Left wing, Right wing, socialist, communist, fascist have little meaning in the American culture. Ellis Island immigrants brought over these terms with them, and they carry a long history of human behavior in a different part of the world. America is a nation founded and created by and for the oppressed. It is a nation of struggle. To Americans, we are a one bird nation with two wings. Sometimes the wings bank to the right and sometimes to the left, but still one bird representing us all. There are three significant groups in America, which can give some suggestions to the direction intended. Scott Irish, Native American Indian, African set the tone and spirituality of the nation, and the values of the nation are determined by how well it treats these three groups. If laws and policies are fair to these three major groups, then it will be fair to the entire country. The Irish were the first slaves in the colonies. The Africans, arriving in 1619 was the second group of people brought to this land in indenture and non- free status. 75% of all Europeans coming to the British North American Colonies came a non free men and women. The Catholic Church sent many young girls over to serve as punishment for having children out of wedlock. The Native American Indians were victims of robbery, the land was taken from them through trickery, so when the decision was made to fight for the right to freedom, these three groups joined together in the creation of this new land with new ideas about the humanity of man. America is founded on this union and diversity. Using political terms to identify us is meaningless; we all came here in the bottom of boats, some of us in chains. We are great because we threw off those chains.

 

American Culture

We have some problems, and some of these problems were planned for the wrong reason. Teachers try their best to correct problems, but they can only teach what they have been taught and instructed to teach, and racism is part of the curriculum. Congress sets the guidelines for educational instructions in America, and when America whants to end racism and inferior education, Congress will rewrite curriculums.

 

You cannot right the wrongs of the past, and those who seek to do so will be doomed to violence, anger, hate, and will be left out of the promising challenges of the future. You cannot read religious guides books dedicated to stories detailing the struggles of primitive societies with the wars and injustices fought and use the information as a basis for understanding present day human existences.

You cannot fight the battles  of ancestors without knowing the entire story. Stories of men whome and children stolen from other lands may have different scripts involving the business tranactions and purchase of an expensive work force. Human being were indeed purchased and sold in complicated arrangements. They could not or did not fight for reasons known only to them and the times in which they lived. We have to let go of the past and use our mental energies to be fully present in this world and this time. The past does not predict the future, and it is wrong to continue to repeat the incorrect phrase that “those who do not know the past are destined to repeat the past.” The past does however give an indication of where the human family has been. It also provides information on the mistakes made in the past. Europe lived a past where kings ruled and peasants ate crumbs. The health and living conditions were such that the animals and insects caused human infestations disease and plagues, which resulted in the destruction of millions of people over one third of the total population of Europe. The problems of Europe resulted in the search for and development of a new land referred to as the British North American Colonies.

Destined to become the United States of America. America is careful about teaching this history, and selects those cultures, which tend to present positive images of select groups of people, and unfortunately, negative historical information of other non-European groups.

Educational institutions concentrate on the histories of Greece, Rome and the British Empire, and almost totally ignore the contributions of other great civilizations in the world. From a religious perspective, western society is influenced by the religious stories of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohamed, and makes little if any references to what was happening to the human families in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Abraham traveled to the advanced civilization of Egypt for help in times of difficulty, when he left Egypt, he carried with him the woman who was to bear his first born son, destined to become the seeds of the great Muslim religion. Moses was floated down the Nile River in a basket made to protect his life and adopted by the royal family and provided him with the best education in the world preparing him with the skills to lead the Jewish people out of 400 years of bondage.

Thousands of years later with the birth of the Holy child, Joseph and Mary take Jesus to Egypt where he spent his formative years in safety and received His education. Egypt is responsible for the development and survival of the three great major religions in the world influencing almost 4 billion of the earth’s population and yet her contribution to intellectual and theological world thought is seldom discussed in American classrooms. Egypt however is the seat of capital of the seventy five percent of the world’s population considered peoples of color. The past 400 years European history has focused on the absence of color in world’s intellectual affairs, and an educational interest specifically in those civilizations, which influenced the development of western thought and western civilization

Given this great void in the American educational system with respect to knowledge of the ancient world its people and its contributions, America tends to take a new start position, and a start over focus in life and information. Although our society does not seek to focus on the past, there is a difference in the educational system in the country. There is a concerted effort on some in sections of the country to place individuals in specific classes based on some predetermined system of stratification. In order to do this, history and information must be controlled. What will be taught about which specific groups has been determined in order to control the progress and behaviors of the society?

This is a more European approach to society than an American. Americans started of equal and poor, ragged from the battles of a Revolutionary War, and determined, to create a new land where each man would have an opportunity to reach his highest potential. The slow Europenization of America resulted in the development of racial strategies to separate people depending on their initial status in the society. This is European, not American.

In American society, the past did not predict the future. Those who were slaves are no longer slaves, and those who were masters are no longer masters. The have and the have nots of the past have evolved into the development of a middle ground of changing and getting, that it was impossible to predict from the crushing stories of hopelessness and poverty. History is the life story of the powerful and how they obtained  power, and how they intend to keep power. The Historical story does not change, and the repeated teaching of the story is designed indoctrinate present day generations with the truth according to power, and  hopelessness and impossibilities of different realities. Pre world war two educational and scientific researches were carefully designed to create a body of evidence supporting the concept that there were superior and inferior classes of people on earth, and a considerable amount of research went into developing theories of human and subhuman species.

The body of manipulated evidence produced made it possible for some human beings to see others as the results of a separate creative process, and convince the mind to accept the idea that the elimination of the inferior segment of sub human society would not be wrong, it resulted in the most horrific event in human history, so horrific that American text books touch on the subject briefly and move quickly to other topics in history.

The final solution reached by European human societies without the objection of world religious leaders is a topic yet to be discussed, in its place has come selective memory loss and denial of events. The thought patterns leading up to the events have crossed the ocean in immigration patterns, and have made its way into the American educational system. America traditionally does not have a history of totally elimination of human population; it seeks other means of controlling the meek so they will not inherit the earth. Native Americans although considered eliminated, are in fact the mother of all true Americans; the women became the biological mothers of the children born in this land.

American society uses history to control progress and maintain the status quo. When a particular group seeks to discover its own truth or construct its own realities, America encourages them to study  controlled history showing inferiority and helplessness. The controlled history of the past will always report stories of hardship and defeat, and if as some believe, history predicts the future, the study of the history of oppression and violence against a people, will have the effect, on some, of causing them to give up the thought of a changed future.

America should stop teaching history in its public school classrooms or reevaluate the curriculum. Through the hidden curriculum, minorities are demoralized through contents of the teaching curriculum. Immigrants do not get an accurate picture of what the peopling of America involved, and what part their ancestors played in the development of this great land. White poverty and white struggle does not come through in the pages of history, and the joint conspiracy between Hollywood and the teachers of history, have caused some people to see themselves in positive ways, and other groups in negative.  America must pay attention to how tax dollars are spent, is it worth spending trillions of dollars to produce and uneducation population in the name of racism? Can America afford to educate students to be inferior to the world’s educated population? China is educating its 1.3 billion citizens to be ready for the challenges of the modern world, can America afford to do less?

Schools and individuals interested to providing a multicultural and diverse experience for students should pay attention to how students in public schools serving the poor are educated with respect to history and peopling of America. Americans have distorted ideas of who they are as a people, and the process through which they were able to achieve success in this country. American curriculums seldom include the information on urban studies and the steps from poverty to wealth for European immigrants coming to this country through Ellis Island. Information is also omitted on the mass internal migrations from areas inside of America during the depression and dust bowl years struggle.

Some minority students entering into private educational institutions are not aware that they are looking at the children of third and forth generation immigrants whose parents may have struggled through poverty. America is a place where change takes place, and it may take a generation or two, but it is possible to change the direction of your life and the future of your family. Minority students should not blame their classmates for acting as if they have always had wealth, parents and grandparents seldom tell the story of the American journey. Our media, entertainment industry or educational industries omit these stories. Conversations could be held between groups in order to develop and understanding and appreciations of the differences and similarities, but also to discuss topics not usually discussed in mixed groups; these topics include the true story of the peopling of America, and the rationale for hiding white poverty.

The idea of suggesting that white people and black people came over to the new world in very similar ways can be very upsetting to some people. Some people can accept the picture of Africans chained to the bottom of boats suffering the hardships of life, but have difficulties picturing those same boats transporting poor people from Europe, against their will, and those same people forced into roles of servitude for extended periods of time. Field trips to Ellis Island for college students, planning to enter into the field of teaching proved to be an emotional experience for some students. Many learned for the first time of the struggles their ancestors experienced during the period of the great migration from Europe. The Museum at Ellis Island also contained information on slavery in the British North American Colonies, and the participation of both black and white slaves in the operation

People from the state of Georgia would have a difficult time if the study of their history revealed that one or more of their ancestors were convicts or descendants of convicts. The historical truth about the peopling of America is not as romantic as the movies or the test books portray. These stories are however, omitted or glossed over, and pictures of well dressed pilgrims enjoying the cool breeze aboard sale ships called the Mayflower, sailing into a welcoming harbor to the waving arms of brown skinned natives.

America manipulates some pictures and some history in order to present a certain historical images designed to maintain social control and order. Black Americans are not only absent in that idealism picture of a fictional New England, but when included in the fictional story, they are portrayed in positions of enjoyed inferiority and preordained servitude. These idealized pictures to not include white indentured servitude, white slavery, or white poverty. Instead, history teaches the Black man his place in the society, and just in case the image is not clear enough, the church will come along with a religious book called the Bible, to suggest, that the servitude order was pre ordained by God, a white God. A God made in the image of Michelangelo and his Italian relatives and not even in the image of the Hebrews from the Middle East who selected God. Research in American history usually starts after the revolutionary war, how ever, events leading up to the war, and some of the causes of the war play a significant part in understanding that the people of the Americas are, and factors, which contributed to its development and culture.

There were people is the Americas before the mass European migrations of the 19th century. Little if not controlled information is available about these people. Who were the people sent over to the colonies by the powerful European nations, and how were they treated and lived? Hollywood gives us romantic images of the pre American people and culture, but it does not portray the hardship endured by a non-African population. The idea of white slavery or white indentured is foreign and mentally unacceptable to most Americans, and totally avoided as a topic in many school textbooks. With the same care and attention used to avoid references to white servitude, slavery and indentured, historians and cultural framers developed an image of an African population transported to the new world.

Racism was a designed system put in place to change history, manipulate the present and control the future. The system was already in place when the mass European migration attracted millions of people to leave their homes of poverty, oppression and destitution, and try their luck in a new world. Over 75% of the Europeans who came over to the British North American colonies were not free. This information is placed boldly on the walls of the Ellis Island Museum located in New York and New Jersey, yet its meaning and significance is total over looked by the millions of visitors. School children miss it, and school- teachers will not teach it. The mind sees what it wants to see, and accepts what it can process.

Immigrants, used creative energies to bring into existence a distorted perception of who and what America is, and who were the people who populated this corner of the world, and what were the lives they led? The creation and invention of Hollywood by European immigrants helped people to stratify themselves in roles designed for them by the creative imagination of some screenwriters. Two major movies helped to define America according to Hollywood. The first was the Birth of a Nation, and the second was Roots. The suggestive content of many of the courses designed to prepare individuals to teach in the public schools contains information related to sources.   The question becomes how relevant is the teaching of controlled or manipulated history, especially history that is designed to encourage racism in the minds of students.

It is difficult to suggest to teachers that they abandon their responsibility to teach history. First, they would not be permitted to do so, since teachers are assigned the curriculum to teach by the same powers benefiting from the social order. Second, most teachers would not have the slightest idea about the validity of this thesis and would suggest that the premise is totally wrong, and the teaching of history is an important source of information transferring, and important to the intellectual development of students.

Teachers have failed to notice that the more historical information received by black student, the less intellectual readiness they may exhibit. History has the ability to dumb down a population and demoralizing an entire segment of society. How do you convince a person that the selected information they received in their college preparation have prepared them to encourage disrespect, hostility and resentment from students and parents, which could eventually result in a vote of no confidence from the American people?

Was this by design or was it accidental? Has modern day teacher preparation programs failed to provide individuals with the tools they need for effective presentation in the classroom? Are students and parents the only ones who are disappointed, or are teacher beginning to ask questions about their own preparation process?

Who are the teachers who succeed, and who are the teacher who are considered failures by others, and eventually by their own acceptance, and eventually leave the system? Is there any such thing as spiritual teaching, and what is the difference between spiritual teaching and regular teaching? How do you identify a spiritual teacher, and how does a spiritual teacher self identify? Is God in the teaching process? Can individuals who work with children in the transforming of lives be effective without the God effect in teaching?

God is not only in the process, but God is the process of effective teaching. The formation process of the fetus in the womb prepares it to learn. The cells for learning were laid down when the creative process was taking place, and just as the hand of God was in the creation and development of the embryo, the final stages of development is ready to accept the words of knowledge given by the outside word.

The child as students is conditioned to hear and respond to the voice of God, and as the teacher is the individualization of God acting as him or her at the point of their existence, the student hears, sees, knows and responds to the God within the teacher. The God within the student meets the God within the teacher and in the comfort zone of trust, they learn from each other.

 

           Teachers are not able to describe when and how they know that learning has taken place in individual students, but the teacher is aware of special moments in instructional delivery where the light of learning has shined bright. Teachers working in difficult assignments with challenging student are aware when the power of something else enters into the environment and speaks peace before trouble arises. Teachers working without the knowing awareness of this spiritual presence struggle unnecessarily to do God’s work. The spiritually aware teacher, let go and let God, and knows that God is up to all assignments. The children see God and know the presence when operating in and with the teacher. The teachers must however seek this presence, and ask for its guidance and directions in the performance of career responsibility.

“Burnout results from the chronic perception that one is unable to cope with daily life demands. Given that teachers must face a classroom full of students every day, negotiate potentially stressful interactions with parents, administrators, counselors, and other teachers, contend with relatively low pay and shrinking school budgets, and ensure students meet increasingly strict standards of accountability, it is no wonder many experience a form of burnout at some point in their careers. Efforts at primary prevention, in which teachers’ jobs are modified to give them more control over their environment and more resources for coping with the demands of being an educator, are preferable over secondary or tertiary interventions that occur after burnout symptoms have surfaced. However, research reviewed here indicates each type of prevention can be useful in helping teachers contend with an occupation that puts them at risk for burnout.”[1]

Delores E. Harris Harrison is a graduate of Columbia University and The UTS Seminary. Her areas of specialization includes early childhood education, social scientist, anthropology, urban studies, education administration, curriculum and instruction, staff development, pastoral counseling and inter faith relations. Dr. Harris Harrison is an Ambassador for Peace for one of the NGO of the United Nations. She is a New York State Certified teacher, college professor and ordained minister. Dr. Harris Harrison has traveled to Korea, Japan and China to meet and study with world leaders to improve peacefully relationships between diverse nations in the world. Dr. Harris Harrison is a member of the Riverside Church in New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Bennett, K. P. & LeCompte, M. D. (1990). The Way Schools Work: A Sociological Analysis of Education. New York: Longman. ED 324 740

Brown, M. & Ralph, S. (1998). The identification of stress in teachers. In J. Dunham & V. Varma (Eds.) Stress in Teachers: Past, Present and Future. (pp. 37-56) London: Whurr Publishers Ltd.

Conyne, R. K. (1991). Gains in primary prevention: Implications for the counseling profession. Journal of Counseling and Development, 69, 277-279. EJ 426 849

Esteve, J. M. (2000). The transformation of the teachers’ role at the end of the twentieth century: new challenges for the future. Educational Review, 52(2), pp. 197-207. EJ 609 284

 

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