History plays a very important role for the improvement of our contemporary understanding of culture and identity. Especially, in the United States of America, as the word “United” shows, this is the country that contains almost every culture of different ethnic groups. I would say the United States of America as full of history and culture that incorporates diversity in every aspect of groups. Within the incorporation of different ethnic groups, there are a lot of controversies are going on today. This controversy has lit up and became bigger, and ended up with many textbook controversies. The Texas textbook controversy and Precious Knowledge documentary could be good examples that describe how history influences the intercultural communication today.
Texas is one of the largest states in America that influences other states’ text book market. Therefore, if Texas adapts a new textbook, then, the cost of this new textbook will go down, and, eventually, other states will start using this textbook. Therefore, it is important to look at the changes in the textbooks in Texas, and making a change needs to be always cautious. The article “History speak out against proposed Texas textbook changes” by Michael Birnbaum describes about the controversy in Texas textbook by giving good examples. This article basically tells the revisions of Textbook are inaccurate. For example, playing down Thomas Jefferson among the founding fathers, questioning the separation of church and state, and claiming that the U.S government was infiltrated by communist during the cold war should be unacceptable to people who already know at least a little bit about the U.S history. We all know Thomas Jefferson is the most important person at the period of founding America. In another case of this article, state’s border denies to include Hip-hop as an American culture while accepting to give more attention to President Reagan. It could be understood differently by the perceptions; to me, it can be counted as discrimination towards African Americans. Nothing can determine whose histories and stories get told. I mean that nothing is more important than others in History. Political issues, racial discriminations, ethnic problems, traditional music etc, are equally important. Everything is needed to be reveal clearly and truly because it affects peoples’ fundamental thoughts of looking at the culture today.
History has power that influence to intercultural communication. Then what is intercultural communication? By WIKIPEDIA, the definition of intercultural communication is a form of global communication; it is used to describe the wide range of communication problems that naturally appear within an organization made up of individuals from different religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. As we look at the last part of definition, we can figure out intercultural communication is built from diversity of backgrounds; backgrounds can be considered as a history of individuals. From the article “Birch and Sutherland, “Who’s Not Here Yet,” we can learn how the society impacted intercultural communication. This article describes how disability wasn’t supported in society and how society has been changing towards disability. In this article, there is a case that father killed his disabled son. However, that father was not guilty in that case. We could think about him as a crazy barbarian today.
As I mentioned, once again, I want to emphasize that history does have a strong influence to individuals’ intercultural communication and contemporary understanding of culture and Identity. Therefore, schools and teachers need to use the right textbook and teach in a right way for grow their students’ understanding of culture, identity, and history.