Lib Dems Want More Black History Taught in Schools

Also from yesterday’s I for Monday, 6th July 2020 was a piece by Will Hazell reporting that the Lib Dems have called for schools to teach more Black history. The article on page 15 runs

The national curriculum should be reformed so schools teach children more about black history and uncomfortable aspects of Britain’s imperial past, the Liberal Democrats have said.

The party has also demanded improved teacher training so school staff can avoid “microaggressions”, under proposals worked up with the Diversity Reform Initiative – a new organisation which aims to tackle racial disadvantage in institutions.

In a letter to the Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, Layla Moran, the Lib Dems’ education spokesperson, said: “Changes to the history curriculum, such as learning about non-white historical figures and addressing the darker sides of British history honestly, are a vital step in tackling racism in our educational system.”  

It’s a good point, and Labour should be demanding the same. Unfortunately they aren’t. Mike put up a piece the other day about how the Labour Party is hemorrhaging members thanks to Keir Starmer’s right-wing leadership. Starmer’s a New Labour centrist, who has done precious little to challenge the Tories, thanks to his decision to advance only constructive criticism during the pandemic. Many of those leaving the party are Black and Asian, who resent his almost total inaction on racism and his halfhearted dismissive attitude towards Black Lives Matter. If the Lib Dems prove to be more serious about tackling racism, they could well attract these disaffected former Labour voters.

That said, I am not impressed by some of the policies suggested by the Diversity Reform Initiative. I am not convinced of the existence of ‘microaggressions’ – I think it is something that has been thought up by oversensitive, resentful individuals to justify their bitter hatred of mainstream society. Of course respect goes both ways, but there is already a problem with discipline in some schools and I think a focus on suppressing ‘microaggressions’ on the part of teachers will only make things worse.

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7 Responses to “Lib Dems Want More Black History Taught in Schools”

  1. conartistocracy Says:

    I don’t agree with all you’ve said here but we definitely need more history in schools. The Robert the Bruce statue was covered with BLM graffiti. Labelled a racist King. Well could have been done by a Scot with a warped sense of humour but the crowning stupidity came from The Scotsman which valiantly tried to find a connection with our Robbie and a slave trade which only started a couple of centuries after he died. Turns out some big wig of the time took Robbie’s heart on the crusades.
    Now that our bodies when we have finished with them now belong to the State (which means we are all worth more dead than alive) it seems you can become a racist as a result of what somebody else does with your body parts.
    Did I just write that? I must be mad.

    • beastrabban Says:

      Robert the Bruce is definitely not someone I would associate with either slavery or the slave trade, but rather Scots resistance against Edward’s invasion. Clearly the Crusades are an example of early European colonialism, but they were seen at the time as Europeans attempting to defend themselves against a militantly aggressive Islam, as well as winning back the Holy Land for Christianity.

      And I absolutely agree with your wider point. We most definitely do need more history taught in schools. I think one of the reasons the Tories are able to get away with so much is because proper history has been so drastically cut down. Which means that people are left open to the distortions of Tory propaganda.

      • conartistocracy Says:

        It only occurred to me when I read about the Robert the Bruce vandalism and the rather tenuous excuse about the Crusades that at the time Barbary pirates had been raiding European coastal settlements for slaves to sell in the Arab world. From some perspectives this alone is an act of war. As the aristos didn’t really care about the welfare of ordinary folk a better battle cry and rallying point was banner of Christ etc. If you ignore the religious propaganda underlying is self defence against militant invaders and rejection of subordination as slaves. What would have happened without the Crusades?

      • beastrabban Says:

        The Barbary pirates were rather later, but Islam as well as Christianity was also militarily aggressive. The Crusades were partly a responsible to the call for help from the Byzantine emperor – the Greek-speaking eastern Roman empire – for troops after the Byzantines’ defeat at the Manzikert meant the Turks conquered 2/3 of what is now their homeland. In the late 14th and 15th centuries the Turkish emperor Bayezit conquered the Balkans, and in the 17th century they were at the gate of Vienna. North Africa Muslims also raided southern France and Italy. At one point they attacked Rome itself, and for a brief period occupied Fraxinetum, what is now Provence. It wasn’t all one way. The Reconquista began in the 12th century and resulted in the conquest of Spain and the expulsion of the Arabs and Jews, while in the 12th century the Normans under Robert Guiscard conquered southern Italy from the Byzantines and Sicily from Islam. But if there had been no Crusades, then Europe would have been conquered by Islam.

      • conartistocracy Says:

        Thanks for that. My Crusades history is hardly up to scratch. Interesting. I also read somewhere that without Genghis Khan Islam would have conquered Europe. It is a disturbing feature of history that our present civilisation is rooted in past holocausts. But how often did we have a choice? Take 2WW. If Hitler had won his holocaust would have been even greater. But fighting him caused a holocaust in its own right. We owe our present freedoms and civilisations to those who didn’t live to enjoy it and others whose lives were permanently blighted. What is going on now is like pre-war Nazi Germany. What is awful is this seems to be coming out of nowhere. The lives of working class, poor, black etc are the best they have ever been and improving. But real abuses are swamped under fake issues. Progress is stalled and the clock is being turned back.

      • beastrabban Says:

        Definitely, and I think the present controversy about racism is caused by the general decline of living conditions for the poor and working people, regardless of their colour.

      • conartistocracy Says:

        Good perspective. People feel stuck. It seems every way of bettering their lives are blocked. So – to head off wholesale revolt, political manoeuvring to divide and rule – setting us all against each other and scapegoating the white working class?
        What those who fall for this con fail to see is that the attacks are not on the white working class but the working class as a body. Black grievances being used to beat the working class destroys the only experienced, cohesive and inclusive group which can protect everyone’s interests – all workers including black, ethnic, migrant etc. Sowing dissension.
        Inciting hatred does work – few people will fail to defend themselves if attacked. But White working class are not the enemy, but they are being set up – and not all working class are free from bigotry. Inevitably some will respond to the provocation and that is then used to tarnish the whole group. Traditional political manipulation.

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