On Teaching Hard History

Idaho State Legislature just passed what is being called a “controversial education bill”. It states that “HB 377 would prevent Idaho teachers and administrators from discussing any sort of belief system that claims racism or sexism are responsible for past actions in history with students. It would also prohibit any conversations claiming one group of people defined by their sex, ethnicity or race are better than or less than any other.” This isn’t a controversial bill. This is an attack on education, on truth, on history, and on critical thinking in general.

I had a student…


By Jordan Gerdes

January 6th, 2021 was a day that many in this country seem to want to forget. In response to his loss in the 2020 election, Donald Trump drummed up a number of lies about how the election had been stolen, the conspirators behind it, and how he had really won anyway. Groups like QAnon pushed and advanced the narrative from hidden corners of the internet to mainstream republicans. There are countless articles and excellent pieces written about this day, but the facts remain the same. A group consisting of Republicans, extremists, conspiracy theory groups, and white nationalist militias invaded the…


A major issue with settler colonialism ties directly to religion. It’s the idea that god has destined a people to conquer and control.

The Doctrine of Discovery said that if a land was w/o Christian faith, they were savage and should be conquered to civilize them.

This warps into Manifest Destiny in the 1840’s with the belief that God has destined the American populace to spread across the continent, using agricultural practices to conquer the land, and to exterminate or assimilate indigenous populations.

Zionism is the same idea. ‘Gods chosen people’ deserve a land to prosper, as it is their…


Since the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, former President Trump has faded into the shadows. His repeated calls for division, violence, and the promoting of unfounded conspiracy theories earned him a ban from Twitter. Yesterday, 1/27/2021, he officially launched the “Office of the Former President”, which per the press release “will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump administration through advocacy, organizing, and public activism.” …


Author Note: Previously published on May 29th- cataloguing here as well.

I attended a protest for George Floyd in late May, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the numerous other protests and demonstrations across the world.. Speakers kept saying “We cannot let white supremacy and racism take over our state.”

There is a very real truth about Oregon that we all need to understand and grapple with. Oregon, as a state, was envisioned to be a utopia for white supremacists. Let that sink in. Some of you may know this. For some of you, this may be…


Photo by Harun Tan from Pexels

Author Note: This is three different pieces I wrote over four years. Here I have collected all of them, as they all support one another in the idea that this movement of hate is picking up speed. It is imperative we stay alert and understand this. -JordanGWrites

12/5/2016

We are living in a world where a celebrity businessman has been elected to the highest office in the free world. That comes with many changes from the last eight years. The populous has watched Donald J. Trump say horrible things with no repercussions, from brushing off sexual allegations and using speech…


By Jordan Gerdes

It’s the fourth week in November. We all know what that means. In a year that has been rocked with a pandemic, a new civil rights movement, and open fascism, it’s important that we continue to dispel the myths that have plagued our history as an inherently exceptional and perfect nation. Let’s talk about the event we call “the first thanksgiving”.

In 1620, a group of separatists left England in search of a new place to live, calling themselves Puritans. They had previously tried to settle in Denmark, but left, fearing loss of their cultural identity. …


By Jordan Gerdes

The American story is one that has existed for centuries, of persecuted people fleeing a tyrant empire, only to settle in a new land. Built off the backs of their labor and work ethic, these settlers raised a series of connected colonies, then cities, and finally states. They fought against the tyrant empire for their independence and then set out to conquer and discover the rest of their new land, forming it into the country we know and love today. …


Why We Say Indigenous Peoples Day.

By Jordan Gerdes

It’s indigenous peoples day. Here’s a few not so fun facts about Columbus and why celebrating him is absolute bullshit.

Columbus didn’t discover the America’s. Leif Erikkson, Chinese sailors, and African sailors have been shown to have set foot here centuries prior to 1492.

2. The land already was inhabited and cultivated by countless tribes of indigenous peoples. Claiming doctrine of discovery, Columbus used this to claim a divine right over an inhabited land in the name of a foreign monarchy.

3. Armed with doctrine of discovery, Columbus believed himself an…


Make America great again. It’s a phrase that has become the defining goal for the current president. It’s used as a common tongue response to the atrocities we see on the nightly news, newspapers, and in our streets every single day. Make America Great Again has even transitioned to Keep America Great Again in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election. However, the underlying problem with both phrases is the historical context of the phrase. It begs the question, “when was America great in the first place?”

Sure, America has a laundry list of events that have cemented our…

JordanGWrites

Educator. Author.

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