White folks don't like "revisionist history," white code for historians who remind us of events, decisions and even laws that we don't want to face or honestly discuss. Race and racism continue to present challenges to our nation and its people. Often people of color don't receive their due in the nation's textbooks and classrooms.
I suppose we might expect better from the governors of the nation, especially in the South. But then, maybe not since the people who select the official texts often work for them.
Maybe you heard Haley Barbour's recent comments. The report that follows comes from Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post. Check it out:
Haley Barbour's 'diddly' sense of slavery's history
By Eugene Robinson
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It was bad enough when Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell proclaimed "Confederate History Month" without mentioning slavery, but at least he came to his senses and apologized. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's contention that the whole controversy "doesn't amount to diddly" is much worse.
"I don't know what you would say about slavery," Barbour told CNN, "but anybody that thinks that you have to explain to people that slavery is a bad thing, I think that goes without saying."
And that's the problem -- Barbour thinks it "goes without saying." The governor of the state whose population includes the nation's highest percentage of African Americans believes it is appropriate to "honor" those who fought for the Confederacy. Clearly, he has no problem revisiting the distant past. Yet he sees no reason to mention the vile, unthinkable practices -- state-sanctioned kidnapping, torture and rape -- that those Confederate soldiers were fighting to protect.
It amounts to much more than "diddly" that so many Americans try hard to avoid coming to terms with the reality of slavery. It wasn't just "a bad thing." Littering is a bad thing. Slavery was this nation's Original Sin, and yet many people will not look at it except through a gauze of Spanish moss.
The Atlantic slave trade was one of the last millennium's greatest horrors. An estimated 17 million Africans, most of them teenagers, were snatched from their families, stuffed into the holds of ships and brought to the New World. As many as 7 million of them died en route, either on the high seas or at "seasoning" camps in the Caribbean where they were "broken" to the will of their masters.
To read the entire article click here.
So, what do you think?