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It's not often that history teachers get to have a good laugh. But this week we enjoyed a rare moment of rolling-on-the-floor laughter.
You see, we're usually grim folks who favor "boring textbooks" and "monotonous lectures" in our quest to indoctrinate children with "filtered," "biased and politically correct" history. At least, that's how Mike Huckabee sees us.
U.S. public schools are not branch offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. That’s the message the Obama administration sent out in a letter to the nation’s school districts last week.
“All these kids … you must be brave,” said the man in hiking gear.
After a sunny but cold day on the beach punctuated by a trudge through sandpaper wind, I was plodding downhill with the stragglers from my hiking group. The more energetic among them galloped to the end, past the curious hiker.
May 31 marks the 90th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Riot. You can be excused if you've never heard of it. Despite being the bloodiest attack on African-American citizens in U.S. history, the riot was almost completely ignored by most history books for about 75 years. Only recently has the event received the attention it deserves.
As part of our bedtime routine, I was excited to share a new book with my 4-year-old daughter. My Princess Boy by Cheryl Kilodavis would be our story for the evening. We began, as always, by reading the title and looking at the illustrations.
Growing up, no one told me that people shouldn’t be gay. My parents didn’t tell me I shouldn’t talk to kids whose parents were lesbian. My neighbors didn’t rant against the horrors of gay rights. Instead, all the people in my life encouraged me to live openly, to take people’s personalities and see the beauty in them, to smile at the adorable young couple clutching each other’s hands, no matter their gender. Love was love. I lived in a world blissfully ignorant about the cruelties of the “real world.”
“Dad, what is the Clue Clux Clan,” asked my 10-year-old son Bakary as we sat under a shade tree on Saturday in Montgomery, Ala. We were waiting to register for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s 40th anniversary celebration.
“Well, it’s the Ku Klux Klan,” I told him. “Do you remember the old song that goes, “Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight?" Well, the KKK thinks only white people are precious and they try to hurt people who think differently.”
“Oh, I’m glad it’s not the ‘Clue Clux Clan’ because they don’t have a clue,” he said.
As part of the kick-off to the Southern Poverty Law Center's 40th anniversary festivities, second grade students from Notre Dame Elementary in Portsmouth, Ohio, offered congratulations and insight into just how simple it could be to change our world.