Letter: Iowa has muted the voices of the liberal and moderate movements

I have marvelled at the decline of a once progressive state whose schools were among the best in the country thirty years ago. Ironic that one of the states that outlaws the teaching of “Critical Race Theory” is the same state whose Supreme Court ruled that a slave brought to Iowa could not be forced to return to his owner in 1839, desegregated its schools in 1868, and whose first African American professor at Iowa State University was George Washington Carver.

The progressive racial policies of Iowa won’t be taught to students. Is it connected to the fact that Iowa currently has a middle-of-the-road education ranking among American states? It is undoubtedly true that Iowa has had its share of discriminatory racial policies because there are undoubtedly bad examples, but Iowa used to be a purple state where women had the right to vote four years before the 19th amendment, a Republican governor welcomed thousands of Vietnamese refugees, and a bipartisan legislature passed marriage equality for LGBTQ people eight years before the federal government.

Now, thanks to gerrymandering, Iowa lost a seasoned lawmaker, and the governor targeted and defeated moderate Republicans who opposed school vouchers. To Iowa’s harm, moderate and progressive views are suppressed.

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