A day when the United States is reeling from another mass shooting in San Jose, California; we learn that our local state representative, Don Jones (right), has nothing better to do than introduce a bill to Ohio House, which he says “Protects children from having to examine or be blamed for mistakes made in the past”. Really, what are Jones and his fellow Republicans afraid of now?
HB 322 actually says that humanities professors can no longer discuss the influence of race on political decisions as an issue in American history. This effort is a step backwards because it denies the fact that the implications of decisions made long ago continue to plague American society today. The bill targets the use of “Critical theory of race” by teachers at all educational institutions in Ohio.
As Republican lawmakers like Mr. Jones seek to ban discussion of race in our schools, a recent poll reports 20% of Americans actually believe far-right QAnon is conspiring Republican-promoted nonsense. Marjorie Taylor Greene, also a Republican. This groundless movement argues that the world is controlled by a “Cabal of pedophiles worshiping Satan” and that Donald Trump was sent to rid the world of progressives and therefore, “Satanic ideas”. Perhaps Mr. Jones and his Republican colleagues would prefer schools to teach QAnon theory. After all, when the facts don’t matter anymore; fantasy is a good way to escape reality.
While the question of QAnon and the denial of race as a historical influence do not appear to be related, they are in fact two sides of the same ill-advised coin. The saving fact is that 80% of Americans do NOT believe in the quackery theories of QAnon; however, removing the discussion of the importance of race, culture, and history in life today sets a dangerous precedent. Of course, history cannot be changed, but it must be looked at honestly. History can inform and educate future decision-makers and reassure minority groups of all stripes that their voices are heard. The way to resolve our divisions and move forward as a people is not to stop talking about real issues, but to face them with courage and honesty. Blame is not the point, empathy and understanding is the goal of both education and positive social change.
“Disappointed” is the best way to describe my reaction to the actions of Representative Jones. As a former educator, he should know better. Students today deserve to hear all facets of any issue, including the question of race; if not, we are entering another dark age where reason and truth are the first deaths. And after “Book engraving”?
Teresa R. Porter