Jim Buckley quotes the anonymous “Teacher” who, in the past 20 years has moved around from elementary, junior high and high school, regarding her own high school aged child being in an Advanced Placement World History class in which “They’re teaching them that Christopher Columbus murdered Native Americans, and he is perceived as a monster. I mean, if there’s truth to anything, I am somebody who wants to hear the truth. I’m sure Christopher Columbus did not do everything right. But to make it so bad or just really emphasize the negative side of history is wrong.”
It’s so distressing that an educator is so focused on only wanting to know the positive side of history instead of HISTORY. The point of history, especially factually based history, is not to wash over the “negative.”
Up until recent times, history only presented the nice, factually deficient parts of many histories.
A very simple Google search provided a quick Britannica account of Columbus’ story, actions and impacts. He and other European explorers enslaved, murdered and exploited the native populations, to their extinctions, and took their lands.
The disdain in Mr. Buckley’s article for teaching, especially in an Advanced Placement World History class, the reality of what has happened with well-known Caucasian historical figures and cultures is so evident, and this writer and “Teacher” do not understand, or may not want to understand, that it isn’t about them “apologiz(ing) to a Native American for something my ancestors did, that I never took part of OK.”
It’s about learning the truth, and its still ongoing effects, or why it happened and why it’s “negative, bad” for history to repeat itself in these ways.