Elections, Critical Thinking and Historical Understanding

I, TOO, is a poem by Langston Hughes, written in 1925.  This poem was titled as the headline for  The New York Times article on the opening of the African-American Museum in Washington D.C last week.

” I, Too, sing America.

I am the darker brother,

They send me to eat in the kitchen, 

When company comes, 

But I laugh

And eat well

And grow strong.

 

Tomorrow, 

I´ll be at the table

When the company comes.

Nobody´ll dare 

Say to me, 

“Eat in the kitchen”

Then.

 

Besides, 

The´ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed-

 

I too am America.”

 

This poem and the news dealing with the opening of the fist African-American Museum in the United States of America make me think.  ” The opening of the Museum makes a powerful declaration: The African-American story is a central part of the American Story”, this is how the New York Times brought it up on September 22, 2016.  This opening means that you can´t just select a comfortable version of history. You can´t ignore the basic evidence and all the facts, even you would be making good business. Donald Trump questioned President Obama´s Birth certificate in 2014 for several times and that just brought up also his approach on African-American community as a whole. After almost eight years of presidency, a non-white president needs to prove his birth for the American people. Welcome to a country of freedom and equality.

 

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Sunrise in Campus View, our American home.

The election day coming up quite soon ( November, 8). I have been visiting the Bloomington North High School for several weeks now and there are opinions going around about the presidential election. After the first debate between the candidates, the students were asked to express their views on the success of  the presidential candidates. As you may imagine; for and against. The Teacher, or like they here call us, the instructor pointed out how unprepared Donald Trump was for the debate and how that has been the key issue for his success so far. People want to hear about easy solutions, but is maybe not enough any more. Every scientific poll  in the U.S  suggested after the Monday´s debate that voters thought  Hilary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the debate.Some of them showed her winning by a wide margin — wide enough to make a good bet (though not a guarantee) that she’ll gain in horse-race polls against Trump over the next week or so.

Here in Indiana it seems that the voters are going for Trump; according to the polls; 5,5 % for Clinton and 94,5 for Trump. For the whole country it has been estimated that Hilary Clinton has 62.2 % chance of winning and Donald Trump 37.7 % of winning. In  Indiana Donald Trump’s focus on a local air conditioner factory and its imminent move to Mexico seems to have had a big effect.People consider Trump as a man who says what he what he wants and does what he promises. He is not s typical politician and people are tired with those. As a whole it is a question of values, but do those matter when you are loosing your job and ready follow the man with an easy solution?  There are still possibilities for Trump to win the elections; one is the number of ” Missing ” white voters, who could have a serious impact on the results.

And what has this all to do with my research?  A lot. I am investigating the historical thinking and understanding, historical consciousness and how history is taught by using primary sources like speeches of Presidential candidates. How are the American teachers evaluating the sources by their origin, purpose, value and limitations. How can we make the students and the people to see what is biased and in what way? It is so important. It is actually the way to prevent authoritarian rules to rise to power or maniacs to take over.  I feel I am privileged to be here at this historical moment.

Students are not allowed to leave the school building during the day for safety                           reasons.

 

 

 

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