The Need to Understand our History of Racism

by Sarah Daley

I just stood up to a racist at Safeway for calling an African American the N-word. I first asked him politely whether he had called that man that slur, which he proudly said he had. I then told him he was perpetuating racism, which he denied, and said he was being a bad role model for his son, which he also denied.

This encounter is the reason public school teachers need to teach the good, bad and ugly in their American history classes. Without understanding this country’s history of racism, some of our current white citizens will continue to be racist towards African Americans without realizing it or even justifying it, just like this man did.

It is only by understanding our past that we can change our present and our future toward how we treat African Americans and other minorities in our country.


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