There has been lots of talk about what and how history should be taught within the United States. Local, state, and national leaders are weighing in on the topic. Many don’t think we should incorporate the topic of race into the national school curriculum for the fear of portraying America or individual white Americans to be racist at heart. The fact of the matter is race is part of our history, why erase it, or hide it, or pretend it is not intertwined? Good or bad, it is part of who we are.
The Tulsa massacre of 1921 along with Juneteenth are two topics that have been recently brought to light, and there are countless others. We criticize, let’s say, China, for being a closed society and “brainwashing” its people because the government controls what is taught and how it is taught. Unfavorable history is left out of their curriculum. Is that what we want for us? Do we want to only teach what a particular group thinks is favorable for fear it may paint a poor picture of Americans? Are we not then just as those other governments we shun for doing so.
Here’s a simple idea. Teach the facts, all the facts, even the ugly ones and let the children who we are teaching decide for themselves who we are as a nation. We are trying to teach our children to be critical thinkers, to analyze information, and to draw conclusions based on the information learned. So why do we need to skew our historical content? Just teach it and let them decide. Yes, there will be those who walk away thinking America is racist and race issues are ingrained into our modern society, and there will be those who think that is all of the past and yet there will be others who think something else. What is important is that all the facts are presented and the humans we are raising and teaching make a decision for themselves instead of letting a group of politicians with their hidden agendas decide for us.