By Bill Bigelow
A people's pedagogy, like a people's historical past, may still alert scholars to deep currents of justice and equality in U.S. heritage, and in diversified methods inspire scholars to aim at the personas of people that labored to make this a extra democratic society. A people's historical past and pedagogy should let scholars to acknowledge that 'we' weren't unavoidably those stealing land, shedding bombs, or breaking moves. 'We' have been finishing slavery, scuffling with for women's rights, organizing unions, marching opposed to wars, and attempting to create a society premised at the Golden Rule
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Extra info for A People's History for the Classroom
But in this case, the real criminal is not human. True, Columbus’s men did the killing, Columbus gave the orders and King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella paid the bills—and took the profits. But what made them behave the way they did? Were they born evil and greedy? The real blame lies with a system that values property over people. European society was organized so that an individual had to own property to feel secure. The more property one owned, the more security, the more control over one’s destiny.
For my “crime,” they put me in jail for a night. My friend, the famous writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, came to visit me in jail. ” Against my wishes, friends of mine paid my tax and I was released. But I have come to believe that the way to stop injustice is not merely to speak out against it, but also to refuse to obey unjust laws. I am a Unitarian minister in Boston, Massachusetts, with a congregation of 7,000. I oppose this war with Mexico because this is a war to expand slavery. Slavery should be ended not expanded.
Why didn’t the Taínos kill Columbus on his first voyage? • How did you weigh responsibility between the “bosses” and the men they hired? • Can you imagine a peaceful meeting between Europeans and Taínos? Or did European life—the “System of Empire”—make violence inevitable? How would Spain and other European countries have had to be different to have made a more peaceful outcome possible? • What more would you need to know about the System of Empire to understand how it affected people’s thinking and behavior?