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My kid found out today we were on the wrong side in the Civil War.

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:25 PM
Original message
My kid found out today we were on the wrong side in the Civil War.
They're covering the Civil War in school. All along, she's been rooting for the side against slavery. Today she made the connection that "Union" = "north" (her teacher isn't that on the ball, what can I say?). She was VERY excited when she came home, telling me "the good side won! Robert E. Lee had to surrender!!!"

Then she asked me where I was born. "Texas," I tell her, "but at the time of the Civil War my family was in Georgia."

Then the question: "Did our family own slaves?"

I told her we don't know for certain, but there are strong indications that they did.

She actually sat down at the kitchen table and cried.

I explained to her that her ancestors aren't HER and that just because that happened in the past, doesn't make us bad people.

I'm not sure it comforted her much. I don't ever remember being upset over this.......when did *I* figure it out??
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Worst Username Ever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:27 PM
Response to Original message
1. d'oh
Well is sounds like you handled it well with her. It is important for her to know that we are not our own family history. She is lucky to have a parent like you.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Thanks.
She also just told me, really perplexed "Abraham Lincoln was a REPUBLICAN!!! I thought he was a GOOD GUY!"

I explained the republican party is NOT what it was in his time and he WAS a good guy. I also said I doubted he would even recognize the republican party of today.

She cracked me up. Looked at me and said "You think he'd be MAD?"

Oh yeah, I think he'd be spitting nails.
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stpalm Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Yes, tell her the Democrats used to be the Southern party
full of gun totin' and violently racist folks. Tell her many blacks viewied the KKK and the Democratic party as the same thing. Wait, dont.

But the Republicans at the time of Lincoln WERE pro-industry, etc. There are some aspects still present today.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. What's your deal?
No thanks.
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stpalm Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #21
58. I was kidding.
I said, "wait. dont" after that.

Sadly, its true- but you can say that it has changed to be the opposite today.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #58
65. Oh ok sorry.
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
32. And then she can take pride that her family and democrats got over it.
And sent all the gun totin and racist folks over to the republican party, where they were welcomed with open arms.

It isn't a happy ending to the story, but it is the true one.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #16
39. Actually, Lincoln was very pro-labor and anti-corporation

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Done Donating Member (680 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. Now tell her what we did to the Indians
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. And the Hawaiians
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. I'M not sure about the Hawaiians...
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 04:32 PM by Bouncy Ball
????
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:39 PM
Original message
Yes, the Hawaiians
Not genocide, like the continental-based natives, but the social equivalent of destroying the culture as much as possible, stealing the land, overthrowing the government. You know, the typical stuff.

And sadly a lot of it was done by the families of the Christian missionaries - the Congregationalists. Ouch. That's my faith tradition. (note: not so much the missionaries themselves, but their children and grandchildren who grabbed the land, set up trade, made plantations, etc., though the missionaries are blamable for forcing the women to wear clothing, stopping the hula, and stopping the native religion practics like the chants and conch blowing and etc.)

We damn near lost the Hawaiian language and the hula.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
29. Yikes, I had no idea.
Sadly, though, I don't find it particularly surprising or anything.
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:44 PM
Original message
No, not surprising at all -
it's the same thing the Europeans did to every culture they came across (and for all intents and purposes we can consider America to be a de facto "european" nation well into the late 1800s/early 1900s).

Though we have to give first credit to the British for helping to wreck Hawaii, since they were there first. But their damage was only to make the Hawaiian people open to outsiders. It was the American missionaries who then came in and did the actual destruction and took Hawaii from the British. And the Hawaiians.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
47. Links
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 04:54 PM by JohnLocke
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
8. Oh shit she found out about that LAST year
cried for TWO days. The Trail of Tears just put her over the top.

Then this past summer we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial and the words written there choked ALL of us up.

Whew, the Indian one was tough last year.

"WHY did we do that, momma?"

Ug.
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Done Donating Member (680 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. You've got a good kid there.
I hope you let her know how proud you are. :hug:
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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
37. Hitler planned his genocide by studying what we did to the Indians.
"Hitler's concept of concentration camps as well as the practicality of genocide owed much, so he claimed, to his studies of English and United States history. He admired the camps for Boer prisoners in South Africa and for the Indians in the wild west; and often praised to his inner circle the efficiency of America's extermination - by starvation and uneven combat - of the red savages who could not be tamed by captivity." P. 202, "Adolph Hitler" by John Toland

http://www.nemasys.com/ghostwolf/Native/genocide.shtml
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
46. Wow.
That's a new one to me. Hoooo.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. my mom found out when we were doing genealogy that we
were on that side too and owned slaves. SHe still can't speak about it easily, she feels so bad and she's 73.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:33 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. I can understand that.
It's not exactly something I go around talking about or even thinking about. And somehow "those were different times" just doesn't seem to cut it for me. I mean right is right and wrong is wrong. How could anyone think OWNING other people would be right????

So yeah, I hear ya.
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coloradodem2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:29 PM
Response to Original message
6. I think I had ancestors fight in the Civil war.
I think they fought for the north though. Nobody in my family are born southerners.
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stpalm Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
7. "we" didn't do it (reply to done)
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 04:31 PM by stpalm
Our ancestors did. It was terrible and genocide, but I dont feel guilty, because I didn't do a thing to cause it.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I know, that's what I tried to get across to her.
Still I think kids "identify" with family group, geological area, etc. Either that, or it's just my weird kid.

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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
18. Tell her this:
"Do you feel guilty for the Iraq war? Of course not. Slightly embarassed, maybe, enraged, yes, but not guilty."
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stpalm Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. yeah I know
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 04:37 PM by stpalm
I accidentally replied to the wrong person. Done said "what we did to the indians"



nice job explaining to your kid.
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Done Donating Member (680 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:56 PM
Response to Reply #20
50. We, as in our nation, have done some horrible things.
We, as individuals, should not be held responsible nor feel guilty; but we, as a nation, are guilty, and we should never forget. We should teach our children what happened, what "we" Americans did.

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alphafemale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #7
72. ..."we" are still reaping the benefits of what was stolen from them.
It's not "guilt," exactly, just a realization that there is an unsettled debt.

A "sins of the father" type of accountability exists here, and many places in our society.

The scales of justice have long been out of balance.
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yardwork Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
11. It looks like some of my Welsh ancestors went to Ireland to cause trouble
and then they emigrated to Pennsylvania to help found a Puritan group.

Does this make me an anti-Catholic Puritan? No.
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Crunchy Frog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #11
49. Well, I'm 1/4 Norwegian.
My ancestors raped and pillaged their way accross half of Europe, terrorizing people for centuries.

The rest of my ancestry is other European, so maybe I owe myself an apology for what my ancestors did to my other ancestors. :crazy:
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dr.strangelove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. Difficult issue, but good job
You handled that like a professional child therapist. Great job.
Just be there to help her through it.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #12
45. Wow, thanks!
Really? That's a shot in the arm! I just try to keep it simple.
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dr.strangelove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #45
59. Its all about truth and confrontation
You made her confront the truth in a respectful manner. You did not hide it or bs it. Great job. She is a lucky girl.
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stpalm Donating Member (734 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:32 PM
Response to Original message
13. Oh, and most southerners didn't own slaves
A small percentage owned the majority of slaves and the majority of whites owned no slaves. Many non slaveowning whites supported the Civil War for the South because they were racist and their poverty didn't look too bad compared to the plight of the slaves
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. My mom did geneology work for about seven years
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 04:36 PM by Bouncy Ball
and found strong indications of it. Like, um, a tallying of one ancestor's property at his death which included his land, buildings and slaves. He didn't have a plantation, per se, but he had quite a bit. He also had eleven freaking children. !!!!!

But yeah, it's true what you said.....only a small percentage actually owned slaves. Unfortunately....we were in that small percentage...
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Inland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. Doesn' t make you any worse than, say, me.
I don't think that any American escapes the stain of whichever dumbass and or evil thing our country does.

Our country failed of its promise and required, well, a lot of killing to get it right. We are all on the "side" of the Union because we all want America to be preserved and America to fulfill its promise of liberty for all. We are all on the "side" of the CSA because we share in the accomplishments and failures of the nation. Would we have been more forward thinking than, say, Washington? Jefferson? In fact, aren't OUR grandkids going to give us shit about something that to them looks just plain wrong and unjust, and aren't we going to give some lame excuse about "that's the way it was done and we didn't think much about it"? They will, and we can't even guess what it will be, because it WILL be the way it was done, and we HAVEN'T thought much about it.



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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Brazil was the last Western country to abolish slavery.
That makes me somewhat embarassed, but now we're way more liberal and tolerant than most. More than makes up for that.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Good for y'all
while we seem to be going backwards!
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. Exactly
and I have a feeling one of those things will be GLBT rights. I already look at the US as being very primative in that regard.

I kept it simple for her because she is 10 and was feeling overwhelmed at the idea of her ancestors being on the side of the south. She'll deal with it and be fine.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
23. Considering you live in Texas
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 04:39 PM by RagingInMiami
She should also be informed of what this country did to the Mexicans in the name of Manifest Destiny, which stated that all Americans were "God's chosen people" and it was our duty to steal land from the Mexicans.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #23
26. Stop it now!
I don't have to deal with the Texas stuff until next year!

;-)
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #26
33. I'm sure they'll soften the lesson
Like they did to all us growing up
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. I don't know
they must be teaching this stuff more hard ass now. She knows a lot more of the nitty gritty not so nice stuff than I ever did before college! I think they have "un-varnished" a lot of it in recent years.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
24. I had some on both sides.
Including a confederate, whose family owned some slaves, who married a former union soldier.

What side was her father's family on?

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. Heh.
My husband's family was in Germany until about 1951!

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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:58 PM
Response to Reply #28
51. Well he certainly wasn't part of the confederacy.
The Civil War was the "brother against brother, father against son" war. Have you checked into that possibility?

:)

So where was your family during the Revolution? Once the ball starts rolling you might as well give it a little nudge or two.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. Oh my family fought in the Revolutionary War
in fact, my great times six grandfather (his name was Jonathan Edwards!) won land in the land lottery they had after the war and he sold it and moved here to what is now Texas.
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #54
66. Well, there you are then.
A really interesting story about her family.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:12 PM
Response to Reply #28
61. Oh God that helps
Edited on Mon Jan-10-05 05:14 PM by fujiyama
Now you'll have to tell your kid that her dad's relatives were Nazis!

You have a good kid. Amazing how sensitive and empathetic they can be. You should feel proud.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #61
64. Ahem,
actually the reason she has never met her 84 year old great-grandmother, who is still living in New Jersey is because she loves to spew anti-Semitic shit. Ug.

The only time I ever met the woman, I had been married to my husband for six months and we drove to New Jersey to meet them, since they couldn't come to the wedding.

The FIRST thing she said when she saw me was "I vas so glad he didn't marry a dirty Jew!"

Oh. My. God. I nearly fell to the floor. I considered, for about half a second, saying "What? Didn't he tell you? I AM Jewish!"

But I didn't. I just got sick to my stomach and told him I never wanted to be around her again. That was 12 years ago. I haven't seen her since.

Ug.
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fujiyama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #64
70. I'm sorry to hear that
That's terrible. What about your mother in law and father in law? Do they share the same feelings?

I actually didn't mean the comment I made completely seriously. After all, during Nazi Germany, there were some Germans that opposed Hitler, but then again there were many that supported him as well...

Oh well, what is that old statement that the sins of the father...?
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:34 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Right.
My father in law is this woman's son and he's a complete reactionary freeper, no surprise. He does harbor some anti-Semitic feelings, as I have heard him tell Jew jokes that REALLY weren't funny.

The funny thing is, my husband is about one of the most liberal, compassionate people I've ever met. How the hell did that happen? His mom wasn't all that great, either.

Dunno. :shrug:

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Bill Lumbergh Donating Member (191 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
30. WE didn't do anything to anyone
Unless some of us are current KKK members or something.

Our ancestors and our country did. But I do not feel guilt for what happened to the slaves. I am sad about it for sure, but my family didn't even come to this country until 1930, so it's not like I'm responsible for it at all.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #30
34. This is a TEN year old.
She's speaking from the point of view of a kid, not an adult. When she says "we" she generally means the US, etc. Not her or me, specifically. She knows "we" (literally) didn't do any of that!
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Bill Lumbergh Donating Member (191 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Oh ok
gotcha
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #34
43. I'm a history prof, and I even say "we"...
:-)
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:42 PM
Response to Original message
31. What a lovely child.
Hold her, love her, and never criticize that sensitive, empathetic side of her. She is a lovely child.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #31
40. Aw, thanks
She's really not normally that sensitive of a kid, which makes her reaction even more surprising. Also, as I said to raging above, I noticed that in school they are not giving them as "prettied up" of a version of events like when I was in school. I mean, they don't go into all the gory details, but it is less varnished than I remember.

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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. James Loewen's "Lies My Teacher Told Me" is taking effect....
If you haven't read it, it's great. I am sure it's had an effect on the way history classes are being taught.

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #41
44. Yeah because you know,
know that I think about it, I don't even REMEMBER learning much about slavery in elementary school. Middle school, yes, and I remember we asked question about it, but the coach/teacher just kind of gave us a blow-off answer all the time.
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Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #44
55. I think the shift in history is a good thing.
There is also a shift toward social history, in which the heroes aren't just the founding fathers, but the black women in communities who began the grassroots efforts that truly sparked civil rights, for example.

What's good about it is that it tells EVERY kid that he or she can make a difference in his or her world. You don't have to be rich and white to be a hero.

That's why I love social history and why I am glad it is being taught in grade school now.
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Glenda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
38. You have a sensitive daughter...
she sounds like a cool kid

:yourock:
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:47 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. Shoulda seen her when they were doing the
Civil Rights unit in third grade. She was a mess. It almost got to be too much at one point and I had to sort of pull her back from it a bit. I mean, when a nine year old can't look at a picture of MLK without crying, that's maybe a bit much. It was just overwhelming. Plus she was a little shocked that it all took place so relatively recently. (And no, I didn't get into very much of the insitutionalized racism we still have today--one thing at a time...)

Her school is definitely hard core on the history and social studies, I'll give 'em that. Homework and reading on it all the time, which I think is great.
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #42
48. Public school? (nt)
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. Yep.
And in Texas no less. GASP! Some are good, it's different from school to school even within the same district!
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Double fucking WOW on a pogo stick!
Fight tooth and nail to keep it the way it is!!! :thumbsup:
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Glenda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:13 PM
Response to Reply #42
62. It sounds like you 2 are good for each other!
TOo bad Barbara Bush didn't have your parenting skills ;)
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 04:59 PM
Response to Original message
52. Growing up, I always focused on the fact that my Great Grandparents
came over from Ireland in the late 1800's so I could tell myself that my ancestors never did that.

One problem - those were only my maternal grandparents.

Later, a relative researched and compiled a booklet about one wing of my paternal grandparents who came to Missouri from Tennessee and Kentucky :(

There were copies of wills that include small numbers of slaves. It definitely crushed any illusions I had of somehow separating myself from this Country's history. We do cling to mind games to separate ourselves from the ugly parts of our history if we can.

The two FUN parts of this research was that my Grandmother (who was a bigot) got to find out that her great or great, great grandparents were Jewish, and we found out my great, great, great Grandmother was a Cherokee (Grandma loved that too although it was her Husband's family).
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
53. It has always afffected the way I view the world
Growing up in Mississippi, the Civil War was a big deal. When we played at recess, we divided up into Rebels and Yankees, rather than Cowboys and Indians. No one wanted to be a Yankee, so we made the couple of people from the North be the Yankees.

It had a lot to do with my awareness of race and all other equality issues, because being a southerner, especially in the 70s, meant understanding the issue personally from both sides. We whites all saw how it was to be the dominant white power, and we all felt how it felt to be hated by the rest of the nation for where we lived, how we were born. Those conflicting influences pushed people in different directions, making some defy the North and become more racist, and making some much more aware of persecution and inequality in general.

Ultimately, I believe, your daughter (and everyone) will grow up a better person because she knows how to identify with the losing side, and with the wrong side. It teaches you something about how the other side feels, but it also teaches you that even what you are sure is right can sometimes be wrong. It teaches you to hold a higher value, so you don't get sucked in by patriotism and emotional arguments into doing something wrong.

I don't know if any of that made sense. Your daughter sounds great. She'd like my eleven year old, who is also sensitive and aware. Good parenting, BB.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #53
60. Wow great post.
I lived in Georgia for a time, when my husband was stationed at Ft. Benning and I taught high school in Columbus. This was the early 90s and there was SO much tension between blacks and whites. I noticed there were hardly any other minority groups--hardly any Asians or Hispanics. Here in Texas we have a lot of all four groups.

I always thought Georgia needed a third or fourth group to kinda diffuse the tension.

True story: When I was teaching high school drama, we went to the auditorium for rehearsals one day. One white boy was particularly hateful and racist and he walked over to this black kid (OMG he was built like a redwood tree--a linebacker on the football team and the white kid was a little string bean) and he PLUCKED the pencil out of his hand, threw it on the ground and said "Pick it up BOY."

Now this was **1993**!!!!! I was horrified. The black kid stood up slowly and I started saying "Patrick--Patrick, pick up his pencil." (Patrick was the white kid.) But no one was hearing me, they were in a stare down. Eyes locked, both sides hissing at each boy "DON'T! He's not WORTH IT!" Darrin (the black kid) walked calmly over to the Georgia state flag, picked it up out of its holder, aimed the pointed end at Patrick and RAN at him, pinning him against the wall.

The irony of the fact that he used the Georgia state flag to pin him was not lost on ANY of us. I was afraid there would be a shish-kabobed kid so I got a kid to RUN for the assistant principal.

Fortunately, he took the flag down and then said "YOU pick up my pencil. BOY." Oh geez.

By that time the assistant principal got there and hauled them both off.

Why did he feel compelled to pick that fight? I have no idea. But it was scary.
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Coventina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:14 PM
Response to Original message
63. My two cents FWIW as having "worked through" this issue
First cent: I think you are doing an EXCELLENT job with your daughter!! She is compassionate, empathetic, sensitive and solidly grounded morally. Kudos to BOTH of you!!

Second cent: When I found out my family had been plantation and slave owners I was pretty young and ignorant about the world. I felt it was my "family duty" to support the Southern position, because that is what my ancestors did. I internalized this well under the age of 10.
Let me stress, my parents IN NO WAY encouraged me in this. In fact, I never recall ever discussing it with them. My information had come as just some info in passing, it was never a particular topic of discussion, but somehow or other, it lodged in my childish brain and took root.
As I got older, and learned more about the full horrors of slavery and all that it meant, and what it meant for my family...well, I finally realized that just because my ancestors did it DID NOT MAKE IT RIGHT. This caused a long period in my teens of some cognitive dissonance.
The correct side won out, and I no longer think with ANY sort of fond romanticism of the "Old South". I do carry some guilt to this day, over my childish opinions that I once held. That somehow my family had been "wronged". :eyes:

It sounds like your daughter is in a more mature place with the issue already than I was at a much more advanced age.

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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #63
67. Yeah
plus you grew up in a different time. She's only just now 10 and I don't think there's any kind of romanticism of the Old South anymore. At least not around here.

Good for you for what you did. I know it had to be really hard.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
68. Excuse me, but that's The War of Northern Aggression.
:eyes:

That's some kid you have there.
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Bouncy Ball Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 05:20 PM
Response to Reply #68
69. Ah, thanks, my man!
I think I'll tell her that little tidbit (that that's what the south called it).

I once told her that England called the AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR "the problem with the colonies" and we had a good chuckle over the disconnect between the two names.

Wonder what the Iraqis call this war now? :-(
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bloom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-10-05 06:00 PM
Response to Original message
73. It's probably good to cry.
I don't think it hurts to feel remorse over what ones ancestors did.

I expect there are a good many people who still benefit from inheritances and such. Like Bush* and company. The "American Dynasty" book spells it our pretty clearly.

Some people would like to assume everyone starts out the same - but connections and such can make a difference. To deny one's background seems disingenuous.

I certainly wouldn't load guilt on to a 10 year old. But it seems like adults ought to be able to face facts. People who are so moved may wish to act on them.
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