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Stumbling blocks on the way to our future

 

Last updated 6/15/2022 at 3:58pm



There was nothing last week warranting my rebuttal. There was Mr. Maynard’s claim that a border wall would keep out illegal immigrants. However, there’s a device that makes the wall totally ineffective: it’s called a ladder. So let’s talk about America’s history of slavery.

Republican leaders claim that Critical Race Theory teaches children to feel guilty for our country’s history of slavery. It does not. It doesn’t require a PhD to understand that no one is responsible for the actions – good or bad – of their predecessors: parents, their forebears, or Founding Fathers. We can be justifiably proud of what our Founding Fathers accomplished. But they were not superheroes or paragons of virtue, which makes their accomplishments even more impressive.

Nonetheless, Republican leaders apparently do feel guilty and ashamed, and even before CRT have been trying to whitewash American history as taught in public schools. They want to keep their secret guilt a secret. But it’s not possible to get a true picture of our history without an understanding of how integral slavery was to our early history and how it finally ended.

Even California’s history isn’t squeaky clean. California joined the Union on September 9, 1850, as a free, non-slavery state. In a 2004 article, NBC News noted an 1852 ad announcing the public auction of a black man valued at $300, newspaper accounts of fugitive slaves who were arrested, and county records certifying slaves bought their freedom from their owners.” But we can learn from that past, seeing how far we’ve come, and gaining insight into how to go further.

Republican leaders don’t see it that way at all. They think we’ve moved too far forward and need to go back, back to a rosy past that never existed, except in their own minds. The fact is we can’t go back there: we can’t even go back to the actual recent past.

The Republican/Trump administration tried to, with their “America first and only” program. It failed miserably. As a result, we lost four years that could have been used in maintaining and advancing our position in the global economy. But we have the science and technology to make up for that and we are doing so. And blue California will continue to lead the way forward.

John H. Terrell

 

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