HB 544, now HB 2, eliminates the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) in the discussion of issues of race and the other “isms” we are addressing today. CRT is a toxic theory devoid of facts and draws erroneous conclusions. CRT declares white people as irredeemable racists.

These theorists want to poison the minds of our children, getting them to believe they are racists because of the color of their skin. CRT tells people of color (POC) that White people are racists. So, how can POC be a friend to their fellow students if White students are racist? Parents need to protect their children from this toxic thinking.

The reason why I think New Hampshire residents share the value of eliminating CRT is because I believe my fellow citizens embrace the fact that America is a kinder, gentler nation. We are 1,000 points of light. America is the city on a hill that the world looks to for an example of the equality of human rights and freedom.

CRT rejects the idea of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that says; Judge the people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. CRT theorists call King’s idea dangerous. America has been moving in the direction of Dr. King’s idea for the last 50 years. CRT wants to kill the idea of turning Dr. Kings dream into reality. We want to teach our children and share with our employees that we want to act in the way Dr. King has prescribed, not the CRT idea of systemic racism.

HB 544 does not bar the training in diversity and inclusion, it specifically supports training in diversity and inclusion. In barring CRT, the bill bars the concept of “equity”, which is a code word for one group being better than another. Our country and our training should be about teaching equality not equity.

We need to be cautious about the words used that sound good but are a detriment to achieving equality. We need to teach our children that all are created equal, not that they are racists because of the color of their skin. We need to teach about true inclusive thinking not exclusion.

Some say that HB 544 infringes on free speech. Free speech means the inclusion of all forms of facts on the issues. President Joe Biden and the National Education Association (NEA) endorse the poor journalism of the 1619 Project but they prohibit the facts in the 1776 Project. That is not free speech.

HB 544 does not prohibit the discussion of our past. It protects us from only being taught the sins of our past and leaving out America’s blessings. Our students would only be taught about the cruelty of slavery, Jim Crow laws and attempts at creating barriers to Reconstruction.

If we were really interested in education, not indoctrination, we would demand that the curriculum include the facts, not theory. Teach that the North were fierce abolitionists and the South fought fiercely to hold on to slavery. Our children should be taught that President Abraham Lincoln gave a message in the Lincoln-Douglas debate that “A nation divided against itself will not stand.” That is, Lincoln said America would not survive half slave and half free. That message propelled Lincoln into the White House, the first Republican president in America. Douglas advocated the preservation of slavery.

Our students need to know that 300,000 soldiers in blue in our Civil War died to abolish slavery in America. This is hardly the history of a nation that is systematically racist. But these facts of history destroy the CRT systemic racist argument. That is why people who advocate opposition to HB 544 do not want these blessings taught to our children and employees.

Racial bias and sex discrimination should be fully discussed but they are not. The NEA and President Biden want to prohibit our students and employees from learning about the blessings of America, just its sins. This is truly biased thinking on their part.

Some say that we educate not indoctrinate. The two themes that let parents and students know they are being educated are, one, to have a balance of facts of both sides of the issues presented. Two, that there is a free and open debate of the pros and cons of these issues.

CRT wants to silence Dr. King’s dream. This is because CRT is opposed to the approach of color blindness. CRT is all about fanning the flames of a cultural war.

HB 544 will not exacerbate a cultural war. When one advocates taking away the right of individuals in a free society and giving those rights to groups as CRT proposes, you start class warfare.

The most endangered minority in our society today is the individual.

Joseph Mendola is a member of the School District Governance Association and a former member of the Kearsarge Regional School Board. He lives in Warner.

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