Last year I started reading A People’s History of the United States. What a bloody history we have. I have to read small sections of this book at a time, and let time pass between them, or it becomes too overwhelmingly sad. I am reminded of being in middle school and learning about German history. These are hard lessons, difficult lessons, but I find that they are also important lessons.
I still remember the first time I taught colonial history at the LSE.
LSE students are among Britain’s finest: they graduate from top schools, perform brilliantly on their A-level exams. And yet when I gave a lecture about the Indian famines of the late 19th century to a classroom full of third years, I was met with blank stares. As a direct result of British policy, 30 million Indians died needlessly of hunger between 1875 and 1902. Laid head to foot, their corpses would stretch the length of England, from Dover to the Scottish borders, 85 times over.
No one in the classroom had ever heard of it.
The whole post is eye opening and I recommend it.
During my early morning walk I saw this headline in the local paper:
Mayor Alan Webber said Wednesday he plans to call for the removal of three controversial monuments in Santa Fe, including an obelisk in the heart of downtown that will be at the center of a rally Thursday led by indigenous activists.
The mayor also announced plans to form a commission that will evaluate every statue and monument in the city and help determine their fate — a move former Mayor Javier Gonzales started but that hadn’t gained traction until now. In addition, Webber said he planned to sign an emergency proclamation Wednesday “addressing institutional racism,” which “recognizes that we are taking action both to address the moral truth of the moment and also the legal truth of the moment.”