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Dr. Ben Carson illustrated the significance of teaching history properly during an appearance on “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy.”
Sunday marked Juneteenth, a federal holiday that commemorates the day slaves learned about the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of slavery in 1965. In regard to the holiday, Carson emphasized its importance noting “There’s so much progress that’s been made” since that time.
“Juneteenth is so important because it actually efficiently recognizes the emancipation of the slaves, and slavery was a horrible thing, there’s no question about it. But I think we need to recognize that slavery has been a part of virtually every civilization since there has been written history,” Carson explained.
He continued, “We in America have actually done something that no one else really did. That is, we had so many people who are opposed to it that we fought a Civil War, a bloody Civil War, lost a large portion of our population to get rid of this evil. And that says something about this nation as a people. We’re not all the same. We have a lot of different opinions but overall tendency was to move toward freedom and justice for people.”
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Acknowledging the country’s history with slavery, Carson explained the need to teach our children the good along with the bad.
“This is what we need to be teaching our children. We need to enhance that. We need to learn from that. We need to build on that rather than back and dredging up every negative thing we could find and saying that is what we are and that we can’t get away from it,” Carson said.
“I think you have to be truthful about our history because remember, our history is what gives you your identity. And your identity that is thing upon which your beliefs are built. If you disrupt that chain, then you become like a leaf blowing in the wind. You don’t really have a foundation. You can learn from good and from bad, and that’s what wise people do. They don’t try to cover the bad up or rewrite the bad. They learn from the bad and definitely build on the good,” he said.
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Carson also expounded on the desire for “people who don’t appreciate our freedoms” to learn the significance of the progress made since Juneteenth.
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“It would be very nice if a lot of the people who are complaining today about the United States could go and live in some other parts of the world for a little while, and I think they would have a tremendous appreciation of freedom we have and why it is so vitally important for us to not only understand it but to protect it for those who are coming behind us and particularly for our young people,” Carson said.