The Place of History in Multicultural Education, pp. 12 of 15

In this googlisation age instant (mis)information, Macedo and Gounari (Macedo & Gounari, 2006, pp. 3-4) question the claim that we have somehow arrived at the “end of racism” Their riposte merits the following extended extract.  

…this false proposition is intended to block all forms of interrogation concerning our understanding of race and racism while impending clear analyses of these categories. The closing-down of the field of interpretation for racism has the consequence of dehistoricizing the term and its discourses and material practices. Though this dehistorcizing, racism is often disarticulated from politics and the ensuing political projects that crystallize subjectives, agency and democratization. Individuals who embrace a dehistoricization process in their treatment of racism fail to recognize that racism is always historically specific and that it manifests itself differently in terms of geographical, cultural, ideological and material location…historizing the race debate is crucial to our understanding the racialization of discourses and the ensuing racist practices.

Global political directions and economic patterns such as global migration and foreign military “adventures” impacted significantly on and contributed to entrenched and manufactured perceptions of dominant and subordinate groups of the “other”. Intense global inequality amidst the sense that somehow we are all living through a new “age of insecurity” means that nationalism and globalisation will exist in a state of tension: both a challenge for both history education and multicultural education. The core imperatives here would be addressing these challenges for both national and global citizenship: the bridge in recognising that an individual or a nation has distinct differences that ought to be recognised while balancing these rights with those of being a member of a larger global communtity. The often heard mantra is to maintain a “unity within diversity” framework but as examined so far, one should be wary of this penchant to resort to cheerful but deceptive sloganeering to complex and urgent issues in which history education and multicultural education can play potentially transformative roles.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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