Don’t Whitewash History in Our Schools
In her letter to the Washington Post, Kerry Kennedy draws attention to President Trump’s latest racist ploy: plans to establish a national commission to push more “pro-American” history.
The Sept. 18 front-page article “Trump attacks public schools” unveiled the president’s latest racist ploy: a disgraceful assault on public schools that are rapidly falling behind those in the rest of the world.
Teaching the next generation about our country’s successes and shameful shortcomings is vital if we’re ever to learn from our past and better understand our current problems. We cannot allow mere discomfort in facing these hard truths to dictate an alternate reality of our American legacy.
Our human rights education program, Speak Truth to Power, introduces students to human rights defenders unafraid to speak up and act out against injustice, with the aim of inspiring them to work to right the wrongs they see. The lessons come as a recent Southern Poverty Law Center poll found 70 percent of Americans support anti-racism education policies.
Whitewashing history in the name of “patriotic education” to play down the central role of slavery is not only dishonest but also dangerous, hindering real progress while further inciting racial divisions in a pivotal election year.
Leave it to the experts, Mr. President.
Kerry Kennedy, Hyannis Port, Mass.
“Teaching the next generation about our country’s successes and shameful shortcomings is vital if we’re ever to learn from our past and better understand our current problems.”
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