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By Matt Walsh, V Form
What to Do with Confederate Monuments
Despite the meteoric rise of clickbait fake news, the majority of “alternative facts” don’t come from shady fake news websites. Rather, they come from our distorted perception of American history. I only had to read one chapter of Dr. James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me, a book that sheds light on the dishonesty of American history textbooks, to realize the problems with American history education. Lauded by the likes of Howard Zinn and Jon Wiener, Lies My Teacher Told Me provides a thorough examination of the lies promulgated by American history textbooks.
Dr. James Loewen, who holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University and taught at the University of Vermont and Mississippi’s Tougaloo College, came to visit St. Mark’s in October of 2017. Dr. Loewen’s talk to the St. Mark’s faculty and student body regarded the danger of misconceptions of the past and centered on the problems with Civil War monuments honoring Confederate generals. Loewen asserted that the construction of these statues—often in veneration of Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis—represent what he calls a “nadir” in racial equality in the United States. (more…)
By Jenny Deveaux, V Form
Modern Day Martins
Much like hip hop music, modern day United States culture is based upon movements for change and the spread of continental ideas.
Hip hop was born in the seventies, and first originated in New York City. The genre was developed largely by African-Americans, but evolved to incorporate nuances from other minority groups such as Latin-Americans. Today, hip hop is a multi-billion dollar franchise that has become a symbol of United States culture because it exemplifies a diverse and influential community that seeks to spread tendentious ideas. Artists like Common, Nelly, Macklemore, and LL Cool J use their prominence in the hip hop genre to address today’s issues. Macklemore did this recently in his song “Same Love,” advocating for marriage equality while producing a track that made the top charts in America. (more…)
By Joey Lyons, VI Form
Racial Integration at St. Mark’s: The Experience and Legacy of Ethan Anthony Loney
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation in public schools deprived minority children of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court’s decision in Brown repudiated the “separate but equal” principle, a principle that had prevailed in the United States since Plessy v. Ferguson (1896). In his unanimous opinion, Chief Justice Earl Warren stated that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” After a second decision a year later, in Brown II, the Court demanded that public schools integrate “with all deliberate speed.” However, the desegregation of public schools proceeded slowly, particularly in the South, which engaged in “massive resistance” and passed laws declaring the Brown decision invalid. Unlike southern states, northern states did not reject the Court’s ruling outright. Instead, northern school boards drew school zones that reflected white and black neighborhoods, thus maintaining segregated school systems. (more…)