Teaching the Fad and Not the Truth

Try as I might listen to President Biden speechify on the so-called ‘Tulsa Race Riots,’ I simply could not stomach the pandering. Of course, to use ‘riot’ is wrong because it was murder — and there is a difference.

How and why it happened, I will not go into as I cannot and will not attempt to explain or sidestep the morays of a period gone by. I will explain why this was not a “hidden” event as so many, including Biden, would like us to believe.

It was the new school year, 1974, and I was 14 years old Freshman. I had U.S. history, a subject I enjoyed but was not need to taken until I was a Junior.

In this particular class, the Roaring 20s, the Wall Street Crash, and the Great Depression were being taught. Oddly, students were getting extra credit for swallowing live goldfish, a fade from the 1920s.

Deciding I would pass, I skipped class in favor of ‘hiding in the library,’ as I called it. There, I enjoyed reading books on various subjects, including history.

It was also in the library, in 1974, at 14, that I learned of the Tulsa Race Riots. I was appalled by this, and the following day I asked why we were “swallowing fish” instead of learning about things like the wholesale murder of people.

Simply put, I was told to sit down and shut up and to quit skipping class. I failed the subject that year.

Now, why do I call the President’s remarks pandering?

Because this has never been a “hidden” incident. Not only was it reported in every major and minor newspaper across the U.S., but it was widely reported in the foreign press too.

Where it did become “hidden,” was in the classroom. Instead of teaching the stomach-churning truth, we were being fed “live fish,” until our stomachs churned.

This is a lesson in the dangers of selective history.

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