I was a bit confused reading Casey J. Heinrich’s opinion regarding proposed equity practices in the Washougal School District (“Reject demonization of ideals,” Our Readers’ Views, June 13). The letter seems to equate equity with Marxism. Marxism is the political or economic theory of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engle that later was used in the creation of communism. The ideals of equity and critical race theory have nothing to do with Marxism or communism.
Instead of seeing racism as just a product of individual prejudice, critical race theory views racism as something constructed by society in order to oppress certain groups of people. If we view racism in this way, we can understand how it is embedded in our systems and policies. As a result, some people benefit from this form of racism while others are subjected to its oppression.
This leads us to the term equity, which is “the quality of being fair.” The systems in our country (education, criminal justice, banking, etc.), which were founded in racism, have led to unfair outcomes in our society. As a parent and educator, I believe it is important to educate children (and adults) concerning the inequities in our country’s past and present.