You Don’t Cure Prejudice With Prejudice

Dear Governor Lamont,

I am writing to you to voice my objections to SB1, and though I am willing to ascribe only the noblest motivations to the legislators who sponsored the Bill, the final draft currently awaiting your signature contains some language that is highly offensive and some that is nothing short of dangerous.

While SB1’s stated objective is to simply equalize the healthcare outcomes for all CT residents, it sets out to do so exclusively through the prism of race and blames racism alone for the unequal outcomes we see today. Setting aside the question of scientific merit of this conclusion, do you personally believe that Connecticut’s brave nurses and doctors, who just last year selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, are actually vile racists? Is that the message you want to send to the people of our state? Does it not make the legislators, who worked remotely from the safety of their homes during the pandemic, look shameless and ungrateful?

Unfortunately, there is more to SB1 than that. The Bill talks about inclusion of “cultural humility” in higher education programs. My husband and I are refugees from the former Soviet Union and came to the United States during the Cold War to escape ethnic and religious persecution. I am also a granddaughter of an Auschwitz survivor. My family and I bear deep scars of the brutality that inevitably follows incitement and vilification of a whole group of people. The simple truth is you don’t cure prejudice with prejudice. The idea of separating people into the oppressors and the oppressed simply by their color or gender or sexual orientation is not just intellectually perverse, it’s dangerous. Just yesterday the New York Times published an article about the New York-based psychiatrist who spoke at a Yale University lecture about her “fantasies of unloading a revolver into the head of any white person that got in her way, burying their body and wiping her bloody hands as she walked away relatively guiltless with a bounce in her step. Like she did the world a favor”. The paper also cited multiple members of the Yale Psychology Department expressing admiration for her horrifying diatribe. Given the latest FBI reports on the sharp rise in hate crimes, do you think it’s responsible to teach our young people to judge the virtue or vice of others by appearance alone?

I know there will be few who are eager to exploit the divisions we are suffering in this country. I urge you not to let them pressure you into signing the Bill that I believe not only violates the tenets of basic human decency but also puts the people of Connecticut in danger.

Pavla Levin
New Canaan, CT

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