The new boogey man of current culture wars, because we always need culture wars to keep winning elections, is Critical Race Theory. If you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about. Take comfort in this: neither does your state legislature and THEY want to ban it in classrooms. (NOTE: This is referring to Republican controlled legislatures.)
A real historian who is also a Christian, John Fea, has some fantastic ideas when your local legislature says to stop teaching Critical Race Theory:
First, most politicians who oppose critical race theory have no idea what it is.
Second, most politicians who oppose critical race theory aren’t intellectually curious enough to learn more about it. Why should they read critical race theory when they can simply use it as a bogeyman to maintain power and advance their political careers?
Third, most politicians who oppose critical race theory are clueless about what actually happens in an American history classroom—and they have no real interest in hearing what you might tell them about what happens in an American history classroom.
So let the politicians have their way. Take “critical race theory” out of your lesson plans and just keep teaching American history.
Here is the key, and this is why Fea is a REAL historian: Actually TEACH history. The real stuff. (Full article HERE.)
If you’re going to learn about “Colonial America” let’s learn about that time period:
Teach them about the Middle Passage, the tobacco fields of colonial Virginia, the rice fields of colonial South Carolina, and the links between the happiness of Pennsylvania grain growers and the oppressive slave regimes on the West Indian sugar islands.
Yes… what a genteel time!
Fea doesn’t mess around and here is the thing: If you actually teach history… or if you actually want to KNOW history, it is important to realize you have to learn histories. This has been my biggest discovery over the years. I grew up with the revisionist Southern history textbooks that drifted into their attempt to rehab the view of the South after the Civil War. I needed to be confronted with the writings of Frederick Douglass, the actions of Harriet Tubman, and the fierceness of Nat Turner to learn there are histories, not one monolithic “WHITE”washed (literally) view of what has happened in our nation.
That doesn’t make me hate being white. White is what I am. I just don’t need to fall into whiteness.
I am better for knowing histories. I am a deeper thinker. I am more compassionate. I am a better listener.
Here is what else I’ve discovered studying histories: The same jargon and pejorative language used in the 1950s and 1960s to try and derail the Civil Rights Movement is almost the same exact language used today. It’s just different characters in the plot.
“Black Lives Matter is a Marxist movement” has replaced “Martin Luther King is a communist.”
Marxists, communist, and socialists were the scare tactics of that era… and it’s getting repeated today.
All that is missing today is the “N” word… and that is being replaced with “woke” and “critical race theory.” Those are the new “N” words.
At least, that’s what you could learn if you studied histories… and didn’t let ignorant state legislatures (or fear-driven political parties who only want to win elections) dictate your philosophy of life.