Gather around, children. I want to tell you a tale, a story of a nation divided. A story about a war of values in the United States. A war where people were held in bondage, had suffered brutal consequences and degraded. They were unsure of the outcome of the war, and afraid for their lives. Their families separated. They faced oppression. This is the story of white southern families facing a war of northern aggression? Welcome to eighth-grade textbooks in Louisiana, and the story of poor Kate Stone, daughter of a family that once owned 150 slaves, but now would be deprived of family wealth the moment those slaves would be free.

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While Republicans scream about critical race theory, they are trying to hide the fact they desperately want an “uncritical” race theory; A theory that refuses to look at any element of the past with any critical eye, at all. When it comes to teaching young students, the methodology takes a leap into fantasy land. From the text:

With more than 1,000 acres and 150 slaves, the family’s future seemed secure. However, in 1861, after Louisiana’s secession from the United States in January and the beginning of the Civil War in April, the lives of everyone on the stone plantation changed.

Just in case you didn’t realize it, the wealthy white plantation owner? They were the aggrieved party. Lord almighty, look at what was taken from them! Their future was secure, all until those damn Northerners! 

“They were able to reclaim their planation but, due to emancipation (the freeing of the slaves), lost all of their property in slaves. The family had to face the new reality of planting and harvesting their fields with freed people who, Kate regretted, now demanded ‘high wages’.”

Wow! How terrible for Kate. I’m so glad we are seeing the Civil War from her perspective! Certainly an informative way to teach the kids how greedy the freed men suddenly became when she had to pay them. High wages, of course, are in comparison to “no wages at all,” which I’m sure Kate preferred. Never mind all of that, can more of you just feel sorry for the slave owner?

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“It is impossible to understand the years between 1820 and 1860 without appreciating how the state’s people shaped one another. Free and slave, native-born and immigrant, though Louisianians did not always interact peacefully, they shaped one another’s lives, fortunes and cultures.”

As one commenter points out, even with the history of Gottschalk is so poorly handled that it wipes out a part of history, while acknowledging the people in the past were OK with appropriation whenever it seemed fit.

Look at how great it was before they elected Lincoln and went after slavery! Damn it, things were going great, we just stole their heritage, made music of it, and forced them to work for free, and it was great. It impacted everyone’s fortunes. Of course, mostly the fortunes of people who could utilize the banks and were not slaves, but still, I’m sure it trickled down to the slaves somehow, right?

Critical race theory? Conservatives, tell me again how you want to train young Americans to look uncritically at history, and then get back to me.

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