For the publisher:

Re “Debate Over Scope of Racism Embroils Schools” (cover page, June 2):

White historians once taught that reconstruction and equal legal and voting rights for blacks have corrupted democracy. Textbooks ignored the massacre of the Tulsa race and others like it. Few historians write more like this. We include all aspects of American history and examine racism and injustice as evolving power systems as well as manifestations of individual prejudice.

Research to understand history is not an ideology, as Republicans claim. It is common sense. You can’t solve problems by pretending that they don’t exist now or that they weren’t there before. It is far too late for Republicans to impose willful ignorance on today’s students. They know that racism is a systemic problem that we all need to solve.

michael honey
Tacoma, Wash.
The writer teaches history at the University of Washington Tacoma and is a fellow of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute.

For the publisher:

I am discouraged from reading the controversy over teaching “critical race theory” because much of the discussion assumes that schools are centers of indoctrination as opposed to institutions that develop critical thinking skills. Giving students contemporary and historical facts would be ideal, and letting them develop their own theories based on the evidence.

However, in the post-Trump world, there are no hard facts we can agree on. This is the real academic and political danger we face. When we cannot agree on facts or evidence, we cannot agree on solutions to problems. We can’t even discuss it!

Provide students with the relevant information and let them decide for themselves whether this country is plagued by “systemic oppression and implicit prejudice.”

Larry Hoffner
new York
The writer is a retired public high school teacher.

For the publisher:

Re “Pondering the Fate of Roth’s Legacy” (Arts pages, June 7):

I have known Philip Roth for over 60 years and loved him.

Norton pulled the Blake Bailey biography (in which I am mentioned several times) despite the fact that the allegations against Mr. Bailey are yet to be proven. What will Norton do with the books? Got a book to burn? Or let them go on the black market so that someone can sell them at inflated prices?

The larger question – should the world be deprived of an acclaimed biography of one of America’s greatest contemporary writers – is somewhat answered by the market. Someone else is posting it.

There are much broader issues. Should the public be deprived of the work of writers, living or dead, because of their alleged transgressions or real crimes or those of their biographers?

So much is lost in today’s debate over Mr. Bailey’s book and the life of Philip Roth. Further biographies and studies of Roth’s work will be published. They must be encouraged and protected.

Martin Garbus
new York
The writer is a First Amendment lawyer.

For the publisher:

“Passing the Baton to Conducting’s Next Generation” (Arts & Leisure, June 6) deals with the obstacles faced by conductors who aspire to lead the great orchestras of this country.

You write: “When Marin Alsop leaves the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this summer, it will leave the highest level of American ensembles as they were before taking office in 2007: without a single female musical director.”

This is true, but there is another essential ingredient missing from this assessment. It will leave leading American ensembles without American Music director. Currently, there are at least four vacancies for the most senior positions.

When orchestras looking for new leadership announce their 2021-22 seasons, perhaps we could see some local talent among the nominees.

Join Michael Barbaro and the “The Daily” team as they celebrate students and teachers who end a year like no other with a special live event. Meet the students of Odessa High School, which was the subject of a Times audio documentary series. We’ll even get some noise with a performance by the award-winning Odessa Marching Band Drum Line and a special celebrity opening keynote.

Obviously, the priority is musical creation when determining the qualifications of the music director. But part of that decision must also encompass boldness: finding someone who has innovative ideas, connects with the orchestra and the community, and can create a truly individual identity for the organization.

Maybe this person has always been in our garden.

Leonard Slatkin
Saint Louis
The writer is Laureate Music Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Laureate Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He is the author of the forthcoming book “Classical Crossroads: The Path Forward for Music in the 21st Century”.

For the publisher:

Re “In Space Race, Bezos says: See Ya, Elon!” (Business, June 8):

Well, tyrant for Jeff Bezos. He goes into space on his rocket when his employees cannot take adequate toilet breaks.

I have an idea: Before Mr. Bezos becomes the next Buzz Aldrin, why doesn’t he focus on giving his employees decent wages and humane working conditions?

We have an alarming crisis of inequality in America, and it is getting worse. It is not a prescription for a stable society. Space exploration might be a step forward for Mr. Bezos, but for Amazon, it was a giant leap into the golden age for its workers.

Henry peterson
Syracuse, New York State

For the publisher:

“The Hamptons Crawl” (Sunday Styles, May 30) drew attention to the onset of the summer season, traffic, the cost of rentals and food, and the return of the privileged to Long Island’s beautiful East End . Unfortunately, in every discussion of the Hamptons, there is a huge secret that is left out.

In the Hamptons there are a large number of struggling residents. They don’t come by helicopters; they take woefully inadequate public transportation to get to their service jobs. They don’t party on the beach; they sleep on borrowed floors, in barely affordable housing.

The pandemic has revealed the extent of this problem. Food instability has increased dramatically, taxing local resources. Many local workers are re-employed, but low wages and the high cost of housing make getting food on the table a constant challenge.

What if everyone who enjoyed the Hamptons returned – a donation to a pantry or a few hours volunteering for a charity?

Claudia Pilato
East Hampton, New York
The writer is chairman of the board of directors of All for the East End, which supports nonprofits

For the publisher:

Re “With Harvard Case Coming Up, Study Tests the Value of Diversity”, by Adam Liptak (side column, June 1):

In response to Chief Justice John Roberts’ question, “What unique perspective does a minority student bring to a physics class?” – I would say that there is moral, practical and educational value in diversifying the physics class.

The moral value is that it is unfair to maintain the status quo, where the under-representation and negative prejudices faced by women and people of color in STEM are persistent and severe.

There is practical value in preparing students to become global leaders in a diverse workforce and to engage all the best minds for the advancement of science.

There is educational value in validating the importance of social equity as a subject on which students should be educated.

In trying to diversify the type of student who pursues physics, we are not looking for someone’s personal experience to inform their perspective on energy conservation or other scientific laws. We try to keep pace with the global workforce, to prepare today’s young people to face the issues they will face, maybe even show them how social issues affect science and are affected. by science.

At Hamilton College, we offer courses that teach students about social and structural hierarchies in the context of each discipline, including physics.

Kate brown
Clinton, New York
The author is Associate Professor of Physics at Hamilton College.



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