From Christopher Columbus discovering America in 1492, to a watered-down Thanksgiving story that paints English settlers as fast friends with Native American tribal peoples; American history has always been rewritten through the white man’s gaze.
Currently, conservatives are at odds over teaching critical race theory in U.S schools across the nation.
What is critical race theory? It is an academic term that seeks to educate on race, more specifically, how race has influenced not only history but systematic racism throughout history.
“It is past time for America to discard the left wing myth of systemic racism,” said former Vice President Mike Pence. Yet, according to the New York Post, more than 200 colleges and universities have adopted or expanded critical race theory. It has even been put into the curriculum in some schools for children as young as fifth grade age; though not without pushback from a myriad of opposers.
Enter renowned actor Tom Hanks. He recently wrote an opinion piece published in The New York Times that criticized the whitewashing of American history. He supported critical race theory in primary education and called on everyone to learn about the 1921 Black Wall street massacre that killed what some estimates show to be as many as 300 Blacks in a thriving Black, Tulsa, Oklahoma community in May and June of 1921.
“The truth about Tulsa, and the repeated violence by some white Americans against Black Americans, was systematically ignored, perhaps it was regarded as too honest, too painful a lesson for our young white ears,” said Hanks.
He continued, “so our predominately white schools didn’t teach it. Our mass appeal works of historical fiction didn’t enlighten us”.
Hanks then called on Hollywood to accurately portray the burden of racism faced by Blacks in the United States.
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