Thank you, Bob, for a constructive analysis of my critical race theory commentary. We agree that the struggle against racism is not over. Here are some disagreements.

The three-fifths provision in the original Constitution did not promote or enshrine slavery. The pro-slavery states wanted to count all slaves (five-fifths) for purposes of assigning the number of congressional representatives to penalize slavery, i.e., they preferred no mention of slavery. The anti-slavery states did not want to count any slaves (zero-fifths) to penalize slavery. The compromise still penalized slavery, giving an incentive to free slaves and increase congressional representation. Thus, the motivations in the Constitution were the exact opposite of what you and others claim.

Steve Piet

Steve Piet

Thurmond and Wallace were racists. Happily, toward the end of their lives, each recanted and apologized. We’ll have to disagree whether Trump has been or is racist.

The filibuster is racist? Tell that to the Democrats who repeatedly used it to block Republican bills and nominees in the Senate under Reagan, Bush (41), Bush (43) and Trump. The filibuster is simply a device to force legislation to have a significant degree of bipartisan support. It has nothing to do with residual racism.

You claim that policing is racist. Consider most people arrested and jailed are male. Does this mean that police and the justice system are anti-male? No, it occurs because males commit most crimes. Thus, the fact that Blacks are shot or jailed more than their percentage of the population does not necessarily mean police and the justice system are racist. The question is whether those percentages exceed the percentage of Blacks committing relevant crimes.

I find few high-quality quantitative studies about police behavior. The Harvard study is one. It did not find that police disproportionally shoot Blacks; yet, it did find that there was some disproportionality in the number of police interactions with Blacks.

We agree that there is residual racism and that it must be fought. One reason I oppose critical race theory is I think it increases not decreases racism.

Curiously, one can argue that the abandonment of Afghanistan by Biden is racist. We’ve stationed troops to protect Europeans, Japanese (76 years) and Koreans (68 years). As Biden couldn’t station troops to protect Afghans, he must value Afghan lives less than European and Asian lives.

Critical race theory is not just an academic exercise to think about the role of race in America or elsewhere. As the Encyclopedia Britannica (and others) define critical race theory, it singles out the U.S. as particularly bad regarding racism, where I find the U.S. particularly good. As it is taught to children, it muddles their thinking, as it is manifestly wrong. Critical race theory advocates racist solutions; I oppose them. Treat people as individuals, not tribes.

Steve Piet is a nuclear engineer who worked at Idaho National Laboratory for 31 years.

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