rising generations of Utahns, especially Utahns of color, and I expect you to research the issue with due diligence.

Critics of critical race theory often demonize it by calling it Marxist or anti-American, but that is a gross misunderstanding of what it actually is. Simply put, critical race theory acknowledges that social problems are created more by societal structures and cultural ideas than they are by individuals’ psychology. Because the concepts of race and ethnicity are socially constructed, the way that we talk about race and ethnicity to our children matters. Thus, denying the reality of the history of structural and cultural white supremacy in the United States, and even the state of Utah, to our children is problematic in that the structures and assumptions that keep white supremacy in power will persist into the future.

I hope and pray that you will consider the ramifications of passing this resolution (and subsequent bill in the next legislative session). Please do not receive your signaling from party leaders or talking heads. Instead, I hope you will take into account the many scholars that advocate critical race theory.

I look forward to hearing your response and would be thrilled to communicate with you further on the issue or provide you with reading materials that describe CRT as it actually is.

-- Grant Baldwin, Provo

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