Thursday, December 4, 2008

Reaping What They Sowed

Posted by Teresa at 6:50 PM
I'm going through the study guide of my brother's high school history. As I flip
through the book I notice there is so much emphasis on minorities, women and
class in the chapters. I'm Hispanic and female, I think it's important to tell
the story of how minorities groups have been oppressed thought out American
history and also the long fight for women rights. Obviously, these stories need
to be told.

However, there seems to be too much emphasis on race, gender, and class. I
think there is something lost if one solely looks at American history through
the prism of race, gender, economics. We become no longer a collective but
identified by what oppressed group we belong to. Divided by the labels. One
of the subheading of the chapter guides ask, "How were women doing during
this decade?" Why not ask "How were Americans doing during this decade?"
I want to know how women and men were doing. Does it not matter how men
(half of the population, I might add) were doing?

There are some shameful stuff in America's past, no doubt about it. But I also
think there is a whole lot of good too and that seems to be left out of the books.
Americans helped defeat Nazism even though we weren't perfect at home. I
don't think any other country has defended liberty and freedom like we have
in the past century.

To be fair, history books only have a limited number of pages to tell their story.
Therefore, a lot of stuff is going to be left out. One is never going to get the
complete story about how life was a hundred or even twenty years.

But I would like the future history books to note: As a ethnic minority and a women
living in America in this date and time, I can not feel more free and appreciative.
And I know that I'm free today because others have suffered before my generation.
I'm just reaping what they sowed. I realize that. This is an exceptional country and
I hope that makes it to the pages of a history book one day.
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