Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

History, Abridged.

The Tea Party has been one of the more noticable political parties in recent months. Whether you support or reject the platform the are based on, you have to admit they attract attention. Recently, the Tennessee Tea Party has drawn quite a bit of attention from a wide range of Americans by their shocking proposal to the state legislators.

The proposal's purpose, as worded by Hal Rounds (spokesperson for the Tea Party at the event) is "educating students the truth about America." This would be executed by passing legislation that dictates what material may or may not be present in history textbooks. Specifically, the proposal states “no portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”

Take a moment to reread that statement. Let it sink in.

This proposal suggests we remove from school textbooks all references to historical events that put the (generally) white male government in poor light. Specifically, it would be minority experiences that would be eliminated, even though it is acknowledged that these events legitimately happened in American history.
If you haven't quite wrapped your head around the implications of such a piece of legislation, let me put it in perspective. If passed, all Tennessee textbooks would completely breeze over events of historical significance such as slavery and the Japanese internment camps of World War II, among others.

I'd hate to break this to the Tea Party members who support this proposal, but these things happened. They are a part of history. The idea behind the proposal is to prevent the Founding Fathers and other leaders from being portrayed negatively due to their participation in the slave trade, or other acts that are now unthinkable. In my opinion, one of the most important aspects of a history class is to learn from the mistakes of the past to have the potential of growing as a nation in the future. It seems much more logical to use these sad events as teaching points. Instead of hiding them out of shame, we can use them to our advantage.

No comments:

Post a Comment