The Journal Gazette
Sunday, January 09, 2022 1:00 am

Golden Pen: December

Education offers better understanding of race

In response to the Dec. 4 letter listing the horrors of critical race theory, what are people so afraid of? What is so scary about learning a thorough history of our country's past? What is wrong with understanding that many of the lessons that have been taught were slanted to justify keeping one group in power? Why are people unwilling to admit mistakes and learn from them?

White folks are not the majority on this planet, and it's time we realized the “history” most have been taught in the United States has a narrow and limited view. An example of a limited view is found in Fort Wayne's Historical Museum. Most of the displays are of white men settling and building our city with a few displays that include Native Americans, people of color and women. What's displayed lacks depth and plays to a limited audience. (It's a nice display that illustrates the problem with current history lessons.) Critical race theory hopes to provide more comprehensive information so people have a more complete view and understanding of how our country has been shaped and developed.

This country and the world will be better served if people understand the complex and multilayered histories that have brought us to where we are today and to recognize past injustices so as not to repeat them. That's why we have education - to grow and develop, not foster more ignorance and fear.

About the author

Roxana Rockwell of Fort Wayne, whose letter appeared Dec. 17, has been selected as The Journal Gazette's letter writer of the month. In the judgment of the editors, she had December's most effective letter. The recognition is meant to express our appreciation for the contribution our letter writers make to the editorial page.

Rockwell is retired after 36 years with Fort Wayne Community Schools and five years with Turnstone. She and her husband – Pat Ashton, a retired sociology professor who taught at IPFW and Manchester University – are the parents of four children in a blended family. They also have three grandchildren.

Of her motivation for writing, Rockwell said: “I'm tired of people who are not able to look beyond their little box. ... It's mind-boggling how limited some people's views are.”

“All we're asking for is balance (in the teaching of history),” she added.

This selection makes Rockwell a repeat winner; she was Letter of the Year winner in 1986 for her March 1985 submission: “FWCS proposal: A plan to improve education at all levels.”

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