Wednesday, February 02, 2005

History as Written by...Us

Howard Zinn speaks eloquently to the plight of the voiceless, an admirable fact that must not remain shrowded by the weight of commonly told history. My only concern with his understanding is that it loses its power when people do not know or even read the common history. How will knowing how the invaded Mexicans feel in 1848 properly inform your view on history if you don't even know what was happening in America in 1848? Zinn's History should be read more (and as far as I can tell, his focus on the underprivileged is shared by all of the history I was taught in high school -- college seemed to offer a more rounded and informed focus). For example, in high school I could tell you about the Trail of Tears and the gut-wrenching feel that permeated my body when reading about the treatment of slaves. However, any focus placed on what was done to any person with white skin was never treated emotionally, but just as an obvious reaction to some physical need. Ultimately, every wrong came back to the imperialistic Europeans and the evil Church that both wanted to hurt people different from them. I think that Howard Zinn is right, however, we need to start listening to everyone - with voices as well as those without. Otherwise, our own skew is as meaningless and as partisan-driven as before.

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