Why the History of Our Past Will Dictate Our Future

Cole Starmer, Staff writer

The ideal student is a well-rounded individual who is knowledgeable about many subjects and can make wise predictions about the future using information learned about the past. Optimally this info is learned in history class, but despite being a long-standing core class, recently it seems to be doing more harm to America’s youth rather than teaching them about the proud history of America. American History class is a subject on self-loathing and hating the country you come from rather than a way to become more knowledgeable about it.

When first attending an American History class, the self-hatred starts without pause. From the beginning, we as students are taught about Native American mistreatment above all else, and we are also taught to question whether or not the revolution that even created this great nation was justified in the first place. Being taught to question trending narratives about history is never a bad idea, but being taught from start to finish that our country, our livelihood, and our home is shameful display of evil and malcontent is not a great way to inspire a susceptible youth to take action and improve the current state of our country and secure our future.

Even in situations in which we are ever so clearly the “good guys” such as World War II, we are taught to view ourselves as American as just as bad as the Japanese empire, and before you forget, this is the empire that committed horrific atrocities such as the Nanking Massacre, the trade of Chinese comfort women, the enslavement of POWs(prisoners of war) to work on the death railway from Burma to Thailand, and, of course, the infamous creation of Unit 731, in which POWs and citizens of annexed countries were tested on in violent and gruesome tests for basic anatomy experiments. Japanese internment camps within America are a blight on American history, but they are almost nothing compared to Japanese actions on the people of annexed Asia. Once again, learning about the darker parts of American history is never a bad thing, as it hopefully prevents them from ever being committed again, but in the entire year of learning about our culture and lifestyle, I have never been told to take pride in my country, and have even been implored to take shame to be from “such an evil and imperialist country”. The beautiful thing about history is that it is never as clean cut as it seems sometimes, but America has definitely forged the world order into a peaceful and safe one compared to what the alternative may have been, and students of American History should be taught that as well as the dark spot in America’s history. After all, despite however dark the past may seem now, it takes an inspired and proud youth to take charge and forge a brighter future, rather than a shameful and self-hating population ready to crumble from the inside.