Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Colorado Education Department memo: Curricular Revisions for the Teaching of Slavery #nothistory

A long time ago when white guys started exploring the entire world, a group of courageous white guys discovered Africa.  When the courageous white guys started to explore Africa they found “people” with dark skin and funny clothes.  But what was really disturbing was the dark skinned “people’s” broken economic system—it didn’t create massive wealth for the few and it left many without the skills to participate in wealth creation.

This bothered the courageous white people who discovered Africa and they decided to ask the “people” with dark skin if they would like to participate in a study abroad—forever—jobs training program.  The dark skinned “people” thought about this humanitarian offer but at first were non-committal.  However—after playing a few games of UNCLE—the courageous white people “convinced” the dark skinned “people” to participate in the study abroad jobs training program.

Once the courageous white guys—who discovered Africa—decided they had enough dark skinned “people” to participate in the job training program, they loaded them onto ships and gave them free boat rides to America (which they had discovered too).  On the trip to America the courageous white guys helped the dark skinned “people” get comfortable by removing other dark skinned “people” that had gastrointestinal problems.

Upon arriving in America, the courageous white guys (who discovered America and Africa) helped the dark skinned “people” find work and housing through a proven system of job training. The dark skinned “people” were taught how pose correctly and flaunt muscle tone.

Other really hard working white people came and chose the best posers and flaunters for extended job training.  These new—courageous— white people took the best dark skinned posers and flaunters to their new homes where they were given real names, real clothes, and free housing.

After a good night’s sleep with real names and real clothes, the dark skinned “people” woke up to their first real breakfast and were then taken to job training.  During the day the dark skinned “people” learned how to pick cotton.  Other dark skinned “people” learned how to truly care for children so the courageous white people could provide the needed job training to the posers and flaunters who were well on their way to becoming pickers.

On the rare occasion that some dark skinned “people” needed extra job training, expert job trainers provided “professional development” to help “motivate” the dark skinned “people” to learn how to be a more efficient worker.

Now this arrangement went on for a long time.  In fact it went on so long that at one point the were more dark skinned “people” living with the courageous white people who continued to provide countless jobs (and real names and real clothes). And the other thing that happened over time was that the best job training in America ended up being provided in the South, while job training in the North withered and died and dark skinned “people” were simply assimilated into the North’s compassionate culture of tolerance and acceptance.

So the South continued to provide jobs for dark skinned “people” until one day when ALL the compassionate and tolerant white people of the North asked the President of the United States to halt the job training program in South.  White people in the South were confused.  For the longest time they had been providing jobs for dark skinned “people” and the program was a huge success.   Lots and lots of dark skinned “people” learned how to work and a very small number of courageous white people made a lot of money, built really big houses and developed an efficient labor model.  Why end such a successful program?

Needless to say this made things tense in America and President Abraham Lincoln was not exactly sure how to proceed.  He could not let one half of the country—the South—be job training and the other half not—the North.  He decided to write an Equal Prosperity Act affirming that free job training was no longer necessary because all were equal, educated, and empowered to seize opportunities to prosper.

The courageous white people in the South gave up free job training voluntarily and with great sacrifice considering that other countries still practiced free job training.  It was also a wonderful example of good old American compromise. And without this voluntary act of great sacrifice things could have ended really badly.  Who knows? It’s quite possible that the compassionate and tolerant white people from the North and the courageous white people from the South might have engaged in a bloody four-year struggle.  A struggle that might have destroyed cities. A struggle that might have left over 600,000 dead people.

A struggle that might have ushered in an endless era of lingering animosity for dark skinned “people” in the compassionate North and the courageous South.

Foot Notes.
1) Ms. C. Smith helped provide the interpretive frame that proved invaluable to this curricular revision.

    Foot note to foot note
    b) A special thanks to the eminent historian Mr. Vernon Jones Jr.  His diligence over the years finally produced the Lincoln Equal Prosperity Act.

1 comment:

  1. You are not kind enough, Tim, to those brave white guys.