History repeats itself
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This year Robinson has implemented a new class, the History of the Holocaust, into the curriculum. Taught by Kevin McCray, the class came about due to kids expressing interest in the Holocaust and a lack of signups for AP European History.
“I’m glad Robinson decided to offer this course because it’s important to know about such major historical events, especially something as horrific as the Holocaust,” Anna Thomas (’18) a student in this class said. “And McCray has a really cool way of relating history to today’s political events.”
The Holocaust occurred from around 1933 to 1945, and although this period was extremely catastrophic, there are certain parallels that can be drawn to the discrimination in today’s society.
“We spent the first week [of school] talking about stereotypes and a lot of the things that you’re seeing protested in this country,” McCray said. “When there is a protest in this country, it seems to bring out the far left and the far right. Well some of the far right in this country ties directly into Jewish history.”
McCray is alluding to the Charlottesville riots which brought white supremacy, racism and anti-Semitism back into the forefront of American conversation.
On April 11 and 12, far right conservatives attended the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Among the attendees were a group of alt-rights and racists. Rally-goers carried semi-automatic rifles and held signs filled with swastikas and symbols of confederacy.
“It’s one of those things. It’s the good and bad with America that we allow people to express themselves,” McCray said. “We’ve lost a lot of people that fight for the right for you to be able to express yourself. It’s the give and take. We live in a country that has the freedom that we have.”
The United State guarantees the right to assemble as a part of their citizen’s first amendment rights. Those rights, however, guarantee peaceful protests, not violent ones.
During the rally, rally-goers ran into counter protesters and that’s when mayhem broke out. Shots were fired and soon a car purposefully drove into the counter protesters. Overall, three people were killed and 34 were injured.
No event will ever amount to that of the catastrophe of the Holocaust, but the discrimination shown in both events. Yet, history seems to repeat itself. 100 years after the holocaust, discrimination still exists. Violence still exists over controversial topics. The country seems to be divided into two halves based on political views.
America is at war. Some people are too scared to express themselves because of what others may think. Stereotypes are still out there, discrimination still exists.
But the nation, the world, is improving. Movements to eliminate social stereotypes are stronger than ever. Communities that have experienced such tragedies like Charlottesville are coming together. America is still stuck in a world based on other people’s opinions, but it is beginning to get better.
“When they leave here, I want them to be more accepting and certainly more historically capable,” McCray said, regarding his class. “I want them to be better Americans.”