Bill Bigelow of Rethinking Schools recently wrote a terrific blog post highlighting a different perspective about Independence Day. He says:
"... apart from the noise pollution, air pollution, and flying debris pollution, there is something profoundly inappropriate about blowing off fireworks at a time when the United States is waging war with real fireworks around the world. To cite just one example, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London found recently that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan alone have killed more than 200 people, including at least 60 children. And, of course, the U.S. war in Afghanistan drags on and on. The pretend war of celebratory fireworks thus becomes part of a propaganda campaign that inures us—especially the children among us—to the real wars half a world away."Bill also notes several resources available on the Zinn Education Project website that help unpack historical perspectives about July 4 from voices we're often not exposed to, including an essay highlighting numerous inaccuracies taught in school textbooks about that time period, and an interpretation of Frederick Douglass's "The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro."
Read the complete post.
Bill's essay is a great reminder to us as humane educators and citizens to look beyond what mainstream media and education serve up as the way things are (and were) and to examine critically and deeply the diversity of viewpoints and issues connected to beliefs and events we often take a face value.
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