There was a comment in class that said that learning about slavery could be/is uncomfortable in class if there are African American students present. It was also brought up that perhaps learning about the segregation and the racism, etc., reinforces negative views.
I think that that is completely off. I believe that students nowadays deserve more credit than that. Learning about the stupidity of our ancestors in certain areas teaches students to not repeat those actions and work diligently to not let them happen. Like David said that old saying goes: "if you forget history, you're doomed to repeat it."
I think that if certain things make you feel awkward in the classroom, theres a problem. I believe that the racist issues in America, at least in Massachusetts and at MCLA, are better, but not ideal. We're slowly improving, and yes, racism still exists, but learning about past mistakes can teach tolerance and acceptance of differences.
Racism happened. Rosa Parks existed. Native Americans were mistreated. It's a part of our not so shiny history, and it needs to be taught to everyone.
Does learning about the gritty parts of the past reinforce old views, or does teaching students about past mistakes reinforce tolerance and a will to not repeat those mistakes?