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ethnic classes....

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ethnic classes....

Old 05-13-2010, 10:59 AM
  #21  
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I think the more pertinent question here is what are public schools doing teaching "ethnic studies". I can certainly understand being proud of one's heritage but it is not the school system that should be teaching it.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:02 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Fieldmouse View Post
and I guess skip all that use less stuff like the Founding Fathers, Revolution, the Constitution and Delclaration if Independence. After all, what matters most is a student's self esteem.
And where, precisely, did I say that skipping those topics would be appropriate?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:13 AM
  #23  
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Keep in mind that in most cases, ethnic studies classes are taught as electives to broaden a basic education, and they are then emphasized in upper level coursework for those who choose to pursue a particular course of study. They are not being used to replace core curriculum in Western Civilization, U.S. history, politics, etc. If you have people pushing such coursework to the exclusion of core curriculum, then you have a problem.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:21 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Lanse couche couche View Post
Actually, one of Columbus's actions in the New World was to kidnap a number of Natives to take to Spain to put on display. Think that the early enslavement of Indians pretty much occurred on his watch. So, I wouldnt blame Native Americans for seeing him as a villain. But, at the same time, I can understand why he is a hero for many, especially Italian-Americans. Good scholarship strives for a balance between those competing perspective on the same person/events, etc.
And here's where an anthropological/sociological perspective comes in handy....
ONE DOES NOT JUDGE THE ETHICS OF A 15TH CENTURY MAN
BY THE ETHICS STANDARDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY.

To do so is ignorant. The Indians/Natives or rather "Indigenous Peoples" knew what warfare was and the consequences of defeat.
They were met with superior technology in a contest for resources.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:21 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by thndrchiken View Post
I think the more pertinent question here is what are public schools doing teaching "ethnic studies". I can certainly understand being proud of one's heritage but it is not the school system that should be teaching it.
Give that man a cheroot !
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:37 AM
  #26  
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Berg,

That relativistic concept works great in abstract anthropolgical theory, and yes, we should strive to understand the context in which Columbus operated. But as an anthropologist you are also pretty much required to explore all of the perspectives on an issue or person, including those of the group whose narratives are the most critical. Of course, it is somewhat of a slippery slope to use the "product of his times" perspective to offer blanket apologies for everything bad that has been committed by humans thru history. Unless of course, you hedge your bets by shutting out the perspectives of the people to who the bad things were done. And that's not good scholarship.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:42 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Lanse couche couche View Post
Actually, one of Columbus's actions in the New World was to kidnap a number of Natives to take to Spain to put on display. Think that the early enslavement of Indians pretty much occurred on his watch. So, I wouldnt blame Native Americans for seeing him as a villain. But, at the same time, I can understand why he is a hero for many, especially Italian-Americans. Good scholarship strives for a balance between those competing perspective on the same person/events, etc.
What happened to the indigenous peoples of North and South America was unfortunate and unjust but it was also inevitable. Before Columbus arrived in the New World the last Europeans to reach the Americas were the Vikings 500 years earlier. The Viking boats were not suitable for transporting horses and except for the fact that the Vikings had metal tools and weapons compared to the stone weapons used by the Indians they were at about the same technological level. The Vikings never had enough of an advantage to gain a permanent foothold in North America.

Five hundred years later Europe's population had grown substantially despite the "black death" of the 14th century and in terms of technology Europe had rapidly advanced. By 1492 the Europeans had built relatively large ocean going ships that could transport horses which were crucial to their military tactics of the time. They also had firearms, greatly improved metal armor and swords.

If it had not been Columbus and the Spanish it would have been some other European power such as France, Britain or the Netherlands that would have eventually reached the Americas and they would have had the same horses and superior weapons technology Columbus had. They would have also seen, like Columbus did, that the New World was rich in land and resources and sparsely inhabited by stone age people as there had been little if any technological progress among Native Americans since the Vikings were driven off.

History is filled with instances where technologically advanced peoples have encountered less technologically advanced societies and exploited their superiority to take what they wanted with little regard to the morality of it. The facts are that European society was growing and advancing rapidly in technological prowess while the Native Americans were not. That was a situation that could not have continued indefinitely.
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:03 PM
  #28  
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It's just more promotion of victimhood and instilling it as part of the ethnic identity of many people. It seems less the teaching history based on facts, and more brain washing.

A. "It's all someboy else's fault"

B. "I am not responsible for my actions because my ancestors were oppressed by_________."
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:19 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by boysda View Post
true, but were i a history teacher, teaching a course on modern U.S. history to a class with a significant portion of students of japanese ancestry, i would make it a point of highlighting the contributions of the 442nd infantry in the european theatre. similarly, if i were teaching a course on the civil war to a bunch of redheads, i would probably focus a little on the role the irish brigade(s) played in both the union and confederate armies. seems to me if you can make a student personally relate to the subject, you have a better chance of keeping them interested in the subject.
I see your point, and of course, I can't speak for everyone of Japanese descent. But I would consider it condescending, patronizing, and demeaning for a liberal teacher to impose upon me, lessons about the contributions of my forebears. I do have an interest in Japanese history and culture. I have studied Shinto, I practice Soto Zen, I have learned about the atrocities committed by the Japanese during and before WWII, including the oppression of the Korean people. I have read about the internments and the service of Nisei men in the American military.

Your forebears may very well have eaten pineapple or other fruits cultivated by my family while they were in Hawaii. (The were recruited here to work on the farms much as many European people were brought here to work in the factories and mines.) My husband bought me a kimono, a child's kimono because of my size, and I often wear it when I'm feeling especially frisky. Japanese food, music, etc,, are appealing to me.

But all that said, I am an American. True, I am an American of Japanese descent, but I am not Japanese-American. If I am in an American history class, I want to learn about American history. I would feel humiliated if someone felt it necessary to try and reassure me about the worth of my ethnic group.



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Old 05-13-2010, 05:20 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by boysda View Post
And where, precisely, did I say that skipping those topics would be appropriate?
There isn't time in high school for extra crap. You want to learn about tangent information, go to college and btw, on your own dime.
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