What does the censorship of history accomplish?

Of course I must put my two cents in about those who wish to censor certain school library books, partially so we cannot recognize and acknowledge what happened in our past. I was an academic librarian for twenty-five years, most of which did not include censoring our history.

This is one area where history and psychology agree:

“Those who do not know their history are doomed to repeat it!”

In counseling we learn that the first step to any type of change or healing process begins with awareness of our past. If we cannot acknowledge what happened to us, we can never change its traumatic effects or how we now perceive it. How can you change that which you do not even recognize as true? Knowing and feeling your past can be so liberating!

You cannot change what you do not even know about.

Denying our history is not the answer. Historically we have certainly done a decent job of downplaying the slaughter of most Native Americans and their culture, not to mention “normalizing” the practice of kidnapping native Africans and enslaving them. When fully witnessed and acknowledged, our history holds much to be ashamed of. The only solution to this terrible record as a nation is to tell the truth about these travesties and then seek some kind of healing.

As Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on the PBS show “Finding Your Roots” states, we should not feel guilty for the sins of our ancestors. We had no part in the choices they made or the societal pressures put upon them. But if we search out and now know the truth in our history, we can then move forward with a knowledge and understanding of how we should act today and every day in our future.

In addition, I must scoff at those idiots who criticize a decision to choose a non-European-American female for our next Supreme Court Justice. For well over two centuries we all knew that the President would nominate a European-American male for the post. The dominant culture made sure of that. And now these idiots feel threatened by one African-American woman on the Court…. GROW UP!

Postscript: When they tried to ban sex education in Utah when I lived there in the 1980s, we used to say: “If ignorance is bliss than Utah is utopia!” Nah, kids will never figure out what sex is if you don’t tell them…

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