Blogpost # 895     ABRIDGED TOO FAR*

History might, permissibly, be defined as the study of change over time. It covers all aspects of human society, political, social, economic, scientific, technological, medical, cultural, intellectual, religious and military. The study of history, inarguably, is an intellectual discipline that aspires to construe a rational understanding of the past. It seems reasonable to presume that no historian can be 100% objective, and that reputable, historians try to recognize their own biases and beliefs and seek thereby to understand the subject of their study, in the context of how and why people of the relevant era, thought and believed. It is our view, that the historian accrues the moral and professional duties of objectivity and inclusivity of the myriad phenomena of his relevant period of interest.

Initially, and briefly stated, we give short shrift to the status, and utility of “partial,” or, subjectively, selected or abridged, history, and, accordingly, view the outspoken, opponents to the academic instruction of “Critical Race Theory,” as deceitful and tactically, political and duplicitous.

It is empirically, undeniable, that for the period of American History, 1776 to 1865, the law  (and establishment) recognized and enforced the determination of the status of the kidnapped and enslaved African, as a “human chattel” ( N.B., Matter of Dred Scott, SCOTUS)). The advent of the Eli Whitney “Cotton Gin” (Cotton Engine), exponentially, increased the commercial demand for plantation slave labor. History records that, following the Civil War (itself, principally, motivated by the issue of slavery) and Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation,” the Thirteen Amendment was inserted into the Constitution, outlawing that base and immoral status. The painful recitation of such facts, regarding the Nation’s sordid blemish, of black enslavement is consummately, and uncomfortably, undeniable.

The insidious and tragic problem, as we would choose to describe it, is that, apparently, the centuries of hapless and unjust, cultural institutionalization of the status of the enslaved black person (now, legally and appropriately, an American citizen), seems to, immorally, illegally, and chronically, persist, among many atavistic and bigoted, anti-democratic, Americans. National efforts by government and mainstream, right-thinking citizens, to date, have resulted, disappointingly, in incomplete success in the Nation’s traditionally, represented, aspiration to, universal equality.

It is, predictably, within the large horde of right-wing, MAGA, conservative individuals that one finds the proponents of an arbitrary, major abridgment in the teaching of history so that subject matter, often referred to as “Critical Race Theory,” is eliminated, from the academic syllabus.  As declared, above, any subjectively, edited or selected accounts of history are misleading and entirely, useless. It is notable, that such major, abridgment, or omission of the Nation’s empirical history, appears to be ardently, sought by many individuals who seem to be election deniers, supporters of voting restrictions, opponents of liberal immigration and supporters of censorship and book banning.

“Critical Race Theory,” in its simplest description, is founded in the idea that racism is not merely the product of individual race bias, or “prejudice,” but rather, is a matter that is embedded in legal systems and policies. It is a retrospective, analysis of how racism has helped shaped public policy. The current opposition from its critics appears to emerge from an alleged fear, that white students will be exposed to damaging or self-demoralizing ideas.

Such alleged fears are obviously, specious and tactically false. What modern-day student is oblivious to the Civil War, to the media reports of the daily efforts of the Civil Rights Movement, to America’s past history of black enslavement, to the “Trail of Tears” and the Viet Nam War.

From responsible considerations of academic honesty to that of the pragmatism, mandated in our efforts toward progress toward universal equality, we need to recognize the totality of the American historical experience, inclusive of all that has, happened in this Nation, so that we can continue to create differential outcomes, where relevant, and become the Nation we say we are.

* Apologies regarding the title, to Cornelius Ryan, author of the 1976 Novel, “A Bridge Too Far”


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Retired from the practice of law'; former Editor in Chief of Law Review; Phi Beta Kappa; Poet. Essayist Literature Student and enthusiast.

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