This is in response to Mr. James Causey's Feb. 14, 2010 column on "Black History" in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
I am very much in favor of the study of ALL history and in paying close attention to the (Paraphrased) maxim: Those who do not learn from history will be condemned to repeat it. Rather than a "Black History Month", why not an "Immigrant History" theme and infuse the story of the first immigrants (Perhaps "Native Americans"), voluntary immigrants and those involuntary (Black and White) persons transported here as slaves, bound servants and sentenced criminals, legal-and-illegal migrants to be had throughout all history classes and programs in our schools, editorial comments and newspaper features, by parents, TV reporting and so on?
The lessons learned from those migrations could include their contributions-and-subtractions from the building of our agricultural and industrial nation. The impact of such persons on "high culture", popular culture, scientific development, political movements and every other facet of human activity from pizza to soul food, from Mozart to Jazz, ETC..
The learning of historical facts must NOT be limited to currently "politically correct" factoids; But, more and more as students age, to even the most controversial matters and, much more importantly, reasoned debate on such. All of those teachers listed above, and more, who cannot deal with such are failures as teachers.
SOME CHALLENGING TOPICS FOR HISTORY TEACHERS
I will now mount my avocational historian hobby horse and toot my politically incorrect horn and provide the following, Non-PC and challenging topics and questions for all history teachers (As partially listed above).
(A) IMMIGRATION: Many facts as to immigration, especially as to recent and illegal movements into the USA, are suppressed by prostituting politicians (But, I repeat myself: Paraphrased from an American humorist) selling themselves for such votes and will keep them in office, by editors in favor of open borders and, perhaps, some church leaders who wish to inflate the numbers of persons in their denominations or who fail to understand that citizenship is something which "belongs to Caesar" and by such business and union interests which specially benefit from illegal immigration.
1. What, if anything, do immigrants collectively owe those who came to the USA before them?
2. If, and only if, such collective payments are owed: Who should receive them; And, should the costs of some immigrants-groups charges against our criminal justice, educational and other social programs be subtracted from any such payments?
3. What are the costs of illegal immigration VS contributions to the economy and the "common good" (Including the entry level jobs so needed by our youth, especially Blacks, most specially in this recession-or-depression)?
4. What proportion of the Nobel Prize winners are of Jewish or Asian decent and were immigrants into the USA? Why are those groups different from others?
5. What are the effects of Muslim immigration into the USA and other nations?
Post: Islam's Nature & Growth Patterns: Key Document
(B) RACE MORE GENERALLY: This is, unfortunately still a touchy issue in the USA.
1. Who is Black or Latino or Asian or Jewish or Arab or Slav in a more-and-more racially mixed society?
2. How is racial or ethnic identification decided? Is this a matter of personal and not family or social decisions? (I could claim "Asian" as I am <1/256 Tartar by physical evidence AND by the "one drop of blood" rule.)
3. What do such highly educated "minority" persons as Mr. B. H. Obama, the many doctors of Asian decent and such-like have in common with the mass of sweat-of-brow and very distant relatives who came to the USA before them?
4. Are we progressing from a post-racial to a very class-limiting society where even public university education is priced beyond the means of many or most of the "under-class" or even the lower middle class?
5. Do race-based "Bell Curves" still have any value in projecting collective academic success? If not, how are differences between Jewish-and-Asian students explained other than on a racial or culture basis?
(C) ISLAM: Almost too many questions to list here; But, ....
1. What are the effects of non-military Muslim immigration? (Please see A-5 above.)
2. Why are so many teachers, journalists, religious leaders, politicians and others reluctant to point out that the teachings of the Koran and other Islamic works are unalterable and allow or encourage and, sometimes command, the use of murder, rape-and-enslavement, genocide, perpetual war against all who do not view (Their brand of) Islam as superior to all other belief-systems, unequal treatment of all women and all "unbelievers" and the other and like teachings of Mohammed?
3. Why (Other than Arab oil) do so many people fail not the connection between Islam and such acts of individual jihad as represented by Major Hasan at Ft. Hood and almost weekly, and barely reported, incidents?
4. What are the differences in "world view" between Muslims, believers in other ideologies/religions, Secularists, Marxists and others?
5. What does "dhimitude" mean and does Islam have "any room" for non-Muslims in any condition other than that?
(D) Learning From History: Although there are manly more "learn from history" questions which might be asked, I will deal with three issues as to "learning from history so as to not be condemned to repeat it".
1. What happens to a successful nation (eg The Roman Republic before Caesar; England before 1960; The USA until recently) when large masses of aliens who will not be integrated into the general society of such lands? (Consider the very limited impact of very Orthodox Jews, race conscious Asians, Sikhs VS the effective integration of German, Italian, Slav and most immigrants VS the exclusive and other-rejecting sub-culture of the true-believers of Islam: Please see A-5 above.)
What lessons are to be learned here???
2. How has militarily aggressive Islam been stopped in the past? By talking or "reaching out" or other pacifist means? Or, was it by dogged and effective use of military force as at such places as: Tours; The Bay of Lepanto; The gates of Vienna; The Eastern border of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, The bay of Navarino (Greek war of independence); And other places.
What lessons can be learned from such campaigns and battles VS "negociating" with Islamic nations and movements?
3. With special regard to current events, what can be learned from the early 1800s bribe compromises with the Islamic Barbary Pirates and the latter-and-successful armed USA campaign against these horrid criminals VS the repeating bribe-by-ransoms compromises with the like Islamic pirates of the Sudan?
No doubt that some of you, who have even the least amount of intellectual and historical honest, could come up with more, non-PC, questions and issues. DO IT!