In West Virginia we need to learn the story and history of our state. The mine wars are no exception and should be taught to teachers, students and our historians.
We must learn the culture and story of the mine wars and not let it be written out of history.
I believe in our schools we need to learn about the mine wars. It is filled with information and rich story. People need to know what the word redneck means or hillbilly. We need to shut down the stereotypes of our state and instead replace them with information and pride. How will we know not to make the same mistake? What will we tell our kids when they ask who made us who we are? How will we know that West Virginia fought long and hard for the right to unionize and be free?
It is essential to teach this information because our state will benefit by learning the history and making sure we are not just the state that fought over a pig! Our kids will learn what we did and who we were! We don’t tell a lot of information about our state and when the question comes up like how did it all start or why is this like this? We need to honor our state and make sure people know that this country is not all sunshine and roses and that we had to fight for what we have! People need to know that we are not just a normal state and that we did something great!
If we tell the history we will be united because we will know what we did all those years ago. We are strong and we are united! If I asked you who Don Chafin was or who Smilin Sid Hatfield was you would have no idea and you would think I’m crazy. If I asked you why we got the right to unionize or why we are called rednecks you wouldn’t know, so that’s why we need to tell people our story and uncover the mystery of our state.
So I ask you as a proud West Virginian, as an educated person, and a free man to tell our story and stop hiding from the truth. Make our story known and keep us proud.