Stop Suppressing and Whitewashing American History

Target: Jimmy Hickey, President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate

Goal: Do not defund schools for curriculums centered around Black Americans and the role of slavery in U.S. history.

Politicians that are supposed to be all about the power of local education are trying to punish schools that offer an un-sanitized and comprehensive study of American history. They are apparently angry that K-12 curriculums in their states include intensive lessons on the legacy of slavery in the early days of colonial U.S. settlements. In particular, studies inspired by the Pulitzer Prize- winning 1619 Project have drawn the ire of these lawmakers.

The name of this project references the year the first Black slaves are believed to have arrived on the shores of America.  The initial project documented this early history and put a focus on the contributions of Black Americans throughout the centuries. Subsequent education curriculums adopted in all 50 states utilized this material to build interactive lessons consisting of articles, audio recordings, photographs, oral histories, and much more.

Certain politicians immediately went on the attack, calling the lessons everything from “propaganda” to “revisionist” to “racially divisive.” Supporters of the initiative have fired back that these mostly white politicians are trying to “whitewash” history and suppress minority voices. A handful of state legislatures have seemingly fulfilled this accusation by introducing proposed laws that would strip funding from schools that teach any part of the 1619 Project.

Sign the petition below to demand one of the forerunning states behind this censorship rescind their repressive actions immediately.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Hickey,

One of your U.S. Senators introduced a bill entitled the “Saving American History Act of 2021.” This supposed salvation was aimed at punishing schools that dared to bring the African American narrative to the forefront of early American history. Your state legislature followed suit by promising punishment for educators and schools that taught portions of the 1619 Project as part of their curriculum.

Senator, these actions are not truly about “saving” anything. They are instead all about casting away free and open discussion: the hallmark of education. These proposed laws will whitewash history, not save it.

Arkansas used to pride itself on keeping the government out of education and other local matters. Now you want to impose your dictates and mandates on regional school systems. You aim to take away money and support from already-struggling schools–and punish students in the process–because these educators do not adhere to “your” views? This absurd notion is the very antithesis of conservatism and supposed states’ rights.

These legislative attempts at censorship emblemize the revisionist history and the divisiveness that you use as well-worn attacks against the curriculum. Drop this disgraceful bill at once.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Beathan


One Comment

  1. Elizabeth Story says:

    History should be truthfully taught, the good,the bad, and the ugly. Learn from it, not hide it.

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