Grade schools and high schools resort to lies in order to sugar coat the past. If slavery is presented through Gone with the Wind everybody was good. If slavery is presented with all whites being bad and blacks being victims, than it dehumanizes both the whites and blacks…
Gone with the Wind focuses not on the hardships of slavery, but the injustices of the Union Army and Reconstruction. This is very misleading. Did the South face hardships at the hands of the Union Army? Of course they did, they lost the war. However slaves also faced injustices. In Gone with the Wind only one slave was whipped for not taking care of a hot horse (Mitchell 51). In Bullwhip days: The slaves remember: An oral history (Mellon 2002:39) a slave recounts numerous whippings with blood and blisters all over a slave’s back. This is what happened according to a witness. However all races of students would be uncomfortable with this image. That is why history has to be smoothed over for children. Is it right that teachers lie to students? No, it is not right. One human trait is to separate people, events, and history into a good and evil category. The truth is not all slaves were beaten by their white masters, but many were. Not all white people owned or even believed in slavery, but many did. History needs to treat events as humanly as possible. That means judgment does not need to be passed, but history needs to be presented through facts not emotion. Slavery was not a clear cut issue. It is difficult, but needs to be addressed by all races. Bibliography Loewen, J. W. (1996). Lies my teacher told me. New York: Touchstone. Mellon, J. (2002). ...
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