How to TEACH the TRUTH about our Heritage | Beaufort County Now | Bill Moore lays it out for our educators

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How to TEACH the TRUTH about our Heritage

By Bill Moore

Recently there has been a push in many States to modify Social Studies Standards in such a way that demonizes the Founders and the Constitution.  The attempts are meant to vilify the Founders as racist and bigots; therefore, it would indirectly weaken the principles included in the Constitution as they were written by these “Racists”.

They claim this approach is necessary to instruct future generations how evil our country is and how many mistakes they have made ever since its inception. They paint all the Founders with a broad brush and attack the very foundations of our Constitution as being racist.  Their ultimate goal is to turn out adults with no appreciation of their heritage and in fact a dislike for anything American. The question becomes how one addresses the facts both good and bad, while still developing in students an appreciation for the evolution of this great nation.

It can be approached from the view point of history.  First of all students need to understand what the standards of civilization were at the time. They need to review what was occurring in the prism of what society was at the time.  For example, at the time slavery was part of the Colonies/ United States, slavery was accepted by many and practiced in all parts of the world.  In fact it still exists today in many parts of the world.  It has and still does enslave people of every color and nationality and gender.  In addition it needs to be explained that other African tribes participated in the slave trade capturing the men of rival tribes and selling them to European traders who brought them to the New World for sale. While emphasizing how wrong slavery is, it needs to be explained how this nation, its people and its leaders have fought to eliminate slavery and continue to fight to eliminate any remnants of it from our Culture.

Another example would be voting rights.  It is true that initially voting was given to only landowners and the middle class business owners. Putting that in context to the times focuses on the fact that this representative government was a new ideal, untested in those times.  Every other nation was ruled by Kings, Emperors, religious leaders, dictators, sultans or some other form of royalty.  It should also be pointed out that as the US culture matured voting rights were extended to all citizens, eventually former slaves and women.  In addition our nation has successfully fought to thwart any attempts by states to deny voting to any groups of citizens.  Both the Reconstruction Amendments as well as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are excellent examples.  In addition our students need to develop an appreciation that while they live in a nation that is consisting evolving into a more equal society, most of the world remains living in nations controlled by dictators or under governments that allow no freedom at all.

Another area that needs to be properly explained is the role of Capitalism in our society.  It needs to be fairly compared to other economic systems such as Socialism and Communism.  Our students need to understand that through entrepreneurships our people have evolved into the highest level of economic levels in the history of the world.  Our students need to understand that there are excesses with Capitalism such as Crony Capitalism and how these excesses should be reversed and opposed. They also need to understand why people flock to come to our nation as a nation of opportunity. In addition they need to comprehend that there are no caravans or armadas of people heading to Venezuela and Cuba for a better life as their people are barely surviving.  Any walls built in America were built to keep illegal immigration out not to keep our citizens from escaping to other nations.  Regardless of how you feel about immigration these facts are not disputable.

These are just a few examples of how we can better and fairly teach our Heritage to our young so they graduate with both an appreciation of their Country and heritage as well as an understanding of all the struggles that went into making our nation what it is today.     



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