Not Knowing American History


Recently, I got accused of not knowing American history. This no doubt came from a person who grew up in our public school system of the last 40 years. These people think they know American history but have in reality only been taught a bastardized version of it. American history in today’s public school system has been drastically modified to propagate the notion that our Founding Fathers were not Christians, but rather hypocrites. Real facts have been changed and any faults the revisionists can find or create for our Founding Fathers is now taught as fact. It is no wonder our school systems are among the worst in the industrialized world.

I grew up in a time when the true American history in our public schools was actually taught. I have read the writings of our Founding Fathers and even have majored in history in college as well as in several other disciplines in which I have earned various degrees. When it came to history, I never got less than an ‘A’ in any course. In fact, in a class of 150 people in which half the class flunked, I was one of 3 A’s. History is a specialty of mine.

However, in today’s public school systems, we have results from the 2010 gold standard of testing, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, that only 13 percent of the nation’s high school seniors showed proficiency in their knowledge of American history, and only 18 percent of eighth graders and 22 percent of fourth graders did as well. [1]  It has also been reported that in South Dakota, I believe it is this school year that American history is no longer a requirement to be taught. The reasoning according to one professor was that they want students to think about today without context. [2]

APUSH (Advanced Placement U.S. History) is a framework for teaching the nation’s creation and development to high-achieving high school students. APUSH is designed as an outline to help teachers challenge their most capable students and encourage debate and critical thinking skills. But critics say this new framework rejects traditional U.S. history, omits or barely mentions key figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., and overemphasizes negative, divisive events such as the Vietnam War and the forced displacement of Native Americans. The curriculum outline, they argue, condemns “American exceptionalism” and gives short shrift to the nation’s leading role in shaping modern global history. To paraphrase, this curriculum looks at the bad in American history and does not mention the good.,” Ralph Ketcham, a fellow at the right-leaning Pioneer Institute, wrote in a recent report, “The result is a portrait of America as a dystopian society—one riddled with racism, violence, hypocrisy, greed, imperialism, and injustice” and light on “some of America’s great heroes.” [3]

The most widely used history textbook in U.S. public schools is A People’s History of the United States by the late Howard Zinn. It has sold a million and a half copies since it was published in 1980. It is required reading in many high schools and colleges. This history textbook by Howard Zinn is a very left-wing version of U.S. history, full of multicultural, feminist, and class-war propaganda. It is based on the thesis that America is not a republic but an empire controlled by a few white men. Its heroes are anti-establishment protesters. The book debunks traditional heroes, such as Christopher Columbus and Andrew Jackson, and doesn’t mention great Americans such as Thomas Edison. [4]

Zinn’s book which is again required reading in many school systems, rejects American exceptionalism and inspires guilt and the belief that success comes only through exploitation. He belittles patriotism, never allowing pride in America. In fact, Zinn told one interviewer that his goal in writing this textbook was to start a “quiet revolution” of people taking power from within the institutions. This is hardly just one person’s agenda. This agenda has been ongoing for decades. Joseph Califano who was Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare stated that “national control of curriculum is a form of national control of ideas.” This is why President Obama has been using the Stimulus Package to take over the $600 billion public-school industry with taxpayers’ money. [5]

In Arizona, the Tucson School District offers courses in Mexican-American studies (known locally as Raza Studies). Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, says the basic theme of the Mexican-American studies program is that Latino students “were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle- and upper-class whites.” Social justice is among the goals, and I am quite familiar with that tenet since I have taken a course in college that instructs education majors how to teach it. Another goal in this curriculum is Latino Critical Race Pedagogy. In this curriculum, heroes such as Che Guevara and Fidel Castro are glorified. This is what U.S. children are being taught in our country. [6]

To go further about what is taught in the Tuscon school district, there is a requirement to teach U.S. history, but that is not what is taught. Instead it has been reported that it focuses solely on the history of the Aztec people .Others who have looked at the books used in these courses say they refer to Americans as “Anglos” or “Euro-americans” rather than as “Americans.” The books do not recognize the United States as a country, but claim Arizona is part of “Aztlan, Mexico” (even though the Aztecs never lived in what is now the United States). [7]

In the state of California, five chapters promoting Islam were inserted in a world history textbook that is authorized and recommended for seventh-grade students.This world history textbook, called History Alive! The Medical World and Beyond, gives the history and beliefs of Islam lengthy and favorable treatment far above and beyond what is given to every other religion, according to scholar Stephen Schwartz in the Weekly Standard (August 9, 2010). [8]

The textbook uses what he calls a “sanitized vocabulary” to conceal Muslim practices that are criminal in the United States. These include forced marriage, forced divorce, marriage to children, polygamy, and punishments imposed by Sharia law such as public beheadings, amputations, cruel floggings, and stonings. [9]

Muhammad is the only person in this world history textbook who rates an entire chapter. Jesus gets only one sentence, and the book gives an entirely positive account of Muhammad’s teachings, saying, for example, “He preached tolerance for Christians and Jews as fellow worshipers of the one true God.” It says nothing about Jesus’s teachings, but does describe examples of Christian persecution of non-Christians. [10]

These Muslim influenced books are designed to create a bloodless revolution in the United States to enable a peaceful takeover of this country by the Muslim ideology as expressed by the founder of the Council on Islamic Education. These books describe Islam as historical truth while Christianity and Judaism are described as notions of its believers. [11]

American history has not only been revised in our public school systems but also in our colleges and universities. History courses now deemphasize great people and events while ridiculing many as Dead White European Males. While the number of college history professors has doubled in recent times, that growth has mainly focused in specialties such as women’s or gender history. Many professors actually teach history the way they wished it happened instead of the way it did happen. [12]  I have seen a recent history book. It for example did not even mention Nebuchadnezzar when great ancient empires were discussed. It lacked so much detail, it was a joke to consider it a history book. It was mainly just commentary. We already get enough of that from the news on the television. Reporters do not report news so much as they continually make commentaries on events.

A new evaluation made by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni discovered that most elite colleges no longer require students to study American history. Instead, worthless courses like The History of Rock and Roll at California State University at Monterey Bay can satisfy the American History requirement for students. Emory University allows the course Gynecology in the Ancient World to satisfy its requirements for students in the history curriculum among some 600 other courses of which many are completely worthless. [13]

As a result of all this unhistorical commentary being taught in our schools as history and especially American history, we have a new generation of people who do not realize they do not know American history. They think events occurred one way in our country and were influenced by evil white males.They think that those of us who do know true American history are deceived and are ignorant about reality in the world, today. That belief goes back to what I mentioned before in this piece in where it was stated the elites “want students to think about today without context” to our American past.

 

[1] http://townhall.com/columnists/danieldoherty/2011/10/22/the_decline_of_american_history_in_public_schools

[2] http://www.ksfy.com/home/headlines/Early-American-History-could-be-a-thing-of-the-past-323022481.html

[3] ibid

[4] http://www.eagleforum.org/psr/2010/nov10/psrnov10.html

[5] ibid

[6] ibid

[7] ibid

[8] ibid

[9] ibid

[10] ibid

[11] ibid

[12] ibid

[13] ibid

 

 

 

 

 

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