It seems that history always is re-writing itself. The race and gender of a historian will influence their point of view found in their works. A historic event cannot always be paralleled with a person's own experience that happened during the time. History is being taught to children all over the world. The thing that separates our history from other countries is the way it is being told. Our perspective as the United States is much different than other countries in the world.
Because of cultural bias, historical events being compared against relevant personal experience, and the way in which history is taught, history has become biased. Cultural bias is unavoidable. When an event happens, everybody will have their own point of view. For example, if a particular author is writing about the race riots, the authors own race will play an important part in what is written. It is important to consider things like race and gender when reading history.
Elliott J. Gorn, a historian who has published many works on the authenticity of history says that "Historiography teaches us that all interpretation is limited by the cultural biases of our times, the skills of the individual historian, the limits of primary sources, the perspectives and blindnesses created by a scholars social position (yes, race, class, and gender, among other factors. )." Children begin learning history at a very young age. They learn about the Indians and pilgrims, and of course, they learn all about the Boston Tea Party. With the information that is in textbooks, it is difficult to say that what is being written is 100% truth. Gorn writes, "Sometimes it reveals less about 'what happened' than about what we want to believe happened." For example, to describe the early days of settling the West, Gorn points out how we use phrases like "brave men of vision settled the west" in order to create our "great nation." What is left out is the information on the mass slaughter of innocent Indians.
This also lends to Gorn's idea that history is "mythic and usually flattering to those whose past they describe." We have made famous the stories of American Westward travel, but we have forgotten about the tragedy that took place during that time for Native Americans. Not only are children taught history, but they read about history in their literature classes, as well. With the story "The Diary Of Anne Frank," a certain question of validity is posed. Is this an actual piece of history, or is it one girl's experience of a very difficult time period? It is suggested by Cynthia Oz ick, a fiction writer who has focused her works on stories of the Jewish culture that The Diary Of Anne Frank is perhaps manipulated only to make it a more interesting story. Oik also says because of the story not having a concrete ending, it is very difficult to find the actual validity in its work. "Because the end is missing, the story of Anne Frank in the fifty years since "The Diary Of A young Girl" was first published has been bowdlerized, distorted, transmuted, traduced, reduced; it has been infantil ized, Americanized, homogenized, sentimentalized; falsified, kitsch ified, and in fact, blatantly and arrogantly denied." She believes that "A deeply truth-telling work has been turned into an instrument of partial truth, surrogate truth, or anti truth." Anne Frank is not being portrayed as an actual historical figure.
She is a happy-go-lucky fifteen year old girl, who was thrust into the Holocaust because she was Jewish. If Ann Frank really is the happy-go-lucky fifteen year old girl we think she was, then isn't she in essence, a victim of cultural bias? Whether it simply be her father editing out her true feelings as being a fifteen year old girl, or an editor trimming the story down to make the abridged version, her real feelings have been altered. Obviously, Ann Frank is the only person who knows how she felt during her time, and she herself is a victim of somebody else, altering her work to a level at which it was not originally intended. With cultural bias being a problem which surrounds the recording of history, its easy to realize that history is biased. Also, with personal experiences being labeled as actual historic events, it is not difficult for history to become biased. The way children are taught history in school also lends to historical inaccuracy.
Because of cultural bias, personal experience and actual history, and education, history is biased.