Skip to main content

Whose history is it anyway?

The Black Informant has a post about the recent decision of the Philadelphia School District to make African American history a requirement for highschool graduation. There is at least one typically hysterical claim from a parent about the decision.

"It's not fair. Why should it be singled out black? Why can't it be Polish, or German or Mexican?" asked Theresa Barraza, whose daughter is a second grader at Anne Frank School. "I'll put her in a Catholic school."

Look lady, the sky is not going to fall because your daughter will have to learn African American history (assuming that she is actually taught the history of people of African decent in America).

African American history is American history. Just as the stories of Polish, German, and Mexican immigrants are a part of American history. None of these stories exist in a vacuum. If you're not going to teach American children the history of all of the American people in America then you are doing those children a grave disservice. I wish people would lay off the identity politics in schools. This should not be about getting your piece of the pie. The demographics of a school shouldn't determine what history is taught either. If it happened it happened and students should know about it regardless of their ethnic make up. Elective classes featuring the contributions of local figures or teaching local history would add a great deal to anyone's education.

Students who support the new requirement argue that, "African and African American history is important to African American students." Even the children are buying into the identity politics mess. African history should be no more or less important to American children than European, South American, or Asian history. People are too busy trying to win points in the diversity game to do right by our children.


Popular posts from this blog

Raï: Algerian blues and protest music

This all started because I wanted to find out what "cheb" meant. As I was poking around the internet I discovered several musicians with "cheb" in their names. I realised that it had to be an assumed title. Eventually I discovered that it means young in Arabic but I also discovered that it meant much more than just that.

Many cultures around the world have a tradition of social and political commentary through music. I was born in a place where politicians were weary of the popular musicians. One wrong move and they would be flayed by a skillful lyric. I actually remember singing songs that had been banned because they were critical of the government. The fact that as a six or seven year old I knew the words to the banned songs shows the power of those songs.

I'm sure that many of you are familiar with Sting's collaboration with Cheb Mami in 1999 that gave us Desert Rose(YouTube video). For most of North America that was our first exposure to the Algerian fol…

The Racist Nature of Cotton Balls

Yes I said cotton balls. Apparently dropping cotton balls outside of an establishment known to be frequented by black people is a hate crime. And here I thought it was at worst littering.
Arrests Made In Mizzou Cotton Ball Incident: 2 Students Suspended After Their Arrest
Two students have been arrested in connection with the incident where cotton balls were left overnight outside the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on the campus of the University of Missouri-Columbia. Very early Friday morning, someone threw cotton balls outside the Culture Center. The offensive act sparked a town hall meeting on the Campus Monday night. At the meeting, students discussed what to do in response to the racist display. Police investigated the incident as a hate crime. What to do about cotton balls on the sidewalk? Trample them into oblivion or pick them up! All that drama over cotton balls. I'm trying to imagine a mind fragile enough to be offended by cotton balls on the sidewalk. I don't have…