Recently, there has been intense disagreement on the removal of historical statues and symbols that have any connection with slavery in the U.S. from its founding through the Civil War. What is you view on the value or inappropriateness of such statues and symbols? At what cost do we “sanitize” history by the wholesale removal of anything associated with slavery? Is there a “middle ground” that would acknowledge our history and, at the same time, demonstrate the repugnant institution of human slavery. Along side of this, consider that many estimate that there are over 40 million people held captive in various forms of modern day slavery. Where should society’s focus be – on the past or the present?
A. BE SURE YOU CONSISTENTLY CHECK THE ASSIGNMENT FOLDER FOR EACH LEARNING UNIT IN PART II OF THE COURSE TO STAY CURRENT ON WHAT WORK YOU ARE EXPECTED TO COMPLETE AND SUBMIT. ASSIGNMENTS WILL VARY FROM ONE LEARNING UNIT TO THE NEXT.
B. Reminder of format change for Module 3 of our course: The instructions for Course Module 2 recommended that you first attend to the reading assignment, then move on to the lectures as provided. In Course Module 3, I would recommend that you consult the Lecture folder first, as it will tend to provide both introductory insights for the assigned chapter AND some direction about the assignments for that week.
Chapters 6: Race and Ethnicity
A. This week’s lesson covers the increasing contentious issues relating to race and ethnicity. Hinman’s book exemplifies that there are countless ways one might approach the related, yet distinct issues involving race and ethnicity. Once again, I recommend that you read Hinman’s introduction to this chapter, pages 239-250, before you read any of the individual selections on a particular issue.
With that said, we must understand that much of what Hinman and the other authors discuss was written before many of the recent events in our nation’s history. The election and inauguration of a biracial man to the office of President of the United States in 2008, the complex issues relating to illegal immigration, crime and border security, the threats of foreign terrorism, etc. are creating a new context for discussing and understanding racial dynamics in this country. In view of these historic events and the swirl of a host of other issues involving race, and ethnicity, I would suggest that you bring your experiential awareness of this vast array of complex issues to this week’s study and add to this the themes discussed by the authors’ in chapters 6 of Hinman.
Howard McGary, represents what one might call a traditional view of the race issue prior to 2008. I recommend that you read this piece as a way of setting the context for the other essays on race and ethnicity.
D. Gregory Velazco y Trianosky’s essay offers an interesting perspective on the future of race considerations in America. This forward-looking piece should be read with an eye towards recent developments concerning race and ethnicity in American culture and history.
E. Be sure to participate fully in this week’s discussion forum.