In his June 30 opinion piece, “Connecting the dots: Critical race theory and Gramsci Marxism,” Don Pesci appears to ignore the effect of 400 years of slavery and institutionalized racism that has included Jim Crow, redlining, G.I. bill exclusion, healthcare and education disparities, police abuse, and many other intentional and unintentional ways of harming people of color.

Critical Race Theory simply says we need to look at the effect that the human construct of race has played in our societal ills and institutional structures. We cannot properly address our societal issues without acknowledging the pervasive effects of racism.

It is something that white people like Pesci and I have the privilege of ignoring without consequences to our daily lives. However, we are only conveniently kidding ourselves if we think it does not exist and is not a primary factor in every facet of our society.

It is also foolish to think that we do not also become victims of a society that fails to live up to its ideals and perpetuates oppression. Rather than critiquing any effort to bring awareness and real change to the horrific legacy of racism in the United States, Pesci would be better serving our democracy by further educating himself, facing the difficult realities, and working for reform that enables our democratic ideals to apply to all people.

I hope we will all take a critical look at how our history of racism has not been magically erased and takes intentional work to dismantle.

Perry Montrose lives in Waterford.