The truth will set us free

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

When teaching or describing our country’s history, many times we have a propensity to dilute the truth. This practice is ever prevalent when we sugarcoat the turbulent history of our beloved country. While we love this country, we must not be blind to unpleasant events and practices of the past—whose remnants still prevail systemically in many of our daily lives.

Ill-gotten wealth, en-slavement and degradation of ethnic races, steal from a nation its indigenous habitants. That and corporate greed are just a few of the ugly realities of the past that are instrumental in shaping this country. Unpleasant as it may be, it is part of our history and must be taught—if for no other reason, as a reminder to work harder to do better.

Understanding the past makes it possible to understand our present circumstances, socially economically and psychologically as citizens. The disparity in the distribution of wealth becomes clearer as well as the privileges and entitlements afforded to Whites. Knowledge of these truths should not serve to provoke anger or physical retribution from victims or their descendants but serve as a remembrance helping to unite people to work together to better the playing field of opportunity, equality, and justice for all people.

Unfortunately there are those who have not been afforded the whole truth when taught American or world history in our public schools. There exists an element altering the truth to keep a generation of children from loathing their forefathers.

At no cost do many Whites want their children to be uncomfortable about their role in unsavory practices of the past. Some would argue that telling the whole truth would decimate or destroy fabricated stereotypes of those who see certain minority groups as inferior, lazy and unproductive. For some, Whites (maintaining a role of White supremacy) is paramount whatever the cost.

The telling of history like that of many stories differs according to the aims and goals of the storyteller. History happened and cannot be undone, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent. However, everyone should be afforded the truth when taught history to discern its relevancy themselves. If for no other reasons, we would not be so quick to honor so many people of the past on our buildings, streets, schools, bridges, monuments, whose horrendous acts toward people and society outweigh the good they may have contributed. We will forever remember the role people and events played in history, but let’s not salute those guilty of heinous and insufferable acts by praising and honoring them with perpetual visual reminders.

Teaching patriotism and love for our country is commendable for all citizens, but let’s not veer from the total truth, however difficult it may be at times. There are some things in our past history that should acts as reminders that we must work harder as a nation to do better, learning from our mistakes to make sure they are not repeated.

The truth can only bring forth the light to help set us free as we go forward.