M any members of this grassroots Westport movement prefer to remain anonymous while participating in the conversation about how their children will be educated. Why? The answer is self-evident in the verbal attacks already being made on social media and by local political candidates.
Anonymous speech is at the very foundation of American democracy. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay published the Federalist Papers under the pseudonyms “Publius” and “the Federal Farmer.” The Supreme Court has repeatedly defended anonymous speech “ to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation… at the hand of an intolerant society.” (McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commission, 1995)
We seek to draw attention to the core defect of the CRT perspective: that it conflicts with the most important philosophical underpinnings of American political culture. We do not oppose robust discussions of racism; we oppose the CRT approach to racism as embodied in the content produced by the NYU Metro Center. We draw attention to the many esteemed African American intellects who oppose the notion that critical race theory is beneficial to them as a group. See, for example, Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele and Erec Smith. By virtue of the CRT ideology where anyone who is not “anti-racist” is a racist (Kendi) these Black intellects would be deemed “racists” even though they are Black.
Unfortunately, we occupy a cultural moment when dissent against progressive orthodoxy is punished with real consequences. Many within our group are employed by corporations who may not hesitate to terminate them to protect their public relations image and deflect accusations of racism, regardless of the substance or merit of any comments they may make. In this day and age, one merely needs to be accused to be guilty. The advocates of Critical Race Theory and related ideologies use this to their advantage. As we have already seen, name-calling is the immediate response when their views are challenged. They even label their perspective “anti-racism,” a cheap semantic trick that enables them to paint any critic as a racist, by their definition.
We are a racially, culturally and politically diverse and tolerant group of Westporters who oppose the implementation of CRT within our schools. We want to have a voice in how our children are educated, but we don’t want to be canceled. We contend that a very large portion of our community, of all political persuasions, has an unfavorable view of CRT and would like to see less, not more of it, in our classrooms. We are exercising our first amendment right to participate in this community discussion as we see fit, as Westporters and as American citizens.
We are standing up to the partisans and ideologues who believe we should be denied a voice.