In April, the Biden administration announced their plan to offer grants for history classes that teach students about racism in history specifically focusing on Ibram X. Kendi’s work on critical race theory as well as the 1619 Project, a New York Times series on American slavery and consequences of slavery. The 1619 Project were presented with a Pulitzer Prize but is considered controversial as it focuses on how slavery was the defining characteristic of America’s history. This grant program was listed as a proposed rule in the Federal Register on April 19. Biden’s proposal plays a big role in the debate over what students should learn about American history.
As America is very divided on many issues including racism, many oppose Biden’s grant program. People like Donald Trump and his supporters are avidly against educating students about racism in America. In fact, while Donald Trump was president, he created the 1776 commission which promoted “patriotic education” and essentially made schools sugarcoat the racist parts of American history. Trump and his supporters claimed that public schools history teachings of America were “left-wing propaganda” and equal to child abuse. However, since Trump is now not president, Biden has terminated the 1776 commission much to the dismay of right-wing politicians and supporters.. Recently, these same people have expressed opposition to Biden’s program as Mitch McConnell, a member of the United States Senate, claimed that the grant program is “divisive nonsense “and will indoctrinate students with a “slanted story.”
As a student, it is clear to me how important the truth is when learning about history. Students must either get the whole story or nothing at all. Otherwise, opinions can become very one-sided and mistakes made in history will repeat themselves. Since the students are our future, if they receive education on racism’s role in American history, they can lead our country into progressing. Biden’s grant program will work to achieve this. The grant program will push schools into doing thorough history lessons which can change the course of future politics.