Just what constitutes a “divisive concept”? No, seriously … for some people, pineapple on pizza is a divisive concept, so I think if states are going to ban the teaching of ‘divisive concepts’, there must be some agreement, some definition as to what, exactly, a ‘divisive concept’ is!
Last week the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill that would ban the teaching of “divisive concepts” in K-12 history. Alabama is not the first, nor will it likely be the last state in the Union to pass such an open-ended law, so it’s imperative that we understand exactly what it is they are even talking about. And further, once ‘divisive concepts’ are defined, that definition needs to be in writing for every single person in the state to understand, lest teachers and even parents go to prison for simply trying to be honest, to ensure children are getting an actual education! Most teachers at this point are throwing their hands up, not knowing what they are or aren’t allowed to say in the classroom.
According to Law Insider …
Divisive concepts means the concepts that
- one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex;
- the United States is fundamentally racist or sexist;
- an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;
- an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex;
- members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex;
- an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex;
- an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex;
- any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or
- meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race.
The term “divisive concepts” also includes any other form of race or sex stereotyping or any other form of race or sex scapegoating.
So, look at #2 … it is not to be taught that the U.S. has and has always had a racist, homophobic element? We cannot teach about the KKK or the murders of Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Emmett Till, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and many, many others? We cannot teach that for four centuries, certain white people held the belief that they were somehow superior to Black people? We cannot teach how people from Europe came to this continent, took advantage of the civilization of Indigenous People who were already here, then drove them off their land and murdered many of them? We cannot, I suppose, even teach about Hitler’s execution of some six million Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and others? Is Dr. Martin Luther King’s name and his contributions to our society to be kept a secret?
It seems to me that this push to stop the teaching of the past is naught but a ploy to further demean Black people, to erase the past history that helps us understand why BlackLivesMatter is so important, so relevant. If the next generation grows up not understanding about the KKK and how many Black families were destroyed by them, then how can they understand our outrage when a white cop kills an unarmed Black man? Are they to be taught that Blacks, whites, and even Indigenous People have all had the same opportunities and been treated equally throughout the history of the United States? That, my friends, is naught but one damned BIG LIE! Do people in Texas, Virginia, Alabama and other states really want their children to grow up on a foundation of lies? Do they want them to repeat the past because they are ignorant of it? We do have some pretty ugly things in our history but hiding them and pretending they never happened will only lead to more ugly things … things that will result in death and devastation.
I know I have written on this topic before, and please forgive me if I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but this is so damn important and every time I hear of another state embracing stupidity while whitewashing our past, I feel a white-hot rage run through me. We cannot … CANNOT … afford to simply let this one slip to the back of our minds … we MUST continue to fight for the proper, fact-based teaching of ALL history … not just that which makes white Christian males look like the guys in white hats!
In the past few months, residents in Tennessee, Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania have found KKK fliers in their driveways and yards. The fliers read, in part …
The lack of White pride is truly a sad and strange thing, because no group has more to be rightfully proud of than the White people of the world. The glories and greatness that the men and women of our race have won over the centuries should serve as a source of eternal pride and inspiration to White people everywhere.
Since the dawn of history, we have been a mighty race of builders, explorers, artists, warriors, inventors, philosophers and cultivators.
We are the race of Shakespeare, Leonardo, Beethoven and Homer. We are the sons and daughters of Leif Ericsson, Columbus, Magellan, and Lindbergh. We are the folk of Alexander, Caesar, Arminius, Roland, Frederick, Napoleon, Washington, Franklin and Lee. We are the heirs of Sophocles; Heraclitus and Plato, of Rembrandt; Rubens and Durer, of Dante; Goethe and Gutenberg; of Vivaldi, Back, Mozart, and Wagner. We are the descendants of Pythagoras, Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, and Nietzsche.
Just to list the great achieves [sic] of our race would require the work of a lifetime.
No one has more to be proud of that [sic] we do!
Ignorance is bliss … for the ignorant. For the rest of us, it is pure hell. Teach the children the truth … let them grow up with actual spines and functional brains so that they might make the world a better place, might finally set aside contests of race, gender, religion, skin colour and just become one people trying to do good in the world.
And by the way … personally, I like pineapple on pizza!