Letters to the editor: Critical race theory, transgender rights, wolves

·3 min read

Critical race theory

“Critical race theory” in Idaho code? This is amazing.

When I was in grade school I heard nothing to make me question the history I was learning from Saturday movies: Indians were the aggressors, cowboys the rescuers. Black people existed to pick cotton and sing Zippity Doo Dah with Massa’s children. We thought the continent Columbus bumped into was without form and void until he discovered it and someone named it for Amerigo Vespucci. Spanish was a forbidden language until we got to high school and took Spanish I and Spanish II from an Anglo.

Let’s call that “uncritical race theory.” Generations of white Americans have grown up culturally crippled because we were unaware of the true breadth of our history. The dangers I see in House Bill 377 are that educators will be inhibited from stating facts if someone cries “bias,” and that the possibility of amendment for past wrongs is foreclosed. If you inherit stolen property you aren’t guilty of stealing it, but shouldn’t you try to return it?

Darcy James, Boise

Transgender rights

Transgender rights are under attack from House bills 500 and 509 by the Idaho state legislature and governor. HB 500 prohibits transgender individuals from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates; HB 509 bars transgender women and girls from competing on women’s sports teams. These laws incite ethical and moral complications within the social fabric of Idaho, and are grossly unconstitutional.

These laws set a poor example for what Idaho’s legislature and governor constitutes as a priority and highlights their lack of commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and the rights of transgender individuals.

This legislation is based in discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression and also threatens the safety and privacy of transgender Idahoans. HB 500 establishes that if barring transgender girls and women from playing on female sports teams is refuted, they would be subjected to inappropriate testing to verify their gender status. This is an unethically demoralizing attack against the transgender community.

To resolve this issue, we demand the removal of anti-transgender laws by lobbying our state representatives. We will elect new leadership that advocates for the rights and safety of transgender individuals, while also recognizing their constitutional freedoms as citizens of Idaho.

Gracie Hall, Boise

Wolves

Idaho stands to lose millions of dollars in tourism revenue if SB 1211, the wolf extermination bill, becomes law. My own decision to vacation in Idaho depends on the intact natural values of your state. I will not vacation in Idaho if wildlife, including wolves, are being exterminated. Responsible wildlife management is central to welcoming travelers to your state.

SB 1211 is cruel, destructive, and unnecessary, the product of a reckless legislature focused more on controversy than responsible governance. Wolves are easy to blame but they are not the culprit ranchers claim. Common diseases kill 100 times more cattle than wolves but this legislation doesn’t address that problem. Idaho elk are in great shape because the presence of wolves keeps herds fit. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game opposes SB 1211 because it will trigger the re-listing of wolves under the Endangered Species Act and remand wolf management to federal authorities, an embarrassing and costly outcome for the state.

SB 1211 would destroy 40 years of wolf recovery, an act of biological annihilation. This is not wildlife management, this is a war on nature, the consequences of which could be a liability for years to come.

Charles Fox, Santa Fe, New Mexico