This is the title of a song that could be used in a history lesson. It is a song that includes names of people who can be found in history books. I am writing this to appeal to your conscience. Our country is under attack. The enemy is not foreign and can be found everywhere. Some are your neighbors, and many are elected officials. They neither protect, serve nor know anything about good education policy. Where is Thomas Paine when we need him? Where are the Suffragettes when we need them? RBG, we need people like you today. Katie Porter and AOC cannot do it on their own.
If we fail to change the current repression of our education system, it will be a catastrophe. School boards, libraries, and society face uphill battles as people like Ron DeSantis have decided they are the only ones to determine what children should read or learn in history books or the classroom. God forbid our children to learn about other cultures and learn the truth. Until recently, Republicans were relatively absent from this conversation. They were happy going after public schools, funding wars, and bowing to the gun lobby. Today they see that many no longer support their way of thinking and have decided that by undermining schools, eliminating knowledge, banning books, altering the story of history, and who knows what else, they can possibly remake America in their image. It is a somewhat subtle but effective way to build a future power base,
Nearly seventeen years ago, I was a teacher. I believed I was capable and did a relatively good job at the time. Since then, I have discovered that I have not taught history how it needed to be taught. Students do not need a sugar-coated or white-washed version of history. They need truths about everyone, including all people of color and culture. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I did not know about the Tulsa Massacre or the use of the School of Americas to control the politics of other countries. I did not know of the many contributions made by other people. If our society does not stop the insidious cancer of bans or prohibitions against books and history, we will indeed have opened Pandora’s Box. I know the pen is mightier than the sword, and I hope we can use our pens and voices to stop the war against learning. Our religious, business, and community groups all have a stake in this. Unfortunately, nothing will change if those leaders and organizations fail to act. Currently, people are speaking out and critical of the efforts to limit what can be presented to our children. I am not an alarmist, but I believe these times call for action, not silence.