To the editor:
On Feb. 16, I watched the movie “Jayhawkers” by Kansas University professor Kevin Wilmott. The majority of the viewing audience was white. Many of them looked old enough to know what happened pre-Wilt Chamberlain to African-Americans in Lawrence. Poet great Langston Hughes is a reference point for this experience.
Prior to “Jayhawkers,” Mr. Wilmott made the film “The One Good Indian” about the indigenous cultural suppression at Indian boarding schools that were created to “kill the Indian to save the man.” This was Haskell’s intention a century ago at the behest of white American culture.
In “Jayhawkers,” the KU officials wanted to be on the right side of history as they pushed Lawrence integration through Wilt Chamberlain. Why is it that so many people are willfully on the wrong side of history destroying levees that Haskell students built imprisoned at Indian boarding schools a century ago? These children were taken for a decade from their parents to remove cultural connections back then. A far cry from the Baker students I see now. Minority histories are real. It shouldn’t be so easy to disregard and destroy an area where suffering occurred unless there’s no public conscience.