Disagree with Alcorn’s “History repeats itself again” column

As a public educator for 15 years and an adjunct faculty member in MSU Denver’s teacher preparation program, I have to strongly disagree with the perspective expressed by Mr. Alcorn in “History repeats itself again.” He apparently confuses the idea educational inclusion and equity with social activism.

In today’s teaching environment, the emphasis is on trying to have students reason and draw conclusions based on the information they are provided. There is also an emphasis in broadening the information to include pieces of history that have been excluded or sanitized. Twenty-five years ago, as Mr. Alcorn references, we were still being taught that the Civil War was about States’ Rights and had nothing to do with continuing slavery, taught little if anything about the existence and contribution of black cowboys, or that Aleandre Dumas was a black author, to give just a few examples.

Did Mr. Alcorn, in all his years teaching music, take time to include teaching about several of the black or Hispanic composers who contributed to our musical heritage? Has he considered that trying to unsanitize history, while it may be messier and less convenient, does not mean it is social activism, but rather an attempt to provide students a better understanding of where we came from so they can make better decisions about their future?

Yes, history will repeat itself again if we do not do a better job of learning our true history and not just the sanitized version that is more comfortable for some.

Mike Pugliese, Arvada