Americans must ‘look honestly at history’
It will likely be March before our county council finishes reducing its Black History Month proclamation to a whisper. Refusing to look honestly at our history and notice the racism built into all our systems is a strategy that cannot end well. As white Americans, we must confront our heritage and our own biases and work with all our countrymen to make the United States the country we have always pretended it was.
Schools need stronger civics lessons
I am a college student, and I take issue with how government is taught in school. My grievance is how knowledge about the government systems is abundant, however knowledge about how to affect the government is scarce.
Throughout my schooling I heard very little about how our government works. I remember learning about states’ geography and trivia in fifth grade. In eighth grade, I learned how government branches interacted with one another.
I learned about the government, not my place in it. I never learned how to vote or what midterms were. Most importantly, I never learned how to research a candidate to see if they were someone I wanted to support. I guess most people learn from their family, however I believe this method should not be relied upon as the ability to affect the government should be available to everyone.
Also, I am not saying that kindergarteners should learn about politics, but I do believe that methods for navigating our political system should be taught at some point during required school. I also believe that it deserves its place in the curriculum given how important general knowledge of politics is to a democracy. I would say that it is at least on par with history class where you are taught how history played out, which is useless information unless also paired with the ability to act upon this knowledge.
There are several resources available that can assist in this education, I simply believe it is an important topic that needs to be covered in school.
In response to ‘Banning Books’ letter writer
In response to the “Banning Books is for Bullies” letter writer, the author is completely in sync with my own ethical guidelines:
1. Do no harm
2. Listen and learn
3. Ask questions
4. Listen to the answers
5. Take some time to absorb those answers before answering. They may be based on truth, or they may be based on pain in the others’ past. Be considerate and appreciative of their experiences.
6. Finally, after thought and research, find common ground
Our children are being harmed by our divisiveness, angry drama, acusativeness and contempt for one another’s viewpoint. We are hurting our children, who are our future.
Regarding the writer’s Biblical references, I would say what I learned in church as a child: the Gospel is the Good News. It negates all the vindictiveness of the Old Testament, and clearly invites us to tolerance, kindness and respect. If we could do that, a lot of child therapy might not be necessary. Just sayin’.