Opinion

Enough about Christopher Columbus already!

I love American history. I spent practically the whole 13 years of my public school education learning about the American Revolution over and over again and learning about designated “prominent” figures over and over again. Repetition is so enriching,especially continually taught from the same perspective so that American ideologies are not threatened.

My intellectual life was spared when I took International Baccalaureate history courses versus the traditional public school curriculum. It wasn’t until my eleventh grade year in high school that I learned Christopher Columbus was a murderer. It only took twelve years. For once in my life I learned about Mao in China, the Russian Revolution, and Communist Cuba and so many more events not covered by the traditional U.S. curriculum.

I had high expectations that college would continue to broaden my knowledge about the world. Yet I arrived at college and I am faced with the same bias – American history in collegiate form: Introduction to American government, the History of Journalism in the United States and the Freedom of Speech in the United States.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe everyone should know a great deal about their country’s government and history, but learning about it my whole academic life is not informing, it is just plain ignorant. How many of us can say we know the history of Nigeria or India or Venezuela? And even worse, how many of us can name at least ten people who attended the Second Continental Congress? It wouldn’t be so bad if American history discussed all aspects-the big, the bad and the ugly. We don’t hear much about the Civil Rights Movement, Native American genocide, or Vietnam…instead we are spoon fed that Lincoln was a good president. Despite curriculum efforts to inform us of American history, how many of us can name twenty other presidents aside from the most famous, infamous, or contemporary ones?

There is always the argument, “Why learn anything that is irrelevant to the U.S. government or relations?” Two years ago we could have said, “Why learn about the nation of Islam?” Yet September 11th sent educators scrambling just to make sure their curriculum covered aspects of the Middle East.

Is it America’s isolation form the rest of the world and our supremacy ideologies that keep us enriched in our ignorance? Or is it the fact that we don’t require our citizens to be bilingual in something other then pop culture?

Until we make a move to be more informed we will forever be isolated in our “wonderful” democratic ideologies, ignorant to reality.

Marquita K. Bell is a sophomore majoring in print journalism and politcal science

October 11, 2002

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami coach Mark Richt called Darrell Langham’s amazing, 28-yard catch on fourth-and-1 ...

Darrell Langham is 6-4, but might as well be 8-4 — that’s how much he has grown in stature for the M ...

The Miami Hurricanes have done it again. For the second week in a row, the Canes rallied to win in t ...

Five of the greatest football players of all time were inducted into the Miami Hurricanes Ring of Ho ...

View photos from the Georgia Tech at Miami game Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, at Hard Rock Stadium in Mia ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Hurricanes legends Michael Irvin, Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Warren Sapp and Sean Taylor were officially ad ...

University of Miami wide receiver Darrell Langham and kicker Michael Badgley were among those recogn ...

University of Miami redshirt setter Haley Templeton was named ACC Player of the Week, the conference ...

Freshman Bojan Jankulovski highlighted Day 2 competition on Saturday for the University of Miami men ...

The University of Miami's football game at North Carolina on Oct. 28 will kick off at noon ET o ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.