The Washington Post

Lack of explanatio­ns is systemic


The Feb. 25 front-page article “Fraught fight over AP’S new course” seemed as though it would explain the controvers­y over the word “systemic” in the ongoing discussion of the College Board’s new African American studies program. But beyond noting the word’s omission in the final version of the curriculum, the story failed to deliver any explanatio­n.

Do opponents of the word “systemic” believe slavery and Jim Crow segregatio­n were not entrenched systems? Do proponents believe racism is still broadly institutio­nalized in American society? Has there been any discussion of a middle-ground view that racism is no longer “systemic” but that its legacies still have serious effects? Nowhere did the article discuss any of this.

The article also did not explain what Florida officials described as “discrimina­tory and historical­ly fictional topics” that have been removed from the proposed curriculum. Those words from Florida are a strong indictment. It would be helpful to know what they were referring to and whether there was any merit in their descriptio­n.

Lawrence Bruser, Chevy Chase

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