Business leaders get woke tickets punched

As reported in your paper (May 7), the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored an event for business leaders at City Hall to express their support for the Chamber's new "racial equity pledge."

It is sad to see our business leaders lining up for self-congratulatory virtue-signaling as they get their woke tickets punched. How the mighty have fallen before the sloganeering and bullying of the political left!

We are all for diversity in economic opportunity, business development and employment, and we have made huge strides over the past 50-plus years implementing our country's founding principles of equality under the law and the Christian value of love for our neighbors.

But we are not all for "equity" and the agenda with which that term is freighted. We do not all believe our country is still plagued with "institutional racism" and the implied pandemic of white supremacy. Do our business leaders believe our country and community are systemically evil?

Those of us who own businesses in town hoped the Chamber would stick to its mission of furthering the interests of business in our community without taking sides in the divisive social/political movements of our day.

Philip Lancaster

Lookout Mountain, Georgia


Don't omit history; put it in perspective

I never knew of my grandmother's Native American heritage, or the shame she felt because of it, until after her passing. In my 40-plus years as a secondary history teacher, I felt it was my responsibility not to whitewash American history. I covered in detail the massacre of indigenous people, the brutality of the slave trade, the struggle of civil rights, the rise of nativism and anti-immigration legislation. I knew that my teaching had been effective when many of my students voiced shock and outrage over what we had done as a nation.

The important aspect that I addressed after this part of my lesson, often omitted by those who currently teach history through the lens of critical race theory, is that the inhumane treatment of conquered people, regrettably, has been a sad feature of every civilization that has ever existed. Yes, we have done horrible things as a country, but we have made more strides to correct these injustices than any other country before us. That is our redemption.

Race should never define us as a person. Skin color is merely a veneer. A person is his/her character, intellect, and heart.

Jeff Fisher


Tennessee now predicting the past?

I once heard a history professor say that the hardest part of teaching history is predicting the past. Who could have predicted the Indian removal did not happen, slavery was harsh and could not exist in the U.S., and Jim Crow laws were never passed? Who could have known there were never segregated schools, the KKK was a myth, and Japanese-Americans were not interned during World War II? The answer of course is the Tennessee legislators and governor. "You must be taught at an early age." Oh, yes, who now predicts that Trump won the 2020 presidential election?

Sanford T. Winer


Adopt critical race theory; it's science

Re: "TN Legislature bill bars public schools from teaching concepts about systemic racism."

The article refers to the Tennessee legislature introducing a ban on teaching critical race theory (CRT). CRT is science-based. It is derived from frameworks of culture in the study of cultural anthropology. CRT took more than 100 years to develop and conceptually moved race away from biological determinations based on research. CRT is the study of society and the structure of power. It is challenging your assumptions about the world, and it should. To try to say CRT is left, right, black, white is an oversimplification. The point of critical thinking is to challenge, not dictate thought. Study the theory yourself; don't be told what it is by someone using it to advantage their political place in society.

I am struck by the irony of banning CRT in schools. Are we that disoriented we must avoid critical thinking at all costs? Reigning in intellectual theories and historical facts by asserting politically motivated ideology is authoritarianism. Our children deserve better than this limited, fearful worldview Tennessee has chosen to take when faced with the evolution of democracy and integration of multiculturalism in all aspects of our society.

Lynne Marchetti


Reauthorize child nutrition legislation

Save the Children recently released a report, "Childhood in the Time of COVID," which sheds light on the challenges American kids and families face as a result of COVID-19. Almost one in five kids don't have enough to eat. In 2020, in Tennessee, 18.2% of adults lived in households with children ages 0-17 who reported they sometimes or often did not have enough to eat.

Shockingly, there are an estimated 17 million hungry children in America, 6 million more than before the pandemic and three times higher than during the Great Recession. This is unacceptable.

Without adequate food, kids don't have the proper nutrition to build strong bodies and minds. Healthy nutrition is critical to helping children grow, develop and break the cycle of poverty. When children are smarter, stronger and healthier, our nation is smarter, stronger and healthier.

Join me and Save the Children Action Network in urging Rep. Fleischmann to provide support when Congress debates the Child Nutrition Reauthorization. This legislation strengthens child nutrition programs now and after the pandemic ends. Congress must act before it's too late. Combating child hunger is in the interest of every American. Kids are, after all, our future.

Akbar Rahmani