By Sylvia Leigh

July 13, 2021

I worked with minority children in foster care in inner city Grand Rapids for seven years.  We went through deep times together, and they forever have a place in my heart.  My children have enjoyed multicultural friendships in Ottawa County, which has been beautiful to watch.  It breaks my heart to see children divided by skin color—minority children taught they are oppressed and have no ability to achieve their dreams, white children taught they are evil oppressors who must make up for the sins of their ancestors, with all being taught they live in an America with an evil founding and structure— which they need to be allies in tearing down.

Instead of focusing on each other’s beauty, what unites us, and how America – as individuals and as a nation, has a rich history of rising above adversity, there is a movement to tear us apart.

Conservative, esteemed, minority thought leaders Thomas Sowell, Candace Owens, Bob Woodson, Larry Elder, Voddie Bauchman, and Every Black Life Matters, do not agree with Racial Equity and Critical Race Theory teachings like those promoted by GARE and Ottawa County under the guise of DEI.  Neither does President Trump, or the 1776 Commission formed under his leadership.  In West Michigan and nationwide, minority moms and dads are telling schools boards they oppose these teachings.

Christopher Rufo’s investigation into Critical Race Theory exposed a Marxist movement to divide America.  To counter the public backlash and Republican led legislation to ban these teachings, GARE’s parent organization Race Forward published a guide, Counter-Narrating the Attacks on Critical Race Theory.  Race Forward’s guide affirmed the connection between the Race Equity movement and Critical Race Theory, as well as the glaringly political nature of Race Equity work.

CRT content falls under verbiage such as racial equity, antibias antiracist work, DEI, and SEL.  Core concepts include; white privilege, white fragility, implicit bias, systemic racism, and collective guilt.  This work expands outside of race and into sexuality and religion with concepts of intersectionality and oppression of the “dominant culture”, which include the characteristics of being white, heterosexual, identifying with the sex you were born with, Christian, and especially male.  Teaching people they are oppressed and oppressors based on these characteristics is intellectually and emotionally abusive, not to mention discriminatory and racist.

We ask those who have genuine concern about issues facing minority residents to consult the thought leaders mentioned earlier, who have identified problems and proposed solutions consistent with the values and beliefs of the citizens of Ottawa County, rather than promote the agenda of the progressive left with tax payer and special interest dollars.

Finally, we encourage you to sign the Resolution to Restore Freedom, committing to protect the freedoms of Ottawa County by reigning in unconstitutional government acts.

Sylvia worked in Child Welfare with foster children and families, before having children of her own, and operating a photography business for a decade. In recent years, she has been an advocate for health freedom, parental rights, and education, researching happenings in schools and government, while supporting parents through Informed Parents of Michigan.