This past month, State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly released a series of commentaries talking about race and the importance of talking about racism.
In it she brought up a lot of points about why it is important for these issues to be taught, saying, “Teaching about race and racism is the only way to teach the complete story of the United States … I believe we have no other choice but to teach about it and learn from it if we want to protect the strength of our state and nation.”
It is important for a complete version of American and world history to be taught and that includes teaching students about the ugly parts of the past, as well as the good. Seeing how our country has evolved over the years will help students better understand how society works today and help the students – our leaders of tomorrow – make decisions that will affect the future of our communities.
So yes, we need to teach students about slavery and civil rights and how other minority groups were treated in the past.
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But education leaders like Underly also need to be careful not to ostracize those who don’t agree with them. Unfortunately that is exactly what Underly did when she essentially said that anyone who doesn’t agree with her philosophy on teaching about racism is racist.
To quote her directly she said, “Teaching about race and racism is essential, it is culturally relevant, it is good teaching, and saying otherwise is not only problematic, it’s racist.”
By saying that, she didn’t evoke discussion. She instead shot down the conversation, condemning anyone who does not agree with her.
Insulting and name calling those who don’t agree with you is not the way to have an honest conversation.
Race and racism is a sensitive subject and it is important to talk about. But to have an honest conversation, you cannot call others racist just because they don’t agree with you.
20-plus photos of Kenosha’s Nash Motor Company, before Chrysler
Nash Motors Assembly Line, February 1942
Nash Motors engineering department, 1942
Nash Motors from the air
Nash workers head to a summer picnic in 1936
Nash seats six
1948 Nash pickup truck
1948 Nash pickup
The millionth Nash
Take me out to the ball game
Merger forms American Motors Corp.
Charles Nash at work
Nash Motors building goes up
Eleanor inspecting an engine
Nash Heat Treating Department
Working at Nash Motors in 1952
Nash Ambassador for all seasons
Inside Nash Motors
Die casting at Nash
Thomas B. Jeffery at work
Pages from the past, April 27: U.S. to halt sugar sales at midnight
April 27, 1912
April 27, 1922
April 27, 1932
April 27, 1942
April 27, 1952
April 27, 1962
April 27, 1972
April 27, 1982
April 27, 1992
April 27, 2002
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