There has been much weeping and gnashing of teeth in the many long months since George Floyd was murdered by police in May of 2020. U.S. society has since found itself at crossroads, the nature of which some had long known about and some had only just come to realize with the force of speeding truck.
The utopian post-racial society, once so memorably dreamed of by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., had not been achieved in 2020. America had not yet reached the mountaintop.
The promised land where, as Haile Selassie once put it, “the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes,” remained as elusive as ever it was.
This is a plague on mankind, because Selassie was right about another thing, too: Until that day, there will be war. Unrest, disquiet. Violence. Conflict.
As to how we get there, people have ideas. One of the most central ideas has been education.
Since so many came to the conclusion of educating racism out of the populace- though we must ask what public school teachers were teaching before now- there have been plenty of disagreements regarding how to go about it. Not everyone agrees this is the best approach, not everyone agrees about the urgency of the problem. Almost no one agrees on what an anti-racism curriculum might look like in practice.
In part, the adverse reaction to moving towards this goal, however imperfectly, is due to a certain attachment to the mythos of history, a fascination with the creation story of America.
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to believe in fairy tales to love America anymore than you have to believe you can fly to love your own arms.
The winners get to write history, or so it has been said. Perhaps the purpose of reexamining American history is a collective reflection on just how ugly “history” can be when viewed through the lens of those who didn’t get to write it.
Today, we are a people enjoying the fruits of technology in an Information Age unlike any which has dawned before. We have all of recorded history at our fingertips, from which to learn the sins of past generations- so as not to…