October 4, 2018

BUT THEY HAVE READ EVERY TAINO NOVEL:

Whose History Matters? Students Can Name Columbus, But Most Have Never Heard of the Taíno People (Bill Bigelow, 10/04/18, Common Dreams)

Early in my high school U.S. history classes, I would ask students about "that guy some people say discovered America." All my students knew that the correct answer was Christopher Columbus, and every time I asked this question, some student would break into the sing-song rhyme, "In Fourteen Hundred and Ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue" -- and others would join in.

"Right. So who did he supposedly discover?" I asked.

In almost 30 years of teaching, the best anyone could come up with was: "Indians."

I brushed that answer away: "Yes, but be specific. What were their names? Which nationality?" I never had a student say, "The Taínos."

"So what does this tell us?" I asked. "What does it say that we all know Columbus's name, but none of us knows the nationality of the people who were here first?  And there were millions of them."

That indigenous peoples were uncivilized and produced no culture of any enduring value?

Posted by at October 4, 2018 1:13 PM

  

« ALL COMEDY IS CONSERVATIVE: | Main | BASKING IN SHAME: »