Wake up, Florida. You’ve taken the word Woke as a buzz word and bastardized it to fit the new propaganda: that learning the harsh reality of racism in their country could upset the children.
The children are already upset. They are upset about virus particles in the air that could kill them, and that prevented them from interacting face-to-face with schoolmates. They’re upset that they might go to school one day and not come home to their parents because some lunatic brought a weapon into their classroom intent on killing.
Florida’s governor has decided to alter history by removing factual educational material from the classroom so as not to upset the children. Seriously? In what sane universe does the school system allow parents, untrained in the field of education, to take it upon themselves to determine what is to be taught as fact in the schools?
Could children be upset when they learn that the Constitution has not always been followed: all men are created equal but certain men were singled out as unequal? Will children be upset by the possible misdeeds of their ancestors’ records of slaveholding? And why shouldn’t the children be upset? Were the Black children upset when they weren’t able to attend southern White schools? Being upset is what pushes us humans to do better.
As a child I was never taught that Native American children were snatched from their parents and forced into Christian schools to be stripped of their language and culture. Evidently stripping people of their family ties is an inherent part of American mores, as seen in the selling of slaves, and the separation of Latin American children from their parents today at our southern border. But let’s not tell the children in the schools. They may be upset to learn that they were lied to about America being built on strong family values.
Shall we ban the teaching of the Holocaust and the concentration camps? Oh yes, there are already people who say the Holocaust was a scam.
The Bible speaks of nails being hammered into the hands and feet of Jesus. Then he was raised up on a cross and allowed to suffer death in the hot sun—somewhat akin to lynching in the South. What can be more upsetting than that? Perhaps it’s time to ban the Bible from Sunday Schools across the state.
Maybe it’s not the children who are upset at all. Could it be that it’s the politicians who are upset as they come to realize that much of American History is American Myth, slanted to the benefit of the holders of power.
It may well be the politicians who are unable to face the reality that America, rather than being a perfect Union, is, instead a work in progress with many good qualities, but many flaws that need correcting. They may not want the children to know that by labeling some people as sub-human, their ancestors justified the inhumane treatment of countless men, women, and children.
Perhaps the time has come to upset the children. Let them learn the truth in school. Let them be upset when the truth is ugly. We should all be upset by ugly truths. It might give them the impetus to grow up and become the kind of adults who make changes in this country to address historical wrongs. Let’s encourage our children to create a more perfect Union of which we can all be proud.