Tuesday, March 02, 2010

EDUCATION: THE VOICES OF HISTORY NEED TO SPEAK AS DO WE

EDUCATION: THE VOICES OF HISTORY NEED TO SPEAK AS DO WE

By Kevin Stoda


In an interview on Democracy Now, i.e. after the recent racist acts at UC-San Diego these past months, I heard the following statement by Daniel Widener the Director of African Studies at that same university.

Widener stated: “I think the most important thing for viewers and listeners to understand is that the students are battling not only a campus climate of intense hostility, …, but a tremendous amount of history. California voters have passed a series of racist initiatives, really over the last forty years, opposing fair housing, dismantling affirmative action, criminalizing youth, attempting to criminalize undocumented immigrant populations. So there’s really a social basis for an intense racism that aims to maintain black people as a surplus population to be jailed and Latino people as a disposable population to be kept as a semi-permanent socioeconomic underclass. So, education is a critical part of that. And on a campus where our numbers are almost a statistical anomaly, we face just a tremendous amount of both neglect and active hostility.”

http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/1/following_string_of_racist_incidents_uc

As a history major myself, I am concerned at the continuing memory lapses Americans have had on their own history. For this reason, I reprint the speech from Martin Luther King, Jr. at Bethel College, KS back in 1960. In it, MLK tries to prepare Americans to reread and restudy American history. King focused on the failures in American history and especially of historical failures of the U.S. Supreme Court, such as in the Plessy vs. Ferguson case.

At this time, our U.S. Supreme Court has also made a series of bad decisions. Therefore, Americans, please, learn and beware. Read [below] what MLK was teaching and we need to do likewise.


THE FUTURE GENERATION OF INTEGRATION
http://www.bethelks.edu/bc/125anniversary/speech/index.php
Bethel College, Memorial Hall, North Newton, Kansas
January 21, 1960

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