Wednesday, September 30, 2020


No, the United States wasn’t born in 1776 with the idea that, “…all men are created equal [and] endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” According the US History curriculum designed by the New York Times, our country was born in 1619 when the Jamestown colony first imported slaves from Africa.

Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the author of the new history, “won” a Pulitzer Prize and her curriculum is used in at least 4500 classrooms around the country at this writing. I wrote a few paragraphs about her in a June column wondering if the Pulitzer committee was aware of her previous writing in which she declared: “[T]he white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world.” She also called whites “bloodsuckers” and “barbaric devils.”

No, the United States didn’t come into existence led by Founding Fathers who risked their lives and property when pitting thirteen tiny colonies against the world’s strongest military to create a nation “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” According to new, revised histories, this country was seized by selfish racist, white men to enrich themselves by oppressing and exploiting everyone else.

One of my last school photos

The decades I spent teaching US History were among the most satisfying of my life. The Fryeburg school district supplied me students, a classroom, textbooks, and materials to do my work, but didn’t interfere with how I did it. It gave me autonomy. However, I retired at 60 because of clear signs that my autonomy was ending. The left’s control of public education tightened and the time of teaching traditional US History was ending.

That was almost ten years ago and results of the new historical revisionism have been coming in. According to Doug Ducey writing in National Review last week: “Survey after survey shows that Americans have a dismally poor understanding of the founding principles underpinning our nation. Only one in four Americans can name all three branches of government. Seventy percent don’t know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” That’s particularly discouraging because my curriculum included civics and the Constitution.

It’s not just US History instruction the left has transformed. Last week, the Boston Globe reported that: “For centuries, dead white men have dominated high school English classes,” then it praised an English teacher at Newton South High School who, “Like many in her department… is teaching texts only by authors of color.” No more Mark Twain or Scott Fitzgerald. No John Steinbeck, Fenimore Cooper, or E. B. White. No Robert Frost or Edgar Allen Poe  No Thoreau or Hemingway. No white guys are allowed at Newton South.

No more to the lake

Why not? Because teaching stuff by white males is “Eurocentric” and, “It’s doing some harm to the souls of our students who are Black, indigenous, and people of color,” said English teacher Joana Chacon, “and it’s honestly doing harm to the souls of all our students.” And it’s not just US History and English classes. The Globe reporter wrote: “At Brookline High School, a physics teacher wants to make topics on race and diversity ‘organic’ parts of her usual lessons.” In physics class? Really?

I hardly recognize our schools now. While we never had an official national curriculum as such, most public schools taught US History in 5th, 8th, and 11th grades. A student with a high school diploma then would have been taught the history of the United States from Indians to the present three times. Somewhere along the way, history got watered down into “social studies,” and few students learn civics at all. My Apple word processing dictionary defines “social studies” as, “various aspects or branches of the study of human society, considered as an educational discipline.”

A discipline? That’s a laugh.

Recently I agreed to assist a 14-year-old in the Portland, Maine school system with “social studies,” which has been further watered down there by merger with “language arts.” Searching the district web site for an 8th grade “social studies” curriculum, I got nowhere. I found Maine state “learning results” which are the same as when I was teaching, but they’re so nebulous I’m reminded of the lady in that old Wendy’s commercial asking: “Where’s the beef?” What I need are minimum standards at least, which I would use as a framework and then insert things I know would engage the young man.

Zoom cannot substitute for classrooms

Our schools’overreaction to Covid is making a bad situation worse. I sat in on zoom class last week and students were still doing exercises to help them get to know each other. That stuff should be over on day one, but there it was the end of September — and their homework assignment was more of the same for this week. Nothing about US History was covered the whole first month. 


Brian said...

Before reading a column here I look first at all the photos/memes that go along with it. It is a good indication of what I will get if I read on. For example, seeing the meme claiming that Obama said "Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding" is just a twisted lie.

So I know that by reading Tom's column it will be full of the same. Twisted lies. That is the only way the far right now operates. Just see the recent debate as an example.

So no, I'll skip this week's sack of horse crap. The revisionist history that concerns me is coming from Trump and his flock.

CaptDMO said...

Wasn't there a fictional book that included the rewriting of history to suit the parasites infesting the system?

Well, at least there's always popular social media to fall back on for...."the

While speaking in the White House’s South Court Auditorium during a conference on “countering violent extremism”

The words from his mouth-

Shut up Brian.

Kafir said...

The following 10 minute audio segment deals with Islam & African slavery. The Arab Trans-Saharan slave trade was at least 5x greater than the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and has lasted for 1,400 years compared to 300. Not surprisingly, the Marxists in the BLM movement either do not know this or, if they did, would never speak of it: