1. Make them sit down and read the whole thing, out loud:
'My Nigerian great-grandfather sold slaves'
(Why has it taken the BBC so long to make this public?)
No-one - apart from the abolitionists - comes out well from that. This is what schoolchildren have to know - and many other people besides.
2. Define 'history' and 'past'.
3. Explain the following quote from the above:
'It would be unfair to judge a 19th Century man by 21st Century principles.'
4. Then stand up and tackle
(a) individual cases of police brutality, and related issues of police recruitment, discipline, and public and criminal accountability - and civil lawsuits where answerability is resisted.
(b) factors affecting economic inequality, including such things as access to credit for business startups, but also the multiple social and educational limits placed on aspiration.
The answer is work - a lot of it - not rioting and statue-rolling.
When Barack Obama was first elected, a black colleague asked me what I thought. I said, 'I don't know if he will be a good President, or a bad one. But one thing is clear: no more excuses.'
My colleague, a talented teacher of children with behavioural problems - problems that evaporated in his class - nodded appreciatively.
No more excuses.
And, following Nick's comment below, just in case the BBC doc gets popped into the memory hole, here is what I can salvage of it: