Going On the Account: So *This* Is How You Invest in Victory…?

Take a second to read Heather Cox Richardson’s post about how Texas wants to teach history.

Where. To. Even. Begin…

It’s bad enough that want to just stress how your side got to where it was. That’s taken history away from using it to understand the past to simply justifying the present. And we haven’t even gotten to the whole point as to whether “your side” is what you think it is, which could be a whole set of writings in and of itself…

There’s also the question of why you study history, to help you know where you came from and how you got there. Which obviously isn’t a great thing if you’re only justifying your coming into your position.

There’s also the value of learning from your mistakes. And from others, too.

So, we’re doing a prescribed curriculum where we celebrate what made us what we are. And all we are going over is our greatest hits, looking at things that made us who we think we are. There’s no drama, because there’s no doubt that we will get through this, as we have only those items before us we need (or are allowed) to teach from. We learn from our past that everything’s going to turn out our way.

So if end up in something that doesn’t follow the script, how long do we keep doing what we were doing before we realize it doesn’t work? And how do we get out of that, or even avoid it?

People not liking what we’re doing no matter what we give them? Oh, if only we did something before we got to the point where we’d have to put cops on every corner, like say, hearing from them before we got to this sad state. Something the Fifteenth Amendment or the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (both of which are not part of the curriculum). Can’t understand why you’re not getting the supplication you think you’re entitled to when you walk into Applebee’s? Well, you might not be so quick to Karen out on people if you remembered what Caesar Chavez had written or read anything anything by Marin Luther King Jr. on the labor movement that could give you a better perspective on things. Have questions about why no one’s taking a job for less per hour than you spend each morning getting a drink from a barista? If you’d heard about the Triangle factory fire and saw comparisons between what those young women went through to what workers at Amazon fulfilment centers are going through, and made the connection, you might be a bit more sanguine about it.

And if you blunder about without any of these reference points? But according to history, you always win! And assuming that you are the you that’s supposed to come out on top, how could this have happened?

I mean, it’s not like we’d ever lose, right? The PATCO strike just didn’t happen, or at least you never heard of it, so sort of the same thing. There’s nothing to pull from the fall of Saigon, if you’d never heard of it. Pandemic in 1918? Yeah, like that’s going to apply to your life..

Yes, the main headline out of this mess is Texas’ request to teach ‘the other side’ of the Holocaust. But at least there’s an effort to look at it; worse would have been if it had never been brought up at all, if it were treated like, oh… everything else mentioned above…

And that’s the big problem with teaching only about one side when history is filled with struggles: There’s no context to help you from going crazy when you lose…

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