Cherry Hill should mandate everyone’s history be taught (Opinion)
Cherry Hill is considering requiring students to take an African American history course as part of its requirements for seniors to graduate. They would be the first district in New Jersey to do so. Why stop there?
I think it's great for students to learn about the culture they were born into as well as the other cultures that are around them. That's why I'm a proponent of giving each of the 12 most populous nationalities in the United States a month, like we do with Black History Month. I would also include LGBTQ history.
No one was welcomed to America with open arms. Each nationality who came here had to endure prejudice from those who were already here. For instance, The Italians were the victims of the largest mass lynching in this country, which took place in New Orleans on March 14, 1891. Theodore Roosevelt called it "a rather good thing."
It was that lynching and the reaction of the Italian government that led to President Benjamin Harrison proclaiming "Columbus Day" in 1892. Regardless of the accuracy of the Columbus story, it gave the hard-working Italians who desperately wanted to fit into and be part of America a way to do so.
That's just one of many stories of the people who make up the melting pot that is the United States of America. Of course, we should also be teaching the Holocaust and what Jewish people endured and continue to endure. Let's also not forget the Latinos and Asians.
I think if students truly knew all that their ancestors had to go through just to become "Americans," they would truly feel a sense of unity that could go a long way toward wiping out prejudice. Isn't that what we want most for them?
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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