Dear Jeff and Julia,

My history teacher, Mr. Baldwin, was a great guy.

When I was in the seventh grade, my junior high football coach was also my history teacher. Because my class was during last period, my classmates loved when we had away games because we’d leave early and, in his absences, he’d show his home movies that were tangentially related to history. I never got the chance to see them because, again, I was on the football team.


But one time, I got in a fight in the locker room and, instead of suspending me from school, he just suspended me from the football team for a week. Since it was during an away game, I finally got a chance to see one of Mr. Baldwin’s “boring movies.”

It turns out, that Mr. Baldwin’s true passion was Civil War reenactments, where he would cosplay as a Confederate soldier. Because my class was the “honors” class, I was the only Black kid in the class who got to watch Mr. Baldwin document his love for reenacting the defense of slavery. Do you know how that made me feel?


When I was in the 11th grade, Miss Coward, my AP history teacher invited everyone to her house for a sleepover (coincidentally, she had just married my high school football coach). Our class was small, so we did stuff like this all the time. During the sleepovers, we all slept in a room with a huge Confederate flag on the wall.

Think about how that made me feel.

Actually, neither of these things bothered me at all.

I never thought about either of these stories until a few years ago, during a conversation with Kay, a high school friend of mine who happens to be white. Kay never goes back to our hometown because she says everyone is racist. But she’s a bleeding-heart liberal, know.


Kay and I were talking about another AP History classmate whose mother had just passed away. The classmate loved Mrs. Coward but was hated by everyone in our AP history class because she was the teacher’s pet. Kay tried to explain that the teacher and our classmate were so close because they were all racists but I couldn’t believe it. That’s when Kay sent the obituary from our hometown newspaper to me.

Apparently, our classmate’s mother was the founder of the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy and served as president until she passed it down to my high school history teacher.


That classmate is now a history teacher. A few years ago, she was named South Carolina’s teacher of the year. And it’s not just her. Right now, students across the country are learning white people’s version of history. And it’s not just in the South.

For instance, the AP history course in Hackensack N.J. has dozens of required reading assignments, including watching D.W. Griffith’s pro-Klan film, Birth of a Nation. Although the entire course doesn’t have a single supplementary reading by a Black author, the students have to read the racist AF Notes on the state of Virginia, (I also had to read this in AP history), which includes an entire chapter about the inferiority of Blacks, where Thomas Jefferson explains:

I advance it therefore as a suspicion only, that the blacks, whether originally a distinct race, or made distinct by time and circumstances, are inferior to the whites in the endowments both of body and mind. It is not against experience to suppose, that different species of the same genus, or varieties of the same species, may possess different qualifications. Will not a lover of natural history then, one who views the gradations in all the races of animals with the eye of philosophy, excuse an effort to keep those in the department of man as distinct as nature has formed them? This unfortunate difference of colour, and perhaps of faculty, is a powerful obstacle to the emancipation of these people.


Or how about the hundreds of thousands of students who learn from The American Pageant’s AP history textbook which contains quotes like:


Again, this is the most advanced level of history in the country.

So what does this have to do with CRT?

Here’s my point: I can’t understand why everyone is so angry. White people are up in arms about CRT because they are afraid of what it may do to their kids. But they don’t have a reason to worry. I know a lot about history and look how well I turned out.


It turns out, I was learning Caucasian Racist Theory the whole time.