The board of education in my state voted unanimously to ban learning material and discussions that touch on racism in American history. Erasing our history is the same as erasing our steps, and it makes us vulnerable to losing our way through harmful disorientation. To become disoriented is to lose your sense of time, space, and identity. Many Americans who either don’t know American history or who disregard it are obviously disoriented. They are disoriented about the progress America has made in time. They are disoriented about the space we live in with regards to justice and equality. They are disoriented about the identity of America as they refer to it as a Christian nation. So, who would author or endorse a bill which erases history in public education through creating false narratives and the exclusion of facts, all which leads to harmful disorientation? Those who do not love truth and those seeking to deceive. Deception and lies are most effective in the absence of the light of truth. America should take heed to the warning GOD has given in the book of the prophet Hosea, in Hosea chapter 4. It is in this book that the Lord speaks about the consequences and judgments that come from oppressing truth. One of the judgments is that GOD says He will change the glory of a nation to their shame. Many people glorify America as the greatest country on earth and the land of opportunity. However, these same people often compare America to sub-Saharan African countries and other underdeveloped nations. In comparison to other industrialized and high economy countries, America ranks at near the bottom in overall poverty and inequality. Visit the website of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for their unbiased reporting on inequality and poverty around the world.
Through tailoring the education system to produce less critical citizens, you blunt the saw needed to build ethical and sustainable communities. America governs through a representative democracy. If the representatives chosen to govern are elected by people miseducated intentionally to favor certain candidates, the elections are in effect fixed. For instance, many of the programs in place which sustain our communities are socialist, like social security, public education, public libraries, and the police and fire department, however due to the intentional miseducation and misrepresentation of socialism in America people don’t even realize this. Today in fact, any person campaigning for election as a representative with a platform associated with socialism has almost no chance of becoming elected.
The wealthy minority can rule as long as the majority is divided. Sustaining ignorance and miseducation in the majority is a method by which the wealthy minority maintains power. Those abusing power do so at their own hurt because their money and wealth will not stop the judgments to come. A house, family, nation, community etc. cannot stand if it is divided. We live in a world where wrongdoings abound. These wrongs create rifts and divides. If we have no path for repentance unto reconciliation, we will remain divided and eventually fall. There are many disparities in this world and in our local communities that are the direct result of atrocities in history which have not yet been abolished. Merriam-Webster defines abolish as putting an end to something by completely doing away with the effects or observance of it. So, when something is truly abolished it isn’t seen or felt anymore. Slavery was outlawed in the United States almost two hundred years ago, but it still has not been abolished because the inequality, injustice, inhumanity, and greed which gave birth to it is still present. Passing a law to abolish slavery without accompanying it with a massive education campaign for the people to address the ethical deterioration produced by practicing and tolerating inequality, injustice, inhumanity, and greed left society vulnerable to emergence of slavery’s kinfolk. Slavery’s kinfolk which emerged are Jim Crow, the prison industrial complex, and the American military industrial complex. The lack of proper education also explains why we see the inhumane treatment of people at our borders, why we see black and brown people being killed for minor traffic violations, why we see the wealth gap spreading between those with this world’s riches and those who have not, and why we see our political leaders pouring billions of our taxpayer’s dollars into weapons manufacturing and only a small fraction of that toward manufacturing fully educated, skilled, and ethical citizens.
Good should never be determined solely by how it feels but rather the good it produces. Think of working out, having a splinter removed, or asking forgiveness. Looking at our errors and owning them is not comfortable, but it is a way to identify and remedy our problems which presents the greatest chance of keeping them from reoccurring. As we endeavor to have safe and peaceful lives, we implement laws and ordinances in our communities to govern behavior toward sustainable living. However, if we fail to educate the community on the ethics, principles, and basis for the laws we have in place and those we hope to see, and neglect to utilize the moral failures in history of what happens when judgment is corrupted by ignorance, fear, and greed, we are in effect facilitating a pathway for law breakers and dissenters. If you have limited knowledge of where you have been then you can’t fully understand how you arrived at the place you are, which means you could take steps backwards in ignorance impeding true progress and development. By not including the failures of judgment and justice when educating about history, we are creating gaps in understanding present day conditions which distorts perspective and makes the public vulnerable to false narratives. This is why we see little to no empathy for the PTSD impacting black and brown people who have suffered under terroristic oppression, inequality, and injustice, for centuries, nor for the people at our borders fleeing from countries that have been destabilized by oligarchy greed backed by military muscle, nor for the indigenous people all around the world who have been decimated by European colonialism. Holy scripture teaches that the love of money is the root of all evil.
If anyone feels regret and shame when they find out that their wealth and comfort are the result of the brutal oppression of other humans, they should be comforted to know that their shame is evidence that the corruption of their ancestors did not sully their humanity and they now are empowered to turn their legacy around. Regret and shame in response to evil deeds are the growing pains of the conscience and should be treated with instruction in righteousness. Acknowledgement of wrongdoing leads to repentance, and repentance leads to reconciliation, and reconciliation leads to unity, and unity leads to productive living and sustainable peace.