Educate, don’t indoctrinate


To the Editor:

We are being inundated with the phrase, “educate don’t indoctrinate.” It is now on billboards and in robot calls to our homes.

What the phrase means to me may differ from its meaning to those who use scare tactics such as “socialism” to refer to their ideas of indoctrination. They pair Critical Race Theory with their scary word to infer our children will grow up communists if something is not done to keep discussions about race out of our schools. The concepts of diversity, equality and equity are further evidence of public schools veering into the morass created by liberals and their Marxist allies.

These same people tell us our government is risking the health of our children with mandates for mask wearing and vaccinations. They argue that such requirements are signs of socialism and growing dictatorship in a country with a constitution protecting individual rights. They intimidate local school boards with this argument and threats of violence. So if this is the message intended by people recruiting school board candidates, what does the concept mean to me, a moderate business consultant?

Educate means we teach our children the truth. In history they learn about the total experience of our people in our communities, states and country. They learn how our country and state were settled and how many benefited while Native Americans and African Americans suffered. We learn how the constitution denied the rights of many and how it has evolved. We learn through science and math the facts and theories that make our world work and threaten our existence. Our children learn civics and how voting works best when everyone participates. As they learn about democracy they begin practicing the ideas in classes and communities.

Don’t indoctrinate means simply we identify lies and conspiracy theories distorting the truth. We point out the dangers implied in the words “fascism” and “socialism” and relate the concepts and threats to the messages we are hearing. We call out the lies about Critical Race Theory and other conspiracy theories. We pay attention to local elections and support candidates who practice civility and reason, not threats and violence. So let us maintain integrity in our schools. Let’s fight indoctrination of lies, fear and conspiracy theories with truth, facts and evidence.

Ron Robinson, Sylva


Spread the truth


To the Editor:

There is one strategy the Biden administration should take to debunk the lies that are being circulated throughout America by right-wing “news” sources along with many Republican politicians who seem hell-bent on power at the expense of our democratic republic.

Use the U.S. Postal Service to send a truthful, concise document to every postal service patron (1) stating the facts of the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection, (2) showing how the Constitution is being followed and utilized by the Jan. 6 Select Committee and (3) clarifying ways to restore democratic values/processes to our country.

We don’t all listen to the same news sources. The document described above would generate discussion about facts. Not everyone would be swayed. But, many would. That is a good start.

Educator Robert Maynard Hutchins encouraged people to read critically, think independently and engage good-naturedly in controversies of the times. The attempted coup is our “controversy of the times.” We must call it what it is.

We must work now to preserve and strengthen our constitution/democratic republic. The facts really matter today.

Let’s spread the truth across America.

Dave Waldrop, Webster 


On books, their covers and judgment


To the Editor:

Many years ago, I read “Black Like Me” which was a true story about a white man who had his skin temporarily darkened so he could pass as a black man in the Deep South. Of course, with the skin change he was treated very differently and unfairly, though his heart and mind and soul remained the same.

The book is a poignant lesson that we cannot judge a man or a book by their cover – a lesson for everyone, especially during this time of racial division and hate.

Mary Joyce, Sylva