Education History

Unhinged History: We “Voluntarily” Ended Slavery


A member of the Colorado Board of Education apparently believes very fantastical things about American history.

As an opponent of the “anti-American” Advanced Placement U.S. History curriculum, board member Pam Mazanec believes we should teach American exceptionalism because we “voluntarily ended slavery.”

As an example, I note our slavery history. Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! Shouldn’t our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH Framework support or denigrate that position?

Should our students be provided that viewpoint? No, because it isn’t true. We fought a civil war over slavery. We didn’t end it “voluntarily.”

That isn’t just wrong, it’s extremely offensive; not just to African Americans and the descedents of slaves, but also the memory of those who fought in the civil war and their families. It’s disgusting.

These are the offensively-ignorant people who believe we should whitewash our history for the next generation and they’re sitting on the board of education or in the state legislature. And this is just one, albeit glaring example.