6 Toxic Elements in Contemporary Storytelling
A many-branching poison spreads through the land, touching many
news outlets, schools, houses of worship, and families. A new presidential
administration represents hope to much of America in the form of concrete,
inclusive policies. Because of this, some might be tempted to forget the
lessons of the recent past, along with the toxins that lingers, still spurring people
to fear, to hate, to trust the untrustworthy, and to doubt the trustworthy.
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Genocide and Shared Human Responsibility (Communal Guilt Part 4 of 7)
Few of humanity’s transgressions seem as weighty as genocide. The average American high school student knows this, if they have paid any attention at all. Some see Schindler’s List or excerpts of The Holocaust miniseries. Many read Night, The Diary of Anne Frank, or Maus. The Holocaust looms large.
A focus on the Holocaust risks endowing it with a sense of uniqueness. Yes, it was unique in its scale, intensity, and efficiency; but genocides had happened before and they have continued to happen since. We must not teach with depth at the expense of breadth, lest students falsely assume that genocide is either a phenomenon of the past or will remain perpetually someone else’s problem.
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