The Right to Exist is Fundamental

Constructing and Teaching History

“The idea that history isn’t interpreted but is factual, that’s just totally not realistic.” —Dr. Theron Trimble, Executive Director Florida’s Council for the Social Studies.

Source: Florida Law Stirs Debate over Teaching History

Photo by Mick Haupt on Unsplash

Multicultural Dimension of American Society

In signing into law legislation regarding the teaching of American history, the state of Florida inadvertently (or perhaps purposefully) mandated a focus on political history rooted in an ideology that views history as factual and not socially constructed.

The result was a law that “obscures the true diversity of American history and prevents young citizens from understanding the multicultural dimension of their nation’s past (Kornblith & Lasser, p. 12).”

The Right to Exist is Fundamental

“Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down. They know its power. Thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers, founded in injustice and wrong, are sure to tremble, if men are allowed to reason.”

Frederick Douglass, Selected Addresses of Frederick Douglass

Understanding the multicultural dimension of American society is one of the most important issue facing educators in the twenty-first century, particularly since America is becoming more diverse, not less.

In its most basic form, Manifest destiny is the belief that one group has been ordained as superior to all others in every aspect of life. Manifest destiny is the original model of exclusion that evolved into institutionalized domination and systemic racism in America (Feagin, 2006). Post-Revolutionary leaders rejected the idea of a multicultural society, advocating instead the creation of a single, unified American culture based on Anglo-American male ideology…

Anita D Russell, Founder/CEO The Place to SOAR

Activism through Coaching | Author of Cultivating Change from the Inside Out: The Power of Being Human | Creating space for courageous conversation.