Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1999-02 > 0919876651

Subject: RE: Scots-Irish/Appalachia
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 1999 09:17:31 -0800

Hey Mac,

Okay, point well taken...I don't mean to be sexist or racist.
It is interesting though that even when those who re-write history
try to be politically correct, the old mind set creeps in. Recently
a group was assembled to re-write California elementary school
history texts, and the edits were reviewed by various ethnic groups
including Native Americans. The NAs objected to a statement about the
"first man to walk through Yosemite Valley was (a white man, don't
remember his name). The Native Americans corrected this, as he was
the first WHITE man to walk through the valley, the Natives had lived
there for centuries! It would be interesting to compare a modern history
text book to those I used in California public schools in the 1950's and
1960's. Ours were definately biased towards white males. Women and
people of color generally rated a brief paragrah, if that. White men
got entire chapters. We are moving in the right direction though when
we can look at things objectively and strive for accuracy. I agree that
nothing is black or white and must be taken in the context of the times.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mac McCutchan [mailto:]
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 1999 1:26 PM
Subject: Re: Scots-Irish/Appalachia

Linda Lambert-Hamid wrote, in part:

"We never learned all these things about President Jackson in
school. Of course, history is written by white men, so why
would we?"

Hey, Linda! Take it easy! I'm sure your your remark was not intended
to be sexist or racist, but it manages to be both. May I suggest:

"History is written by the victors." or
"History is often written to favor the political power structure".

Both are true; both explain why bad people are very often recorded by
history as good people; and neither writes off entire groups on the
basis of their sex or skin color.

As long as I'm at it, I may as well take on Dick Hudson: I'm not quite
ready to agree that Andy Jackson's mother slept under the porch and
chased cars. I seem to recall he was the first President to open the
White House to "common people". That they turned out to be an unruly
(some say drunken) mob who trashed the place may or may not have been
Andy's fault, although he was blamed for it. It gave the Washington
elite an opportunity to sneer at a populist. I'm wondering if Old
Hickory wasn't a product of his times, and if many, many others in the
same era might not have perpetrated the same crime against humanity (as
the Trail of Tears most assuredly was). In other words, I'm more nearly
ready to indict the entire generation or era than I am to pick out
Andrew jackson as an unusually bad, rude or stupid example.

Mac McCutchan


This thread: