A proper response to slavery would have been to enshrine in law that it must be taught, clearly and honestly, for the evil that it wrought. That’s my understanding of how Germany handles teaching about the Holocaust. The idea that we’ve gone in the other direction, essentially ensuring we cannot properly teach the history of slavery is wild.

For example, for those who don’t click through, among the concerns in Virginia specifically are:

The problematic presentation of the history of slavery. The standards ascribe sole responsibility for the “Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade” to “Western African Empires” (WHII.6d); imply that indentured servitude (“bonded labor”) was a “type of slavery” (VUS.3b); and remove the term racism (mentioned 22 times in the original August draft) from any of the actual course-level standards.

There’s more that is equally frightening.

For all the right wing fear mongering of a government that’s too powerful, most of which is done to ensure we don’t have enough IRS agents to enforce tax evasion and fraud or a sufficient workforce to enforce child labor law, I’ve never been more afraid of government power than when its erasing history.

The folks who say education shouldn’t be political are using education to push their political project by teaching a narrative we all know they know is false.

Cut the bullshit. We know that these people don’t believe that West African Empires are responsible for the slave trade, or that indentured servitude was slavery, or that racism played no role in our history. We know that they don’t believe its unimportant to teach about history after the 1960s. They don’t believe these things. They’re lying to people who know they are lying and everyone is winking at each other. In 20 years, the kids who grow up under this regime won’t be winking. They won’t know they were lied to. They will deeply believe something untrue, and it will reshape our world into an uglier, crueler, and scarier place.