Editor, The Cheshire Herald:
What is it that unites us as citizens of a Republic, where a former slave becomes a great orator for the abolition effort and insists upon education as the means for keeping all men and women free?
Frederick Douglass — a slave — traveled to New England and stated his case. Wisely, he resisted being drawn into politics and appealed instead to man’s higher nature, Lincoln’s leadership and the Declaration as guidance. He, after all, credited a white slave owner’s wife for teaching him how to read and opening the door to reason that caused him to understand many things.
Race relations today, and the vast achievement gap of black and brown students who do not participate in the promise Frederick Douglass articulated over 150 years ago, must be addressed. Parents need school choice. Students need and deserve a long view of history. This is what holds us together. without which the steady drum beat of politics is causing daily disruptions including students who march for a false 1619 Project.
Former local students desire an end to racism and focus their attention on the history curriculum at CHS as the culprit for not preparing them for race discussions at UConn. Yet racism does not exist in a vacuum, separate from history and civics that we no longer teach. Politics is no substitute!
It’s our history that, when taught well — focusing on the past and present as a continuum that stretches to the future — allows students to uncover hard and uncomfortable truths about things such as slavery. Such discovery would be considered by the likes of Frederick Douglass and the Rev. King as indispensable to the social justice we seek today. Indeed, we are not offended by the writers of the Declaration and the U.S. Constitution. We are ennobled and challenged by their ideas.