“History Repeating”

So recently Texas “lawmakers” finalized the latest revisions to the public school textbooks. If you want to, you can google all kinds of articles and blogs about how much power Texas has in the overall scheme of American textbooks, how right or wrong it is, etc.

One of the most jarring arguments that I heard about the entire subject was Latino lawmakers, civic leaders, and citizens making about the lack of representation of the Latino culture in American history. But the suggestions to correct that problem, in my opinion, really don’t solve the problem, because instead of promoting contributions to the American culture, it’s pinpointing contributions to Latino culture in America.

Deep down I feel a bit frustrated when I hear about this…mostly because of the major groups ignored by history, Asians are largely ignored outside of Asian textbooks and history books, and really the only time that Asian history intersects with Western history is when the atomic bombs are talked about, and sometimes, the Boxer Rebellion is brought up before that. In the States, very few know, that Asian blood and sweat built the great railroad system. Of that there was a 3% immigration quota placed to keep the “Chinese” population from overtaking the white population in the States during the 1800s. Or that there were internament camps during World War II, because many of  the Allie nations were unsure of which way the “Japanese” people’s loyalty ran. (The quotations are because officially that is who was affected by the laws and practices, but in reality there were people of other Asian ethnicities that were affected by them as well.)

It truly is the victors that write history. I’m not saying that we should vote for our representatives on the basis of ethinicity, but it’s more in your interest to put more about people and historical events related to you and your ethnic/cultural background in the history books. Because honestly, who will fight for your ethnic and cultural history, make sure that the next generation will know what has been done? But something should be done for of the next generation to know what everyone, not some have struggled with, fought for, and defended.

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One response to ““History Repeating”

  1. I did, actually, know that Asians built the railroads, that there were Chinese cowboys helping to tame the West, etc. But then again, I’m Filipina-American, so maybe I’m a little biased. I’m glad you mentioned that we shouldn’t vote on ethnicity/nationality alone. We should vote on our beliefs, and we should know our history better so that we can know what to do for our futures.

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