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Letter: Pillen doesn't understand nation

Letter: Pillen doesn't understand nation

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I have seen many silly things in my 30 year long observation of the Nebraska Board of Regents, but nothing that matches Jim Pillen's resolution proposing to ban the teaching of Critical Race Theory -- in the name of free speech, no less -- ("Pillen asks fellow regents to formally oppose critical race theory," July 9). 

Regent Pillen seems to be wedded to a fantasy about the United States, entirely divorced from the real world. He says we are the best country in the world. By what measure?

Cato Institute says we are the 17th most free nation. The UN says we are the 20th most happy. Transparency International ranks as 25th least corrupt. Our life expectancy is 40th in the world, less than Colombia or Turkey, probably because we don't have a functional health care system. Our infant mortality is 52nd best.

Overall, if this were college football, we wouldn't be national champions. We wouldn't even crack the top 25. We'd be Rutgers. Or Nebraska.

Pillen needs to look at America and its history as it is, and not as his childish myths wish it to be.

Gerard Harbsion, Lincoln


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