Sunday, May 14, 2006

Don't Get Your History in Stereo(type)

With your permission, readers, I would like to digress a little. This entry still has to do with politics, but not so much with an issue of magnificant importance. Sheila Kuehl, a senator in the California state legislature, has put forth a bill that would make sure gay men and lesbians get their mention in state textbooks.

I am an advocate of gay rights (gay marriage, and adoption by gay couples). I have these point of views because I don't feel like gays are a detriment to our society like we are made to believe. I also feel like gays are people, just like you and me, and should be treated as such without judgement, or persecution. However, the problem with Ms. Kuehl's bill is it creates another stereotype in textbooks. I don't like how teachers have to categorize historical heroes with a stereotype. Many prominent historical figures are known primarily by the color of their skin, or in this case, their sexual orientation.

Take black history month for example. By definition it's a month where we reflect on the accomplishments of influential african-americans throughout history. I don't want to take anything away from these extraordinary feats, but there doesn't need to be a month dedicated too their accomplishments. I'm not trying to advocate a 'white history month' or any form of history month for any race, class, or type of people. We don't need this stuff.

The proper place for recognition of the heroes of our past generations is in history class, but not as stereotypes. We don't need to turn history class into a subject where we study an individual's accomplishments because of their skin color, religion, or sexual orientation. When someone changes the path of history it should be mentioned, studied, and never forgotten.

History should be unbiased. We shouldn't remember those heroes because they are black, white, hispanic, gay, or straight. When an activist changes history it's not for the better good of one class or race. Their contributions change, and effect everybody.

When Dr. King led the way during the civil rights movement he wasn't doing it for people of his own race. He was doing it for America, and we need to remember that.

We need to do away with the stereotypes.

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