Letter to the editor: College the perfect place for intellectual exercises

Published 11:46 am Wednesday, November 23, 2022

To the editor:

A strong show of support to DDCC President Dr. (Darin) Hartness for standing up for academic freedom in the controversy over Critical Race Theory.

This issue is exactly the sort of intellectual exercise that belongs in a college setting – a place where any theory, idea, or hypothesis can be fully, safely, and vigorously debated.

If CRT – or any other concept – does not stand up to full examination and academic dissection, then it will be properly marginalized and relegated to the “dustbin of history”

College is exactly the place for this debate to flourish. Primary and secondary schools should teach “what” “when” “how” “who” and “where” college is the time to provoke critical thinking about “why” or “why not”.

Dr. Hartness made clear that there are processes to challenge an instructor or an issue being presented. I can easily imagine a professor or a speaker or a topic to which I would strongly object. (When I attended college in the late 60s, there was plenty of it). I can also list multiple ways to voice or demonstrate my objections – alone or with like-minded people. The only way that is unacceptable is to censor the idea (or allow my parents to do so for me. Parents have important roles to play in education; judging curricula content is not among them)

It should go without saying that freedom of speech is easy (and unnecessary) when considering pleasant or popular ideas. It is when the ideas are offensive and unpopular that we will know how seriously we take our precious rights – and whether we will pass them to the next generations.

Jerry Cohen