I think the way we teach civics should be unequivocal on the issue of tolerance. We should teach our students how to disagree respectfully and how to debate intelligently using evidence rather than ostracism, degradation or threats of violence. Democracy and the social contract that holds us together as a society depend on our ability to do this.
However, we should also be unequivocal on ethical and moral issues such as slavery and genocide. I think it’s fine to explain that the values of the 18th and 19 centuries made it possible to rationalize owning and murdering other human beings, but it is important for students to understand that this was wrong and morally indefensible.
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