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Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 1, 2014 at 6:50 AM

U.S. history: Focus first on the positive to foster civil obedience

In “‘A tale of two countries’ — Jefferson County’s assault on U.S. history” [Opinion, Sept. 28], Leonard Pitts decries Jefferson County’s “assault” on U.S. history.

Valid points are made, but emphasis is misplaced. Before educators, commentators and columnists dwell on American misdeeds, emphasis must be placed on the still-evolving America: With all our warts, we’ve undergone continual changes since our founding resulting in, arguably, an ever-better nation.

The Jefferson County conservative board of education was correct in emphasizing the positive aspects of our nation’s history — encouraging well-placed patriotism and sense of national identity, which will prove essential in a geopolitical environment proving increasingly chaotic.

Teaching the untutored the negatives before all of America’s wondrous positives are fully appreciated is counterproductive in that it misdirects pliable minds into misplaced group contentiousness, separatism, factionalism and potentially internecine strife. Educators should teach respect for the law, and lessons that seemingly encourage civil disorder like the unjustified looting, rioting and burning of Watts and Ferguson should be avoided.

Andy Logar, Santa Rosa, Calif.

Comments | More in History | Topics: Andy Logar, history, Jefferson County

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