Letter: ‘U.S. and the Holocaust’ documentary drives home importance of teaching history accurately

FILE - In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., center left with arms raised, marches along Constitution Avenue with other civil rights protestors carrying placards, from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. (AP Photo, File)

“The U.S. and the Holocaust” documentary by Ken Burns, Lynn Novick and Sarah Botstein is sobering. It’s about more than the holocaust and anti-Semitism. It’s about racism, miscegenation, xenophobia, intolerance, privilege, and the foolishness of suppressing history to “save the children” (and ourselves).

It’s about the Chinese Exclusion Act, expanded to exclude all Asians.

It’s about the repatriation of Mexican citizens back to Mexico.

It’s about Christian-nationalist Protestantism vs. Catholicism and all other so-called inferior religions and, worse, infidels.

Of course, it’s about slavery, lynching, Jim Crow, and segregation.

I’m a patriot as Carl Schurz defined it: “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” In my lifetime we have done some “setting right.” We integrated the armed forces, passed the Civil Rights Act, a unanimous Supreme Court decided that in the field of public education the doctrine of “separate but equal” has no place, and later ended anti-miscegenation laws.

For that to continue, we must teach history accurately. Today, there is widespread opposition to critical race theory and accurate history. White- and Christian-nationalism is resurgent, and I’m worried.

David Eccles, North Salt Lake

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