Letter to the Editor: Sometimes Children Need to Learn More Than Parents



It comes as very little surprise to me that many parents find the teaching of America's complete history to their children to be objectionable.

As a lifelong, avid student of history, I always knew that would be twisted into an attack on America, or at least on the America of myth and fable.

Events in recent years have shown that to be the case.

For those who have swallowed the fable, there is much about our history that is unfathomable. I will not go into detail and fact. It would not matter. Myths and fables are emotional concepts and no amount of facts will dislodge a person from them.

Critical race theory is not new. It has been taught at the post graduate and law school level for forty years in historic Black colleges and universities. It is a theory and is discussed as a theory.

People taking those courses are not adolescents. They are reasonably mature, bright young people in their 20s who have developed some critical thinking skills.

But K-12 education does have a role. Young people should know more than their parents.

They should never be limited by what their parents believe, sometimes erroneously to be true. Neither should their knowledge be limited by only what their parents believe to be necessary, based on their own experience. The world is large and knowledge is always expanding.

We have an example in our history of a parent who made those mistakes. Thomas Lincoln was by all accounts a great teller of humorous stories and generally a good-natured fellow. He believed that his son Abraham did not need any more knowledge than what would ensure his survival in the near wilderness of 1820's Illinois.

He discouraged his son from reading books that had little to do with practical matters. Young Abraham had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge that his father never understood.

Fortunately for Abe and for the country, his mother and then his stepmother recognized that and encouraged his learning. He never forgot that and credited his stepmother mostly for his success in life.

Lincoln never really forgave his father for trying to stifle his self-education. Later in life when he referred to his father it was with some disdain. When he became a very successful lawyer he gave his father and stepmother money if they needed it, but nowhere in Lincoln's writings is there a single word of affection for his father.

Though he was in the vicinity and could have easily attended, he did not go to his father's funeral. “There is nothing I can do for him now, " he said.

It is an emotional subject, but your child is not your mini-me. They are their own person and sometimes they need and want to learn more than you. A parent should be proud of that.

It is ironic that white parents complain that the teaching of a complete American history makes their children feel bad about themselves because of their white skin color.

White people have made people of color feel bad about themselves because of their skin color for centuries. Simply put, no one should ever be made to feel bad about themselves because of the color of their skin.

No one. Ever.


Marty Ansley,