Your Children’s Future — Fight For It!!!

There are a large number of things happening in the world today that keep me awake nights – the trampling of our voting rights in nearly every state in the U.S.; the great divide between followers of the two political parties in the U.S. and the lies being told; the lack of interest on the part of Congress to act in the best interest of the people of this nation; the war in Ukraine and the potential for world-wide disaster; the increase in racism and homophobia; climate change and our abysmal failure to address it in any meaningful ways; the failure of people to understand that COVID is NOT over; the alarming increase in the ownership of guns and their use, and much more.  However, the one that kept me awake last night was the whitewashing of history in the nation’s schools, prompted by racist individuals and supported by government and the courts.

Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill is just the tip of the iceberg.  Many states are rebelling against the teaching of actual history and would prefer that schools teach only the more ‘noble’ moments in our history, leaving out or altering the facts about those moments that white Europeans were unconscionably cruel and murderous.  I well remember when I first learned in school about Christopher Columbus, the settlers who came here to escape religious persecution in Europe, and how the Indigenous People taught the settlers how to fend for themselves, how to grow food, and then on that first Thanksgiving, how they sat side-by-side and broke bread together.  A lovely story, only … it’s just a small part of the story.  Back in the 1950s, we weren’t taught about how the white settlers then turned on the natives, killed them and ran them off of their lands.  Slowly but surely, education began coming ‘round to the idea of teaching the facts, but suddenly in the last decade or so, that situation is reversing yet again!

I was in high school before I learned of white man’s treachery against the natives, and even then it wasn’t dealt with in any depth, but merely skimmed in the textbooks.  Today, in the 21st century, an increasingly large number of people are claiming a notion called ‘white supremacy’, the concept that people with whiter skin are somehow mentally and physically ‘superior’ to others.  You and I know this is bullshit … if anything, the reverse is true.

The history of the U.S., although shorter than that of most other nations, is fraught with the evil of humans and if we cover that up, bury it like dog poop, or whitewash it to make it seem just a blip, then we are committing a crime against future generations, for they will not have the opportunity to view history through a clear glass, to make their own judgments, draw their own conclusions, and learn the lessons that history has to teach.  They will be ill-prepared, as are many of today’s politicos, to understand the world they live in, to understand for instance the anger of Black people when one is killed for no good reason.

Ask a teenager today if they know why the BlackLivesMatter protests happened?  Do they understand that the murders of George Floyd and so many others make it apparent that we are heading back to the days before Civil Rights legislation, the days of Jim Crow, the KKK, and Black people being treated as if they were dirt?  Do they know what the Trail of Tears was, what happened, and why?  Do they know that after the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941, the United States government dispossessed thousands of Japanese-Americans, sent them to camps where they barely survived after losing their homes, their jobs, and all their worldly goods?

And more recently, do they know about the massacre at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, in 2016?  Do they understand that crimes are being committed against people just because of who they love?  Do they know about the Charleston church shooting in 2015?  Or the one in Sutherland Springs, Texas in 2017?  All acts committed by those who believe their white skin, religion, or gender somehow gives them the “right” to kill people simply for looking, acting, or thinking differently than they do!

I no longer have school-age children, but if I did, I would be demanding that my child be taught the true history of the United States, which is not quite as pretty as the history that Governor DeSantis and other lawmakers across the nation would prefer to be taught.  Teach them yourselves if you have to, but please … do not let the next generation grow up stupid, foolishly believing that the history of white people in the U.S. is somehow noble.  The truth matters, even when it’s painful, and if we ignore the truth, then we will only devolve, never evolve.  What the schools are doing is a form of censorship … censorship no different than what we’re seeing done by the Russian leader today, denying people the truth.

Rather than banning books, buy them, place them in your child’s hands, read them yourself if you haven’t already.  Knowledge is power and we are depriving our children, grandchildren, and all future generations of that power, destining them to continue down the path of ignorance.  The fate of the world hinges on what our children learn today.

63 thoughts on “Your Children’s Future — Fight For It!!!

  1. Pingback: Your Children’s Future — Fight For It!!! – Nelsapy

  2. My apology for the delayed reading of and response to an excellent post! As is my wont, I will defer to the mind and borrow the words of someone far better than myself. “I don’t think anybody anywhere can talk about the future of their people or of an organization without talking about education. Whoever controls the education of our children controls the future.” – Wilma Pearl Mankiller (1945-2010). As you most likely are already aware…Wilma Mankiller held numerous roles as a Native American activist, author and the first women elected to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 by then President Bill Clinton. I have read two of her books and recommend both : 1) “Mankiller : A Chief and Her People” published in 1993 and 2) “Every Day Is A Good Day : Reflections by Contemporary Indigenous Women” originally published in 2004 and reprinted since her death. I am so pleased that Wilma Mankiller is part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program. WHAK!! Thank-you!

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    • Brilliant words indeed from Ms. Mankiller!!! Also relevant is a quote by Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” I have always believed that, but never more so than today when politicos and the ignorance that abounds in this nation are threatening to compromise our entire education system. I fear you give me more credit than I deserve, for though the name rang a remote bell, if asked I could not have said quite who Wilma Mankiller was! Now that you’ve enlightened me, my curiosity is piqued, so I will be taking a look at her books in the next day or so! Thank YOU!!! WHAK!!!

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  3. Jill,

    Let’s not forget to include Texas in the thick of all this white-washing in not just the public schools, but in the Charter and Private school systems as well. Here in Texas not only are they banning the same type of books in many ISD’s across the state, but are also rewriting & sterilizing Texas’ well-known, already confirmed indigenous Native American history and Spanish and French history. Regarding our Mexico/Mexican, Tejano and Texian histories, Republicans are GROSSLY trying to overhaul it (and being successful so far) because it was the Era of slavery vs. anti-slavery decades—i.e. Critical Race Theory controversies. If I may offer more indepth detail to this Texas Republican movement Jill, I wrote a blog-post about it if anyone is interested:

    https://professortaboo.com/2021/07/11/texas-1836-project/

    A lot of great comments here. Bravo Jill and all participating here! 👏

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    • Indeed, I should have mentioned Texas as well, for it seems that DeSantis and Abbott are twins in most matters and I did know that Texas was passing laws as well about what can and cannot be taught to the ‘sensitive little darlings’! Slavery, Jim Crow, Trail of Tears, Japanese Internment … none of that is to be told … hush, hush, must keep all the bad stuff from our little darlings, even in high school! Wouldn’t want them to feel bad about our history, their ancestors now, would we? Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

      I have bookmarked your post and will definitely read it later today … for now I’m just trying to finish answering comments and take my tired body to bed, but I’ll read it tomorrow for sure! Thanks, Professor!

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      • No hurries Jill. I just want to offer more details specific to Texas politics and the oft insanity we normal Texans—of many generations back before becoming annexed—experience now and for the last 2-3 decades.

        Me and my son (the 9th-generation Texan) and my Mom, Dad, and their families are part of a (shrinking?) small populous & demographic in Texas of 7th, 8th, and 9th-generation ancestors. The vast majority of current Texas politicians, especially in Congress at Austin, in Governorship, Lt. Governorship, OAG, etc, are no more than 4 (maybe only 5) generation Texans, AT MOST! Too many are only 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-gen in Austin—i.e. ‘foreigners,’ from out-of-state—and have no clue how very exceptionally, or well-enough, Texas was governed between 1949 to 1995, the end of Gov. Anne Richards term. And today’s Texas Republicans are literally IGNORANT of Texas’ mid- or lower middle-class and DAYUM SURE not the impoverished, badly struggling lowest-class (and rising/skyrocketing homeless) of Texas!

        These areas of Texas I can indeed speak about with many times more proper CONTEXT and historical background, on personal levels, than most all of our Republican politicians here. Or if I can’t or I am not trusted by anyone curious, then I know WHO to point them to who DOES really know Texas inside & out. That’s almost always my M.O. when it comes to anything Texas. 🙂

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        • I did read your excellent post and learned much about Texas and its history! Thank you, Professor, and I hope some of my readers also took the time to read it. I also checked out the book, “Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth” and downloaded a sample to my Kindle for future reading. Again, thanks so much for your valuable input!

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          • Ahh, Jill… then with that book Forget the Alamo, you will get an excellent introductory understanding of what Texas’ true, ugly 19th- and 20th-century history really is/was and that has been verified for some time by numerous esteemed history scholars from our state universities that modern Republicans here—again most of them merely 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or maybe 4th-generation residents of Texas—are overhauling, rewriting, and sanitizing (white-washing) those aforementioned Texas centuries.

            These last 20-years Jill I have felt like I’m suddenly living in a time-warp back into eras of the Salem Witch Trials, the Spanish Inquisition, and the fights against Jim Crow laws/atrocities of the 1920’s thru 1944 with our federal Supreme Court in Smith vs. Allright! It is astonishing and deeply disturbing the path (R) Texas is on and being ratcheted up, kicked into overdrive. Simply put, it’s bad here… very bad. 😠😔

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            • Is Texas’ history really, though, any worse than … say, Mississippi? I know that I could not live in any of the southern states, for it’s not only their history of ultra-racism, but their present as well. Texas and Florida seem to be the worst of the lot today, but in my book, Alabama and Mississippi will never wash the bloodstains from their hands.

              I don’t have the first-hand experience you do, but I am stunned when you say you’ve felt like your “suddenly living in a time-warp back into the era of the Salem Witch Trials …” That must be horrible! And yet … your voice may be making a difference, in some small way. That is always my hope, that perhaps I can make just a tiny difference and leave the world a bit better than I found it. It’s harder these days, though.

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              • Jill, though I did live in Jackson, Mississippi and surrounding suburbs (Madison, Pearl, etc) from 1985 to 1997 and did travel throughout the Deep South states many numerous times during my semi-pro soccer years there, I don’t feel I can speak in unlimited terms about Mississippi today or Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, South & North Carolina as well as West Virginia—all states our Jackson semi-pro team traveled to & played in frequently.

                That said, when I used those time periods like that Salem Witch Trials, I was referring primarily to our new Sept. 2021 Texas law banning all abortions after 6-weeks of pregnancy… and any attempts or successful abortions from 6-weeks & 1-day (or after), our Texas (R) lawmakers have given the “legal liberty” for any ordinary (vigilante) Texas citizen to hunt down & prosecute any teenage girl (or woman) and reward them a bounty of $10,000 per teenage girl per abortion-attempt or success!

                It is a completely moronic ludicrous law directed at Texas’ lower impoverished classes (liberal enemies?)—guess the ethnic backgrounds will you 🤨—when for decades the bulk of the problem is the long-standing state’s preaching/teaching policy of Abstinence Only in our public and charter schools; most definitely in the religious private schools. I think you can easily elaborate yourself just how WELL abstinence 🤦‍♂️ has worked over human history inside (highly?) repressive religious cultures, right? Is this really much different than the Salem Witch Trials? Can you imagine scared shitless teenage girls—usually from broken abusive poor families, with no father around (both that is), etc.—and she’s running from (white?) vigilantes who see only dollar-signs in their eyes!?

                My one small voice? 😏 As I’ve mentioned on other blog-comments over the last 3-4 years, politically speaking I am part of a struggling (shrinking?) liberal, post-grad educated, Freethinking, Humanist populous in Texas that can’t get enough Texans to not only REGISTER properly to vote, but even once registered… to actually go out and vote! It’s incredibly frustrating Jill.

                Yet, I lumber on. Once my 82-yr old mother (with severe Stage 6 Dementia, Alzheimer’s?) passes away, the first minute I have the chance to either move out of Texas, preferably out of the country, I will cease it immediately! Be certain of that Madame. 😉

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                • I had hoped that the courts would strike down that Texas abortion bill, but apparently they are just as misogynistic as the Texas legislature is! That ‘bounty’ is simply nuts! If I lived in Texas and were of reproductive age, I’d high-tail it out of there in a heartbeat. Those legislators (likely 90% male) know damn good and well that most women don’t even know they are pregnant until past six weeks! I wonder if the sales of wire coathangers has increased yet? Teaching “abstinence only”??? What a joke … hormones will win the day each and every time … it’s human, y’know! Yes, I can better understand your reference to the Salem Witch Trials in light of that … I had somehow managed to forget about that new Texas law, though I was incensed over it at the time.

                  I do understand your frustrating about getting people to register and then actually vote, for I have the same problem here. I live in a neighborhood that is predominantly Black and Middle-Eastern immigrants, many of whom are citizens with every right to vote, but some, usually the immigrants, are afraid, and others tell me that their vote won’t count, so why bother. And then, of course, there are laws to attempt to disenfranchise the poor and Black voters, although luckily not so many ridiculous ones in my state as in some. I may be paranoid, but I check mine and the girls’ registration online every month or two to make sure we haven’t somehow ‘accidentally’ been removed from the voter rolls.

                  I don’t blame you … I’m so sorry about your mother. That is my biggest fear as I age, and some days when I cannot remember a name or something that I should know like the back of my hand, I wonder. But, given my ongoing heart and other health issues, I’m 99% certain I won’t make it to 82 … probably not even 72 (I’m 70 now). Hang in, my friend.

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  4. Pingback: YOUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE – FIGHT FOR IT!!! |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  5. Jill, excellent post. Teaching white-washed versions of history became even easier with the ability to identify and sue teachers if they slip up and say the wrong thing (it makes you want to be a teacher knowing twenty-five big brothers are watching you (Mom the teacher talked about gays again). I posted an old post today about “The Lavender Scare” which is not taught very often, if at all in schools. Keith

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    • Teachers cannot teach well if they are constantly ‘under the gun’ and I won’t be surprised if they start leaving the public schools and either leaving the state or going to private schools, which I think will be on the increase as well as homeschooling.

      I knew nothing of “The Lavender Scare” until I was in college and became friends with a couple of gay people, but no, it sure as heck wasn’t taught in school. In fact, the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ wasn’t even spoken in school. One of my friends from college was later murdered for being gay … heartbreaking. It seems that when people aren’t able to understand things like being gay or being Black, they automatically develop a dislike of them which can turn into hatred and violence. I think educating and helping people understand is key to learning to get along in this world, but we’re headed in the opposite direction. Sigh.

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  6. The student revolts of the 60’s were in part about the fact that officials, teachers at universities and schools and even politicians had a Nazi- official past. Germany did a lot to make its citizens understand how fascism starts. But the sad truth is that’s not enough. The right-wing movements in Germany are stronger than ever. And only communication and trying to understand each other will probably help. As for young people: there are those who fully understand what’s going on and those who close their eyes like everybody else. No matter what schools teach you. There are enough free available sources out there now that young people can make up their own mind.

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    • I’m really sorry to hear that right-wing movements are gaining momentum in Germany as they are here. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised … it seems to be happening all over the world. I thought Angela Merkel was great, but thus far I’m not much impressed with her successor. You’re right about young people … here, we see many who give us hope for the future, but then many have been brainwashed by their bigoted parents and will likely grow into views just like them. There are plenty of free resources, but also plenty of false information to be found on the internet and far too many people are gullible and believe what they read or are told, without bothering to check it out. I can’t help but wonder what the world will look like 100 years from now, if humans are still around then.

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      • Well, I assume many were wondering that a hundred years ago. Maybe we shouldn’t underestimate the power of love & understanding. We have so many examples of how difficult situations can be solved in peaceful ways. And maybe there is simply a balance between more narrow minded people and more Liberal ones. Maybe the scales simply move to and fro. As for the German right-wi g movements. They have always been there but at least here in the UK they are hardly ever mentioned. But, of course, they now have more ways of reaching people and brainwash them. Plus our generations haven’t experienced war. They do not know what a huge gift peace is. As for Mr Scholz: I do not know much about him. I would have preferred the candidate from the Green party. She is now foreign minister I think, so that might be a good thing too. 🤗

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        • I think you are more of an optimist than I. I used to be much more optimistic than I am today, but the more I watch what is happening here in the U.S. especially, the more I’m giving up hope for the future of the human species. You’re right, though … throughout history there has been something of a swinging pendulum that goes one direction, then another, but usually tends to find the middle for periods of time. The difference today, however, is that humans have the means to destroy most life on earth and seem to be losing ground in the areas of education, intelligence, and most of all kindness & compassion. I do still have some hope, just not nearly as much as I once did. Keeping my fingers crossed for us all, my dear friend!

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          • It gets harder to cling onto hope the older we get and the more we see in the world happening. But if Gandhi could bring down an empire with hope and sowing his own clothes so can we. Not that I start sowing 🤣 but I found it interesting that refusing to consume Britain’s goods eventually changed everything. That’s what’s used now against Russia as well. I think there is the answer to a lot of our problems nowadays. Less is more becomes more and more my motto. 🤗

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  7. Being from Germany this white-washing business seems very alien. I grew up in the 70s and 80s when German historians started to own up to the sh.. the Nazis did. And to look i to how every day peopme both helped and resisted. The student revolts of the 60s were in part about their rage that Bazi officials still were professors at universities, teachers in schools, politicians etc.

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  8. As a member of the Original Human Inhabitants of Turtle Island (OHITI), what White people renamed North America–what Cristofo Columbo claimed was India and thereby gave us a name that did not belong to us–thank you for the above. We have long memories. Someday our land will once again be called Turtle Island. I will not be here to see that day. But I will rejoice, wherever I am!

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    • I did not know of the story about North and Central America being called Turtle Island so I looked it up. Fascinating! Isla Tortuga! Thanks for mentioning it as I enjoyed reading about it.

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      • Glad I could inspire a side journey for you for once, as you often do for me. Not sure which nation used Isla Tortuga, sounds like a Central American language. Most indigenous languages, if not all, have words that mean the equivalent of Turtle Island, and there are hundreds of them.

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        • Well, Mexico is a Spanish-speaking part of North America, and even southern parts of what is now the U.S. were Spanish-speaking back then. And, from what I read, Central America was part of Turtle Island. And, since I was raised bi-lingual and find Spanish a much easier language, I often lapse into Spanish if speaking to someone I know understands the language.

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          • I have no idea how far south Turtle Island extended, but certainly Mexico and Central America were parts of it. Maybe even South America. Lots of turtles in the Amazon Rain Forest, I’m betting. But Turtle Island was pre-Spanish conquistadors. Isla Tortuga would have been just the Spanish translation. Whatever, it CERTAINLY WAS NOT INDIA!

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            • What I read was that it encompassed all of North and Central America, but then I didn’t dig deeply. True … I would imagine a native language was spoken at that point in time. And no, it certainly was not India, and Indians didn’t even come here until much later — I never did figure out why the Indigenous People were called Indians, but that was what I learned in school and I was an adult before I realized how ridiculous and demeaning it is. And confusing … I have friends who are Indians … from India … and when I mention them to someone, I always have to clarify that they are actually from India, for many here still make the mistake of calling Indigenous People “Indians”.

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              • Capt. Cristofo Columbo used that unacceptable term to make the people back in Europe believe he had indeed sailed around the world by going West. He gave not a thought to anyone other than himself and the fame he expected to have heaped upon him. And while he did receive the fame, it was not deserved. He was not the first white man to land on Turtle Island, and his arrogance created a situation that is still veing fought to this day. As you implied outrightly above, Indians come from India. OHITI come from Turtle Island.

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  9. This is, exactly, what is happening, in the country I’m, currently living in too, with the bigot government, abusing the rights of the people, twisting, and, turning the opinions of we the people, manipulating the votes, so, the results, come out as they, willed, all, along, and, the people of the country I live in, are, actually, allowing this to occur, repeatedly, we’re, forced, to consume the contaminated produces from Japan, pork with ractopamine from the, U.S., not to mention how the government, did not, buy enough internationally approved, vaccines, because it has invested, a whole lot of money, into, a local, vaccine manufacturing, company, and, before the trial had gone past, third stage tests, they’d, used it, on the people.

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