A nation built on equality must teach how it fell short

Regarding “New job fuels old arguments for District 51” (July 11): I haven’t read critical race theory, but I currently tutor a writing student in Grand Junction for a high school unit, “Writing Freedom: Words that Shaped a Nation.”

My work, like her teacher’s, is to help her understand the complexity of the American Revolution. We’re reading the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, Whitman and Dickinson. The passion for Enlightenment, for equality is so high — “We the people,” “... the continent indissoluble... divine magnetic lands...” “O Democracy!” — still thrilling to read.

When she asks, why weren’t slaves or tribes or women mentioned? Why didn’t they have any rights? We examine the abolitionist movement in 1776 and 1787. We break down why the American colonies refused to relinquish slavery, which provided an economy that greatly financed the Revolution, and how black Americans heavily contributed to liberty not given to them.

We read Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s radical demand at the Seneca Convention in 1848 for something no country possessed: the women’s vote. A number of the women present objected, believing it impossible.

The sole mention of tribal people in the Declaration: “merciless Indian savages.”

We read how Thomas Jefferson attempted to include slavery in the Constitution, but even that paragraph — which blamed Britain for the colonies’ practice of slavery — was eliminated by committee. Jefferson also predicted, accurately, that white supremacy was the “rock upon which the old Union would split.”

We’ve also read “Twelve Years A Slave,” the horrific lives of humans treated legally as things rather than people, with no recourse. It makes us shudder.

These are drops in the ocean of the Revolution that quicken my student’s understanding of the deeper truths of our complicated history. We’re a young country still working on a groundbreaking vision of equality, and we need our students to comprehend it all, because they’re our leaders in the long journey ahead. I applaud District 51 for hiring a coordinator to help students who are struggling, and who deserve the best education for their future and ours.

SANDRA DORR

Grand Junction

Vote for Mahre for school board — and get vaccinated

Two important things are on my mind today.

Number one: I was so thrilled to see Trish Mahre announce her candidacy for the District 51 school board. I’ve watched this young woman grow up with my daughter. Trish was always excelling in everything she did, then and now, as an attorney for our district attorney’s office in Grand Junction she has handled the most difficult of cases, and then she was appointed to the D51 board. It’s time for her to be elected to a full-term. She can bring D51 into the new age for our young people. She thinks outside of the box for their futures. Please vote for Trish Mahre when the time comes.

Number two: let’s all get together and mount our own “save a friend“ campaign and get vaccinated. It’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done. We all need to do it. I know too many sad stories and I don’t want to be a part of any one of them. Get your shots if you have not.

Sincerely and respectfully,

JAN POMRENKE

Grand Junction

One cannot equate Vikings to Indians as mascots

Regarding the letter to the editor in Tuesday’s edition (“If Indian mascots are not OK, Vikings shouldn’t be”) pretending that two things are equal doesn’t make it so.

Did America as a country strip the Viking people of their lands? Did they systemically ruin the Viking people’s ability to hunt and provide for themselves? Did they place the Viking people in internment camps that they didn’t want to go to? Did they rip Viking children from their families so they could live “better” lives with people of a different race? Did they just a few weeks ago find a school with hundreds of graves of Viking children beneath it? Are Viking descedants today 20% more likely to commit suicide than their non-Viking counterparts? Do the current Viking people live in a rate of poverty of 28.4%?

To the letter writer: Do you see how equating these two things does absolutely nothing to prove your point that changing a mascot may be silly?

AMANDA de BOCK

Grand Junction