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In response to Prof. August Nimtz's article ("The real flaw in CRT: It's not revolutionary enough," Opinion Exchange, Nov. 18) advocating for Marxism in this country, I'd like to know which current or former Marxist or communist country he'd prefer to live in over the United States. Cuba? Nicaragua? China? The Soviet Union? I certainly agree with his desire to eliminate racial and economic disparities here at home, but I don't see how a Marxist revolution will achieve these objectives. Every experiment with Marxism of which I am aware has resulted in a small circle of ruling elites who have imprisoned and killed their political opponents, siphoned off massive amounts of wealth for themselves and crushed political and economic freedoms for the vast majority of their citizens.

I'll therefore stick with Winston Churchill's observation that "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried."

Jim Jacobson, Minneapolis


The real flaw in critical race theory is indeed that it is not revolutionary enough nor radical enough. But the problem is not that capitalism is racism, for capitalism knows no bounds nor ends and never will, therefore in capitalism the field is ever wide open. However, yes, crony capitalism — or better, elitism — is where all and every form of racism and classism resides. I recommend studying Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and not Karl Marx, for even Marx knew under his breath that his ideology was limited and incorrect in ever achieving some kind of utopian communal society.

Keith Krugerud, Big Lake, Minn.


Nimtz's counterpoint that CRT isn't radical enough vividly illustrates that the University of Minnesota, where he is a professor, is over-the-top radical. Nimtz would have us believe that "yes, 'systemic racism' exists: it's called capitalism." Really? He doesn't bother to explain that, likely because it is inexplicable. He can't even get his facts straight. He tells us that Derek Chauvin is the first white cop convicted by a jury for killing a Black person in the U.S. I submit the names Amber Guyger, Mark Bessner, Jason Van Dyke, F.H. Paschall, W.F. Stevenson and P.L. Whalen, all white police officers convicted by juries of killing Black people, and all before Chauvin's conviction. I should audit a Nimtz course so I can ask him to justify the pillorying of white people, based on their skin color, which is what CRT is all about.

Jerry L. Nowlin, Minneapolis


I'm taking no side other than to show what Nimtz is basing his opening stance on. Here is what he claims Pearlstein ("Making sense of the debates over CRT and 'systemic racism,'" Opinion Exchange, Nov. 13) said:

"African Americans of my generation, Pearlstein claims, who believed in what used to be called institutional racism, were likely to infer 'that their chances of adult success were crucially abridged, prompting them to conclude in turn, "What the hell, why should I do any homework? Why should I study hard? I don't have much of a future anyway.""

Here is what Pearlstein actually said: "This view inescapably resulted in many African American and other students wrongly inferring that their chances of adult success were crucially abridged, prompting them to conclude in turn ... ."

Do you see the difference? Pearlstein says "many African Americans" while Nimtz says "African Americans of my generation," meaning all of them. Pearlstein makes no claim about all African Americans of that generation. So is Nimtz purposely changing what was said to fit his narrative better? Maybe this was unintentional and was due to Nimtz's forgetting what he read? Either way, he owes an apology.

Now the question is, what percentage does Pearlstein mean by "many"? Certainly not 75%, as that would infer "most" or "the majority." Maybe 50%. Quite possible. The fact is when making strong arguments that Pearlstein makes, using adjectives like "many" is lazy writing and poorly thought out. Using a percentage of what he believes would add weight to his point and not allow others to rewrite what he claims.

Loren J. Balazs, Apple Valley


A Nov. 16 letter writer laments that "public discussion of economic class has been drowned out by racial statistics." Yet the lack of class mobility cannot be explained without reference to race. There is no other way to explain the simple fact that almost 160 years after the end of slavery in the United States, 19.5% of Black people still live in poverty vs. 8.2% of white people, according to a Census Bureau report of 2020 data. Understanding the reason for this continuing disparity does not require CRT but only an accurate presentation of the history of African American descendants of slaves, from their status as property to propertyless sharecroppers to their great migration to northern cities, where they were denied the right to own property in desirable neighborhoods by redlining and racist elements in the GI Bill. Until this history-based imbalance in property ownership is rectified, race will continue to determine wealth and class.

Allan B. Campbell, Minneapolis


Nimitz thinks that capitalism is unfair and oppressive. He also says that capitalism is equivalent to structural racism. He recommends Marx's insights and says that Martin Luther King Jr. was heading in a direction "that would have challenged the very foundations of capitalism." It sounds to me like he's advocating for communism as the alternative to capitalism.

I wonder which country Nimitz would choose for the U.S. to emulate when we switch to the communist system? Perhaps Cuba, which once had a standard of living similar to the U.S. and where the per capita GDP for 2019 was estimated by the U.N. at around $9,000 as compared to more than $65,000 for the U.S. Or perhaps Russia or China, where forced collectivization resulted in the starvation of tens of millions of people? Russia and China have both allowed capitalism in parts of their economies in order to improve economic performance, although both are effectively dictatorships run by the Communist Party. Although China's economy has greatly improved since it integrated capitalism, its per capita GDP was about $10,000 in 2019, still much poorer than the U.S. And Russia's was around $11,500.

The U.S. is the richest large country in the world and one of the most free and least oppressive. There are things that can be improved, but we would be fools to dump capitalism in favor of communism. And we would be hard-pressed to find a model country to emulate in order to have a better standard of living and more freedom.

James Brandt, New Brighton


I enjoyed the discussion between Pearlstein and Prof. Nimtz. The former claims we focus too much on racial issues and make them worse despite progress since 1960. The latter indicts capitalism as the perpetuator of class differences and struggles (including race).

I suggest the professor read Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" before dissing capitalism. I quote:

"While causation can sometimes be explained by intentional actions and sometimes by systemic interactions, too often the results of systemic interactions are falsely explained by individual intentions. ... For example, while rising prices are likely to reflect changes in supply and demand, people ignorant of economics may attribute price rises to 'greed.'"

To "play" in the capitalist game one needs the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic. A basic understanding of how our government works is critical to creating, maintaining and/or participating in business.

While CRT may be an interesting conversation piece at your next cocktail party, it won't teach your child how to participate in a capitalistic society. Economics will.

By the way, Tucker Carlson discusses much more than race. You may want to watch before commenting.

Donald M. Pitsch, Eden Prairie

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