Utah school sparks backlash after giving opt out to black history month

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Napp
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Whoever is in charge of their PR needs a good kicking :lol: Notionally theyve since rescinded said opt out but nevertheless, whoever thought this was going to play well once the press inevitably get their hands on it needs their head examining :rolleyes:


https://www.businessinsider.in/inter...w/80740149.cms
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JOSH4598
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So this school has only three black students so said people don't have to do Black History lessons, yet now it is compulsory?

Personally I think it's wrong making it compulory (if I understand this correctly). Even lessons such as sex-ed are optional so can't see why on earth they're making everyone do this. Just like most of these lessons I imagine most of the students piss about for an hour till the lessons done because very few people actively care. Same with PSHE and RE.
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IanDangerously
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Utah is hardly the culturally diverse melting pot of America ... I doubt most of them really give a **** about Black History Month.

When did this become a thing anyway? When I was in school we learned about the slave trade, the Confederacy and MLK and the civil rights movement but it was all just part of history class. Nobody ever said today we’re going to learn about black history or white history.

It just seems like another modern divisive identity politics thing to make people get tetchy over.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by IanDangerously)
Utah is hardly the culturally diverse melting pot of America ... I doubt most of them really give a **** about Black History Month.

When did this become a thing anyway? When I was in school we learned about the slave trade, the Confederacy and MLK and the civil rights movement but it was all just part of history class. Nobody ever said today we’re going to learn about black history or white history.

It just seems like another modern divisive identity politics thing to make people get tetchy over.
In the US it started in 1970 and was adopted nationally in 1976 by President Ford, so it is hardly a new concept for them.
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StriderHort
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Personally I think it's wrong making it compulory (if I understand this correctly). Even lessons such as sex-ed are optional so can't see why on earth they're making everyone do this
It might be something to do with the horrendous racism. There's evidently a significant number of people not getting the message.
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QE2
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
So this school has only three black students so said people don't have to do Black History lessons, yet now it is compulsory?

Personally I think it's wrong making it compulory (if I understand this correctly). Even lessons such as sex-ed are optional so can't see why on earth they're making everyone do this. Just like most of these lessons I imagine most of the students piss about for an hour till the lessons done because very few people actively care. Same with PSHE and RE.
At my school there were no Russian communists or aristocrats, but we still had to study the Russian Revolution.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by QE2)
At my school there were no Russian communists or aristocrats, but we still had to study the Russian Revolution.
Never said they shouldn't learn it. I just think it's wrong for it to be compulsory - if I want to opt out of studying that (given it's not part of the academic curriculum as far as I understand) then that should be respected.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by StriderHort)
It might be something to do with the horrendous racism. There's evidently a significant number of people not getting the message.
I don't think the justification of 'police brutality' or 'institutional racism' (which I presume you mean when refering to "horrendous racism") can be resolved with compulsory Black History lessons for children.

Your logic implies there should be compulsory education on the history of transgender people, homosexuals, Muslims, migrants (of every origin) or the entire working-class population, just to name a few. All of those groups face discrimination of some kind in some areas of society, but unless you intend on opening schools seven days a week just to fit all this in then none of it should be compulsory. You fall into the trap of ranking types of discrimination, implying racism is more important than homophobia which is more important than Islamophobia and so on. It should all be optional education for the children.
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QE2
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
I don't think the justification of 'police brutality' or 'institutional racism' (which I presume you mean when refering to "horrendous racism") can be resolved with compulsory Black History lessons for children.

Your logic implies there should be compulsory education on the history of transgender people, homosexuals, Muslims, migrants (of every origin) or the entire working-class population, just to name a few. All of those groups face discrimination of some kind in some areas of society, but unless you intend on opening schools seven days a week just to fit all this in then none of it should be compulsory. You fall into the trap of ranking types of discrimination, implying racism is more important than homophobia which is more important than Islamophobia and so on. It should all be optional education for the children.
All history should be taught fully and accurately, whatever the subject matter.
Really not sure why you object so strongly to schools addressing the traditional "whitewashing" of history. With all due respect, it seems like you are precisely the sort of person these lessons are aimed at.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by QE2)
All history should be taught fully and accurately, whatever the subject matter.
Really not sure why you object so strongly to schools addressing the traditional "whitewashing" of history. With all due respect, it seems like you are precisely the sort of person these lessons are aimed at.
Quite possibly, but claiming "all history should be taught fully and accurately" just isn't possible. How can you educate children about the entire history of everything? The curriculum picks out areas of history, which is taught to children at a basic level, given they're only in school for a certain amount of time. If Black History isn't a module in the history curriculum, then it shouldn't be compulsory. Fair enough if it is on the curriculum and it is in the exam, but if it isn't then being 'opt-out' seems totally appropriate. As I said, if you make Black History compulsory then you have to make the history of every 'oppressed' group compulsory which again just isn't possible given children are only in school for a certain number of years.
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Napp
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Well thats clearly not practical nor recommended now is it QE2? "all history" indeed.
Out of interest, why do you think students should learn principally about "coloured" history instead of their own? I mean i'm all for learning about the ways of the world, at least those that are useful at any rate, but given schools in Britain, for example, barly even teach any British history why on earth would it be advisable to teach them about something even more remote in CAR, Ecuador or some such? Again, by all means teach students a global history but your insinuation that equal weighting should be given to foreign history, when domestic isnt even taught, seems dubious.
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Napp
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Quite possibly, but claiming "all history should be taught fully and accurately" just isn't possible. How can you educate children about the entire history of everything? The curriculum picks out areas of history, which is taught to children at a basic level, given they're only in school for a certain amount of time. If Black History isn't a module in the history curriculum, then it shouldn't be compulsory. Fair enough if it is on the curriculum and it is in the exam, but if it isn't then being 'opt-out' seems totally appropriate. As I said, if you make Black History compulsory then you have to make the history of every 'oppressed' group compulsory which again just isn't possible given children are only in school for a certain number of years.
Plus, if we follow the logic they're using of educating solely based on who has been historically "oppressed" the most, it would seem that the Indians, Chinese, Latinos (of various persuasions), Jews and so on (the list is inexhaustible to be honest) would all be in a nice race to get their own month in. As you noted there is only so much time in a year and only so much you can plausibly teach a child - the idea of basing a curriculum solely on issues of race/if they've been historically clobbered seems a particularly odd way to go about educating the next generation as opposed to teaching them things they ought to know.
Like with black history month, would it not be easier to simply roll it into general history? (i imagine blacks are part of our temporal universe after all and dont exist in a bubble :rolleyes: ). But hey, who is one to question the wisdom of either the US public school system *stiffles laugh* or certain other users here on the matter.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by Napp)
Plus, if we follow the logic they're using of educating solely based on who has been historically "oppressed" the most, it would seem that the Indians, Chinese, Latinos (of various persuasions), Jews and so on (the list is inexhaustible to be honest) would all be in a nice race to get their own month in. As you noted there is only so much time in a year and only so much you can plausibly teach a child - the idea of basing a curriculum solely on issues of race/if they've been historically clobbered seems a particularly odd way to go about educating the next generation as opposed to teaching them things they ought to know.
Like with black history month, would it not be easier to simply roll it into general history? (i imagine blacks are part of our temporal universe after all and dont exist in a bubble :rolleyes: ). But hey, who is one to question the wisdom of either the US public school system *stiffles laugh* or certain other users here on the matter.
Precisely. A balanced and fair education is what children need, not an education which promotes a certain set of beliefs or political values. In an ideal world children would be educated on absolutely everything and in as much detail as possible. Sadly we do not live in an ideal world and many utopian ideas are not possible.
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TCA2b
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(Original post by Napp)
Well thats clearly not practical nor recommended now is it QE2? "all history" indeed.
Out of interest, why do you think students should learn principally about "coloured" history instead of their own? I mean i'm all for learning about the ways of the world, at least those that are useful at any rate, but given schools in Britain, for example, barly even teach any British history why on earth would it be advisable to teach them about something even more remote in CAR, Ecuador or some such? Again, by all means teach students a global history but your insinuation that equal weighting should be given to foreign history, when domestic isnt even taught, seems dubious.
Because they have an agenda to push and propaganda to disseminate, so of course it's important!
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QE2
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Quite possibly, but claiming "all history should be taught fully and accurately" just isn't possible.
(Original post by Napp)
Well thats clearly not practical nor recommended now is it QE2? "all history" indeed.
*sigh*
"History" as in "history lessons". You know, the thing under discussion?
"Whatever history is taught should be taught fully and accurately". Better?
*smh*
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QE2
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
Precisely. A balanced and fair education is what children need, not an education which promotes a certain set of beliefs or political values.
Not a fan of irony then?
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Ascend
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If "black history" in America is going the way of the 1619 project then it's far from accurate.
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QE2
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(Original post by Ascend)
If "black history" in America is going the way of the 1619 project then it's far from accurate.
Given the AIER's support for sweatshops, climate change denial, deforestation, and dismissing the threat of Covid, I'd be reluctant to cite them as a source for anything.
But anyway, history must be represented accurately, regardless of who is presenting it. No source can simply claim accuracy by right.
What are your specific objections to the 1619 Project with regard to accuracy?
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Ascend
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(Original post by QE2)
Given the AIER's support for sweatshops, climate change denial, deforestation, and dismissing the threat of Covid, I'd be reluctant to cite them as a source for anything.
But anyway, history must be represented accurately, regardless of who is presenting it. No source can simply claim accuracy by right.
What are your specific objections to the 1619 Project with regard to accuracy?
Irrelevant to the topic at hand. Until you can find me a more detailed bibliography that also presents both sides of the 1619 project, I'm sticking to that resource.

As for the inaccuracies, let's start with the biggest one: slavery was not "one of the primary reasons" for the foundation of the United States of America.

However, an even bigger problem is Hannah-Jones’s presentation of the American Founding. She goes far beyond the familiar, justified criticism of men who championed liberty yet owned other human beings as slaves, and who opposed slavery in theory yet acquiesced in a Constitution that protected it. Nothing in the 1619 Project has ignited as much polemical furor as this sentence:

"Conveniently left out of our founding mythology is the fact that one of the primary reasons the colonists decided to declare their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery."

Hannah-Jones goes on to assert that by 1776, “Britain had grown deeply conflicted over its role in the barbaric institution that had reshaped the Western Hemisphere” and faced “growing calls to abolish the slave trade.” This, she suggests, made colonists fearful that the mother country would abolish the institution that fueled their wealth.

How did Somerset resonate in the American colonies? In a fascinating paper presented last July at the annual meeting of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic, Brigham Young University historian Matthew Mason—a young scholar who shares the revisionists’ view that slavery is central to early American history—concludes that the answer is, not much at all. For one, while the Somerset case certainly sparked some discussion in America, it was generally not treated as particularly big news. (A 1985 analysis of colonial press coverage of Somerset notes that vastly more space was given to a sex-and-politics court scandal in Denmark involving King George’s sister, Queen Caroline; plus ça change.)

Along with neutral and positive reports, several newspapers did run articles critical of the Somerset decision—though I could find no explicit references to “tyranny” per se. One short item that appeared in New York and Massachusetts newspapers (and is quoted by both Mason and Van Cleve) speculated that the decision would “occasion a greater ferment in America . . . than the Stamp Act itself” because of the threat of ruinous litigation over slaves’ freedom; however, even this correspondent thought these consequences would matter “particularly in the islands”—that is, in the Caribbean—rather than the mainland. A couple of newspapers also ran ads about fugitive slaves believed to be trying to make their way to England, hoping to win their freedom based on Somerset.

None of this, however, amounts to a strong colonial backlash against the ruling. Revisionist claims of such a backlash rely heavily either on apparent speculation—the Blumrosens’ 2005 book, Slave Nation, is particularly egregious in this respect, discussing at some length how “slave owners and their lawyers react[ed]” without citing a single source—or on disturbingly out-of-context citations.
(my emphasis)

https://thebulwark.com/the-fight-over-the-1619-project/
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QE2
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(Original post by Ascend)
Irrelevant to the topic at hand. Until you can find me a more detailed bibliography that also presents both sides of the 1619 project, I'm sticking to that resource.

As for the inaccuracies, let's start with the biggest one: slavery was not "one of the primary reasons" for the foundation of the United States of America.






(my emphasis)

https://thebulwark.com/the-fight-over-the-1619-project/
From my albeit brief reading around the issue, it seems that some historians and commentators like it, and some don't.
Something else to consider is that seems to be more journalism than academic study, (after all, she did win a Pulizer Prize for journalism for it). Plus it has been amended following criticism.
Given all this, I fail to see why you think the project is an issue in the context of reaching Black History in schools.

As far as specific criticism, it is definitely fair to say that slavery played an important role in the foundation and formation of the United States. It is simply nonsense to claim otherwise. If people's criticism is with specifically how great that role was, then with all due respect, people should find more worthy causes to champion. Whether slavery played a substantial role, a key role, a leading role or a secondary role, it was still integrally and fundamentally linked to it. Not sure why anyone would try and claim it wasn't.
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