Another letter I sent to Scientific American

About American History Should Teach Reality in February 2022 issue

You just don't get it.

Teaching Critical Race Theory isn't about reducing racism. It's about causing division. It's about teaching kids to hate each other, hate their parents, hate their families, and hate their country. How can you defend it?

In the 1923 Herbert Marcuse, György Lukács, and others gathered at the Frankfurt School to ponder the question "Why has the proletarian revolution not swept the world?" Their answer: Not enough division. The economic distinction between capitalists and workers succeeded in industrially-backward Russia, but was not sufficient in most of Western Europe because of the rise of the middle class. So they invented Critical Theory to inject other reasons for people to hate each other.

Being a good communist, Marcuse fled Nazi Germany and ensconsed himself at Columbia University, then Harvard University, then Brandeis University. That leads to the the faulty syllogism: Nazis oppressed communists, therefore opponents of communism are Nazis. But look at the official name of the Nazi party: Nazional Sozialistische Deutsches Arbeiters Partie, or in English, National SOCIALIST German Workers' Party. Is there some part of SOCIALIST in that name that escapes your attention? Josef Göbbels wrote in his diary "After we defeat those Russians we'll show them how to do REAL socialism" (he also gave credit to Woodrow Wilson for all his propaganda skills). Claiming that communism and Nazism are opposites, and that anybody who opposes communism must be a Nazi, is as invalid as this syllogism: Lions are carnivores. Lions kill hyenas. Therefore hyenas are vegetarians. No, they're competitors for the same niche, just like National Socialists and Communists.

Angela Davis was a proponent of intersectionality: Invent more ways your oppressions can intersect, and therefore more reasons to hate your neighbors and your country: Being black, female, lesbian, and communist.

Ibram Henry Rogers, now calling himself Ibram Xolani Kendi, wrote about Critical Race Theory, in yet another effort to teach Americans to hate each other.

CRT teaches that "whiteness" is synonymous with "oppressor" and that everybody else is oppressed. How is that different from teaching that black people are stupid and Mexicans are lazy? How does that square with "I have a dream... that one day my children will be judged by the content of the character, not the color of their skin?" CRT teaches that the United States invented slavery, and was founded on slavery because a pirate ship that had captured a Spanish slave ship bound for Cuba had exchanged twenty Africans for provisions in Virginia (after selling almost one hundred of them into slavery in Haiti). Did the Virginians enslave those unfortunates? Their response was less charitable than it should have been, as viewed with today's eyes: The captives were put into ten years of indentured servitude. Not ideal, but not chattel slavery. They were free people after those years. Their children were not slaves, and not property. The original article about the 1619 project, by Nikole Sheri Hannah-Jones, in the New York Times Magazine, did not include any citations of documents or literature to support her conjecture. In short, it was a racist fabrication, designed to justify people hating each other.

The original draft of the Declaration of Independence quoted three unalienable rights from John Locke: Life, Liberty, and Property. But Jefferson worried that "property" would be seen as an endorsement of slavery, so in the next draft he wrote "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." Slavery was universal at the time. People in every part of the Earth held others as slaves, as property, not people. When Jefferson wrote "We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal" it sent a shock wave throughout civilization. If all men are created equal, how can slavery be justified?

Kendi and his fellow travelers "prove" that the Constitution was a racist pro-slavery document. But Frederick Douglass saw through that more than a century ago.

Douglass understood the three-fifths rule. One component of it was "Indians not taxed." The corollary of "no taxation without representation" is "no (actually less) representation without taxation." What about slaves? Were they less than a person, only three fifths of a person? No. Northerners wanted a zero-fifths rule for slaves. After all, they weren't allowed to vote, so why should the Congressional delegations of slave-holding states be inflated by counting slaves as voters and citizens entitled to representation? At the time of the Constitutional Convention, 90% of the population of Georgia were slaves. Why should Georgia have three Representatives instead of one? Maryland had slaves. South Carolina had slaves. Virginia had slaves. North Carolina had slaves. Slave-holding states argued that slaves were property, not people entitled to equal rights. John Adams argued that if the size of the Georgia delegation were to be decided on the basis of property, Massachusetts citizens ought to be able to count their furniture, and the barrels in their businesses. In order to get one Nation, the Constitutional Convention compromised on three fifths, instead of zero fifths, or five fifths. The hope of abolitionists was that slavery could be eliminated by legislation, not war. But the inflated sizes of Congresional delegations from slave-holding states sabotaged that dream for the next seventy years.

At least the Constitutional Convention was able to forbid importing more slaves as of January 1, 1809. Douglass said black Americans should celebrate that date, not July 4, 1776, as their independence day.

Jefferson is castigated because he had a child by Sally Hemings, a black woman. But Sally was Jefferson's deceased wife's half sister. She went with him to France, where she was called "Jefferson's woman," not "Jefferson's slave." She could have stayed in France, but she returned. There was clearly a real emotional bond between them, not a master-slave relationship. In his time, Jefferson could not acknowledge that. And why didn't Jefferson emancipate his slaves, if he opposed slavery? As brilliant as he was in politics, science, architecture, education, and many other disciplines, he was profoundly incompetent when it came to finance. He couldn't emancipate his slaves because it was illegal: They were collateral for his loans. He didn't sell them to pay his debts -- probably because he believed he would treat them better than those who bought them.

Instead of the gradual and peaceful elimination of slavery by legislation, and the elimination of its usefulness by technology, Democrats gave us the Missouri Compromise, Bloody Kansas and the Kansas-Nebraska Act, admission of Texas as a slave state, opposition to admission of California as a free state and in compromise the Fugitive Slave Act in 1850. This led to formation of the Republican Party, with John Charles Frémont as their Presidential candidate in 1856. When Dred Scott escaped to a free state, the Supreme Court decided in 1857, on the basis of the Fugitive Slave Act, that he must be returned to Sandford -- not because he was a slave, but because he was property, not a person, and not entitled to the protection of the Fifth Amendment: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law (which is now repeated in the 14th Amendment). The Dred Scott decision also held that Congress did not have authority to prohibit slavery in territories that were not yet states. Lincoln's 1860 election resulted in the bloodiest war in American history -- all because Democrats wanted to keep their slaves. (By the way, Roe v. Wade is cut from the same cloth as Dred Scott v. Sandford: The unborn child is property, not a person. At exactly what instant does an unborn child become a person entitled to the only thing stated twice in the Constitution: No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law?)

Can you name any Republicans who owned slaves? I can name only one: Ulysses S. Grant. His family was abolitionist. He was an abolitionist. How did he come to own a slave? He fell in love with and married Julia Boggs Dent, a woman from a slave-holding family. His family opposed the marriage on those grounds, as did his father-in-law to be, because of his meager salary as a soldier. His father-in-law gave Ulysses a 26-acre farm in Missouri, and a slave named WIlliam Jones, as a wedding gift. Grant angered his neighbors by operating his farm shoulder-to-shoulder with William, as though they were business partners, not master and slave. When the farm business failed, Grant and William made a business of cutting and hauling timber. When that business failed, Grant returned to the Army. Instead of selling William for $1,000 (a ton of money on March 29, 1859) to pay his debts, he signed the papers of manumission at the St. Louis Courthouse, making William Jones a free man. As they parted, Grant said "God protect you, William." Does that sound like a slave master?

After Grant and the Union prevailed in the war that slave-holding states started so that Democrats could keep their slaves, the terrorist wing of the Democrat party, the Ku Klux Klan, was founded to oppress freed slaves, and to lynch uppity ones. One of the founders was a talented Confederate Cavalry General named Nathan Bedford Forrest. He left after a few years because it was too violent -- for a Cavalry General. A few years later, trade unions were founded in Chicago with the explicit purpose to keep freed slaves out of the labor market. It's still working fabulously well. Philadelphia is about 22% black, but black participation in all-union Philadelphia construction jobs is less than 1%.

Lincoln integrated the Army. Who segregated the Army? Woodrow Wilson.

What was the first movie screened in the White House, and for whom? Woodrow Wilson watched "Birth of a Nation," a paean of praise of the KKK.

Who re-integrated the Army? Dwight Eisenhower, in Europe (and then Harry Truman tried to take credit for it by issuing a by-then irrelevant executive order).

Who opposed school integration? Who stood on the steps of the schoolhouse to prevent Black kids from entering? Democrats.

What do you know of the Civil Rights Act of 1875? It was essentially identical to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What became of it? Democrats brought suit in the Supreme Court and it was overturned in 1878 because it affected private businesses that had a public face -- railroads, hotels, restaurants... -- the same argument used to justify big-tech censorship. This opened the gate for Jim Crow laws -- separate but equal, back of the bus, white-only drinking fountains and restrooms.... Who signed every Jim Crow law? Democrat mayors, county commissioners, and governors. Who enforced them? Democrat sheriffs, and chiefs of police.

What do you know of the Civil Rights Act of 1956? Dwight Eisenhower asked for an Act that was essentially identical to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. What became of it? Republicans wrote it. It passed the House. The Senate Majority Leader sent it to committees with instructions to kill it. As Miracle Max said of Wesley in "The Prince's Bride," "He's not dead; he's just mostly dead." It emerged with no enforcement provisions. Who was that Senate Majority Leader? Lyndon Baines Johnson. When the Act Eisenhower had asked for, was passed in 1964, not the feeble 1956 Act, Johnson claimed credit. After Johnson's Great Society programs passed, he admitted his racist pandering on Air Force One, where a reporter heard him say "I'll have them ni88ers votin' Democrat for a hunnerd years."

Who filibustered the confirmation of Clarence Thomas? What chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee blocked confirmation of Janice Rogers Brown for a seat on the DC Circuit of the Court of Appeals, who would have been the first Black woman to hold a seat on a Federal bench, and might well now have a seat on the Supreme Court? Who worried that his kids would attend "a racial jungle?" Who said "you can't go into a 7-11 unless you have a slight Indian accent -- and I'm not joking?" Who bragged that his mentor was a Grand Cyclops of the KKK? Who said "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't black?" Joe Biden.

Democrats now argue "all those racist southern Democrats became Republicans." I can name one: Strom Thurmond. Can you name more than one? Bull Connor didn't. Orval Faubus didn't. Al Gore Sr. didn't. George Wallace didn't. J. William Fullbright didn't. Robert Byrd didn't...., and Joe Biden didn't.

What about American education, about which "A Nation at Risk Warned?" (have you read the report?) American education is still a shambles. Who wants to preserve and expand the ruination? Democrat-led unions.

CRT is designed to make kids hate each other, hate their parents, hate their families, and hate their country.

How can you defend CRT? How can you defend voting Democrat (which I'm confident you do)?

The opinion piece "American History Should Teach Reality" is another reason that I shall not renew my subscription to Scientific American, which is now neither scientific nor American, exposed as a front for the Chinese Communist Party, who owns (by way of the government-controlled Tencent publishing house) about half of Springer-Verlag's Nature Publishing Group.

Van Snyder
La Crescenta, CA