Intentional division?

Published 6:25 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I would like to offer an insider’s perspective on Critical Race Theory.

I attended my first school board meeting last week and would have spoken on the issue of Critical Race Theory, however our board cares so little for the opinion of its stakeholders that public comments are limited to 30 minutes.

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What I did witness in my time there was disturbing. Everyone came into the meeting saying hi and greeting one another, with many relationships in these communities going back generations. As soon as this issue was raised, these same community members were yelling and arguing heatedly with one another.

I would argue that was the goal.

I work for a human capital firm. In the beginning of 2020, like many other companies, we were facing massive losses and layoffs. After George Floyd died, my company saw a massive opportunity to expand our footprint in the D&I (diversity and inclusion, now diversity, equity and inclusion) space.

I work in leadership development, not D&I, but I have been through multiple trainings and have heard on multiple calls “how much money we have made since George Floyd died.” What I saw at the school board meeting, a community tearing itself apart, broke my heart.

I would offer for the town’s consideration that these companies might not be offering these programs to address the hurt, but to provoke it. That is where the money is. An issue that has no defined parameters of success keeps itself in business indefinitely. My company had its highest-earning quarter ever, and we have no stake or accountability in the wake we leave behind.


Kathleen James