Republican Testimony to the State and the County in December
To the State Senate
SB 01/HB01. – Congressional Districting Map by the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission – OPPOSE
I am Brigitta Mullican from Rockville District 17 and I request the General Assembly not approve SB 01/HB01– Congressional Districting Map recommended by the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission but approve the Maryland Citizen Redistricting Commission Map.
You will hear many comments agreeing with my request so I will not repeat the many reasons why we believe this will be a fairer, more compact and contiguous Congressional Districts.
The gerrymandering in our State has been an embarrassment to the rest of the country and it is now time for the General Assembly to correct this awful congressional redistricting. Citizens living in gerrymandered districts feel as though their votes mean nothing, so they stay home on Election Day rather than exercise their right to vote. They believe you will do whatever you want and ignore the voters because they have seen this over and over. I hear these comments constantly when I ask them to let you know what they believe.
The Princeton Gerrymandering Project gave this map a score card of an “F” for Partisan, a “C” for competitive, and an “F” for geographic features.
Please oppose SB 01/HB01– Congressional Districting Map by the Legislative Redistricting Advisory Commission.
Thank you for the opportunity to provide this testimony.
To The Montgomery County Board of Education
I am Dr I William Zartman, retired from the Johns Hopkins University after 62 years of teaching. We have been Montgomery County residents for 41 years and our son went all the way through the Montgomery County Public School system some years ago when it was on the top.
Help MoCoPS get Back on the Top
Today the Montgomery County Public School System’s (MoCoPSS) top rank in the state is in danger You know the figures: the largest school system in the state’s richest county is at the top of the public school performance list, but dangerously slipping. A significant and falling proportion of its students at both the grade school and high school level are not proficient in basic English and basic mathematics. The sudden drop over the past two years is obviously the result of Covid, an external cause. But there is more, from inside. The worm of racism has crawled into school thinking, coming from teachers, seeking to infest students. It’s as if an external plague led people to look for the internal cause and make propitiating sacrifices within the population, as the Mayans, Nazis and others were wont to do.
The most nefarious contribution to this situation is the belief among the teachers and the teaching among the students of Crude Racist Thinking. Although it is known as CRT, the acronym does not always appear; instead, it is its spirit of racism in the educational approach that hides under a number of innocent redefined terms, such as psychoeducation (new) and equity (old). Rather than being encouraged to develop individually, students (and other people) are locked by CRT in racial boxes labeled Victimization and Oppression; all the individuals in the box are tarred by the same characteristic. This guilt by association is itself racism; individuals cannot escape the Manichaean box into which they are locked.
Contradictorily, this is both untrue and self-fulfilling. It is self-fulfilling because insidiously it indoctrinates the subject into making it come true. But it is not true. Plenty of diverse individuals have escaped the box and have made heroic careers, from Martin Luther King, Colin Powell, Barak Obama, Condoleezza Rice, Bill Richardson or whoever your hero is. Such people are not heroes as a group but as individuals, and they became salient by stepping out of any group in which someone might have wanted to put them. We are individuals, not categories, not tarred by guilt by association, equals as individuals working to fill out our potential; the progress that has been made by individuals who stood up, studied, worked hard, led, and so on.
. But below this visible level are many more ordinary and extraordinary people who have emerged as enterprising individuals, including the members of the Montgomery County Board of Education and including my father who carried a country Pennsylvania German accent that made people laugh at him but who left the not racial but rural ethnic box of his extended family of farmers to become an important atomic physicist. Perhaps not all but many of us have boxes where we could live protectedly and reinforce the notion of our exclusion, but from which we can or did emerge, carrying our identity with us rather than hiding behind it.
CRT does not make this possible, and indeed it makes it impossible, by reinforcing the racist box into which it puts each of us. CRT takes away our humanity and individuality, and buries it under its imposed racism. For racists are those who think only of race and ascribe all to that condition, for whom race is the causative factor in life and society, and who therefore deny any of the other etiological sources within which we live in our extra-pluralist world. Teachers are now being given courses in CRT under an Orwellian label of psychoeducation and books on racist awareness, teaching how to be racist, preaching group equity instead if individual equality, turning diversity into privilege, history into accusation, and anti-racism into racism. The philosophy is one of leveling down, helping students do someone else’s worst rather than to do their own best.
The saddest aspect of the CRT glasses is that they block out the enormous progress that has been made in social relations in America and in interpersonal relations around us. The very chip on the shoulder that CRT apostle Ibram X Kendi urges on us on Montgomery County school reading lists is so characteristically absent around us. Not totally absent, to be sure, as Kendi reminds us; not missing, because we don’t need it. What we do need is to be reminded and taught of the fact of historic progress that is so characteristic of America, and that is the job of the Montgomery County School System and its teachers. A third of my church is from Tanzania, all of my neighborhood came from somewhere else than Silver Spring, my students come from all over the world, our son met his two best friends in a MoCo high school, and my self-adopted son is now in California. What are their races? It doesn’t and shouldn’t matter.
What does matter is education in knowledge and skills—the basics—that is now doubly endangered by the worm more threatening and deeper penetrating than the virus, in County schools. Watch out: Don’t teach racism, it will come to haunt you, as forced thinking did in Joe McCarthy’s time.
I William Zartman
Testimony from: William Richbourg
I want to thank you for the opportunity to speak in this all too rare public session.
Let me first say that I trust we share a common desire for the best for our country, our county and especially for the children who pass through its schools. That is why I find it difficult to understand your apparent support for the teaching of a divisive theory that traces its roots to classical Marxism.
At the same time a civil war was being fought here to achieve national unity, in Germany, Karl Marx was setting about dividing people by economic class. For more than a hundred years his acolytes tried to get his divisive ideas to work. They could not.
But rather than abandon Marxism as the failure that it was, they opted to replace his economic theory with a racial one. The subject changed; the premise did not. It was still all about dividing people. It didn’t work as an economic theory then and it won’t work as a social theory now. But the cost can be extraordinarily high.
Given this heritage, I have to ask why you would support a program to indoctrinate our schoolchildren with a toxic theory that’s little more than repackaged Marxism. Why would you want to participate in teaching a vision of America that casts our history, culture, traditions, and best instincts in the most negative possible light and reintroduces Jim Crow racism in our country that was successfully eradicated over 50 yrs ago.
Critical Race Theory teaches that everything a white person does, says or thinks - consciously or unconsciously - is systemically and structurally racist because racism is embedded in America’s legal system, institutions, and free-enterprise system. And yet the United States was founded on the opposite, revolutionary principle that all people are created equal. We fought a war outside these very doors to make that principle a fact.
Critical Race Theory is a divisive and destructive vision that will weaponize our children against our society and divide our country.
Indeed, this teaching is being carried out in likely violation of constitutional and statutory provisions including:
The Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the corresponding Article 24 of the Maryland Constitution;
Title Six of the U.S. Civil Rights Act;
The First Amendment’s Freedom of Speech provisions;
And Maryland’s Quality Education Requirements.
Let me provide a few examples from a book widely circulated to promote CRT:
1-A positive white identity is an impossible goal. White identity is inherently racist; white people do not exist outside the system of white supremacy.
2-Only white people are in a position to oppress people of color; a white person may experience race prejudice and discrimination, but not racism
3-White people in North America live in a society that is deeply separate and unequal by race and white people are the beneficiaries of that separation and inequality.
4-`EVERYTHING a white person does, says or thinks consciously or unconsciously is racist because it is burned in us as a result of the creation of the white culture arising in ancient times where white European cultures of slavery and oppression first developed.
And a clear message accompanies this pernicious ideology suggesting that you are racist if you do not agree with it.
We therefore strongly urge that you use the power of this Board to insure that this Marxist derivative is removed from our schools.
There are numerous publications that can help young people discover the truth that America is the most tolerant and most generous nation in history. Not perfect, but clearly well above any other country and daily striving to be better.
Our children, our county, and our society deserve better.