Monday, June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Letter: Talk about racism when you see it


I appreciated Tom Tangen’s letter “How is racism defined?” regarding racism and what is taught about racism in schools (Our Readers’ Views, May 5). In 1922, James Rowland Angell, president of Yale University, provided one view of racism prevalent during that period of time. He allowed for the hierarchy of the races, espousing white superiority and discussing the low intelligence of “savages lowest in the human scale.”

The current definition of racism by the Merriam-Webster dictionary states “racism“ is “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”

I recently subbed as a principal at one of our high schools and I decided to do some investigating. I asked some students if they had ever been in a high school classroom when racism was taught. Each of them stated that they had not. I asked each of them what they would do if a teacher ever said anything about race that made them uncomfortable. Responses included talking to the teacher privately, talking to friends and parents. Most gratifying to me was that the majority of them said that they would talk to the school’s administration about this situation.

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo