The importance of teaching history

In his Forum post, Red Jahncke argues that progressive education is “mischief.” He buttresses his opinion by misrepresenting the work of “infamous” Professor Ibram X. Kendi, vilifying the NEA and AFT, and making wild and unsubstantiated claims that “the controversial and divisive CRT…and the associated radical ideological theories” are taught at Greenwich. public schools “under cover of darkness”. Allow me to alleviate his concerns.

The study of history, beyond its inherent interest, has always been about criticism and not about “repudiation”. We study history because we love it, and also because we want to learn from it, to improve the present and the future by avoiding the mistakes of the past. But we cannot learn from history if it is not completely true. As a child, I read Landmark books. As an adult, I supplemented my knowledge of what happened by reading scholarly books. It didn’t teach me to “deny” America or Americans – or myself. It opened my eyes to how all parties feel. When I learned, for example, that the Pilgrims found and ate seed corn, that did not make me despise them. Landmark painted quite a different picture – but if we deny that Indians were robbed, how can there be any meaningful discourse or peaceful coexistence with them?

The “R” part of CRT refers to race. Instead of attacking Dr. Kendi, Jahncke would benefit from what genealogists tell us: that all humans are 99.9% genetically equivalent. No one is “supreme” in a democracy. If we apply the logic of his hysterical assertion that to “criticize” is to reject, and to repudiate capitalism is to advocate socialism, and to oppose the banning of the CRT is to promote the CRT to its complaint that the teachers “…incorporate anti-racist practices into teaching and learning”, we are left with the same old white supremacy we have been dealing with since 1619. We must, at the very least, tell and accept the truth if we hope to get along.That is the mission of the CRT.

Let’s not break the crucible. Let’s break the ceiling.

Gene Burshuliak

Orange

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