Ignoring mistakes in history dooms us to repeat them

I started college as a history major and found that much of our history was not taught in high school.

Regarding the indigenous people here, Columbus told his men that it was okay to rape the women and kill the men because they were brown-skinned, non-Christian savages. Also, these indigenous people’s land was stolen and they were forced to live in what was known as “reservations.”

Most of the men that wrote and signed our Constitution were slave owners. While they may have been good people in many ways, they unfortunately believed “people of color” were inferior beings and could be owned like animals.

Abraham Lincoln created the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, which freed all the slaves, getting him assassinated by a white supremacist.

Black men, even though free, were not allowed to vote until 1870.

Women, also considered inferior and considered by many men to be like property, were not allowed to vote until 1920.

My father was a racist misogynist who didn’t believe women should be allowed to vote. He tried to keep me from having non-white friends, saying, “Boy, don’t you realize that anyone with brown eyes is part n—–?” I learned a lot from him as to what a bigot is.

If we hide from our history, it will be harder to keep these negative attitudes from continuing.

Harlan Hughes



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