Civil Discourse Now

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Indiana AG doesn't need to fire up forces of ignorance and racism: Indiana has a General Assembly for that

Indiana AG Todd Rokita is concerned that “National discourse around political and social issues has created negative and polarizing effects on teachers, school administrators, students, and families.” His solution would be recourse to St Francis University - STFU.

Rokita is following other Republican politicians who are offended by kids being taught Critical Race Theory (“CRT”). Florida’s new rules, a template for the ignorant, bans CRT. However, the rule fairly describes what should be taught.

The rule says CRT asserts “that racism is not merely the product of prejudice, but that racism is embedded in American society and its legal systems in order to uphold the supremacy of white persons.” A part of the curricula that teaches the truth should alarm parents.

Neither “slave” nor any of its derivatives appears in the text of The Constitution as passed in the 1787 Convention, but slavery was protected by that document. (Art. I, sec. 9; Art. IV, sec. 1 and 2.) At least 20 of The Framers were “slaveholders” in this Land of the Free.

Slavery in the South was ended by The Emancipation Proclamation, but not in the rest of the country until the 13th Amendment was ratified. President Lincoln did not want to lose “border” States in which slavery still was allowed (i.e., preserved white supremacy)..

The end of slavery did not mean that, overnight, people who had been held in bondage were free or equal as the law now required. Republicans cut a deal with Democrats to grab the Oval Office after the 1876 election: Reconstruction would end. (Facts make racists uneasy.)

Former slaves comprised nearly forty percent (40%) of the population of the States formerly of the Confederacy, where some States outlawed teaching arithmetic and literacy to slaves. After the Civil War, efforts were made to continue to deprive former slaves of education.

Disparities in income and education still, 156 years after the end of The Civil War, are constant aspects of racism in this country. Maybe that’s because slavery was legal, and even protected, by our laws for about 245 years before slavery’s abolition, a stain difficult to rid.

In Indiana public schools, we were taught slavery was not all that bad; it had been about to end anyway, so The Civil War was unnecessary. A few years ago a person said to me, about Black people, “Nobody invited them here.” (She did not consider immigrants after 1865.)

We do not want to upset Hoosier kids by exposing to facts inconsistent with prejudices they learn at home. Education should give those kids skills for the workplace. Values they should learn from good, white Christian sources. (D.C. Stephenson would approve.)

Rokita need not step outside his job description. Our Indiana General Assembly is a body so profound it once tried to enact the numerical value of Pi as 3. There are plenty of racist GOP members of the House and Senate more than happy to champion ignorance.

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Comment by pogden297 on June 28, 2021 at 8:27am

Okay, I was mostly with you until you said:

"In Indiana public schools, we were taught slavery was not all that bad; it had been about to end anyway, so The Civil War was unnecessary."

That was certainly not my experience nor was it the experience of anyone I know. 


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