La Canada teachers: judging the past through Critical Race Theory

We are again treated La Canada teachers having discussions among themselves.  In principle this is actually a good thing as it indicates that the teachers are continuing to pursue intellectual inquiries into the topics they teach.  And in fact we can see this as the discussion probes the ethical implications of actions taken in the past in relation to our lives today.  In that regard these teachers should be applauded.

What is strange though, is the odd slant to the question under discussion: should we, or even can we, today forgive the actions of pivotal figures in the past.  Some of the discussion focused on the question of slavery, and perhaps by extension the whole question might be said to revolve around that one thing.  I have to say that the discussion was pretty balanced, given the way the question under discussion was framed.

Because forgiveness is a complex and often painful process forgiving the deceased is extra hard.  Briefly the process of forgiveness involves several steps:

  1. The offended person must call the offense to the attention of the offender.
  2. The offender must acknowledge the offense and seek to be forgiven.
  3. The offended person must express their feelings at having been offended.
  4. The offender must listen and acknowledge the pain caused by the offense.
  5. The offender must express a commitment to not repeat the offense.
  6. Boundaries must be set and consequences emplaced should the offense be repeated.
  7. The offended person must accept the apology of the offender and be willing to restore the relationship.

Doing all that with a historical figure long since food for worms whose perspectives in life must be reduced to the grossest generalizations is a Herculean task, to say the least.  A task, it might be said, impossible to accomplish save in the imaginations of the living.  Your Irascible Correspondent considers this a somewhat subversive question because the ultimate purpose of forgiveness is the restoration of relationship.  Therefore the question assumes that the relationship is somehow broken and in need of restoration.

But historical figures who shaped our world for good or ill ought not be considered out of relationship with us.  The influence of their legacy is with us always, it is up to us to receive that legacy and improve upon it.  They were imperfect human beings, as these teachers note, and they cannot, in most cases, legitimately be judged by the moral standards of today, to do so would be to commit the intellectual error of Presentism.

Marxist analysis always commits this error, judging the past through the lens of the bleeding edge of Political Correctness.  And that is the big problem here.

Here then, are various videos of La Canada teachers in discussion among themselves.

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