In her letter in The Columbian (“Denial of racism is a lie,” Our Reader’s Views, Jan. 16), Linda Wallers correctly states that critical race theory is not an ideology, but is “simply a method of looking at how society applies laws to ethnic minority populations.” That is, it’s just a framework for study of certain race issues. It is not a political agenda.
Feeding the storm around critical race theory is its misunderstood name. “Critical” erroneously suggests a position of placing blame. “Theory,” indicating a statement to be proven, is particularly wrong. Anyone with bad intentions can grab those words and falsely whip up a frenzy. Thus, persons investigating race and other societal issues need to think about how they name their studies. Test the name in focus groups if necessary. It’s standard practice in both the public and private sectors. Ask the question, “Do we want to learn about the issue, or do we want to waste time and effort fending off unwarranted hysteria?”