“It’s critical that we move past identity politics,” Decolonize This Place organizer Marz Saffore told CNN, “It’s not enough to hire an Indigenous curator. It’s not enough to have one Black person on your board. Museums as we know them have to be abolished. I don’t want my voice to be added to museums that are often trophy cases for Imperialism.”
So we abolish these trophy cases of Imperialism. Where does that leave our nation’s children?
I know where it would have left me. As an example, Madison West High School taught me little to nothing about the Inuit peoples and their cultures. However, one afternoon in a museum in Anchorage, Alaska went a long way to filling some of that gap.
Frankly, there is simply not enough time in a student’s history class for him to learn all he ought to or wants to about even one or two topics throughout his K-12 career. Places like natural history museums offer an unparalleled opportunity for children to learn and experience a breadth of topics in a short time. Surely exposing children to many topics and cultures they’ve never have heard of is a good thing?
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