Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
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02-01-2014, 03:20 PM (This post was last modified: 02-01-2014 04:51 PM by WindyCityJazz.)
Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
I've always wondered how we would go about changing the U.S. educational system to teach kids real history and not the feel-good bullshit that we were taught as children, such as:

Many historical figures who are portrayed as heroes, but were anything but heroes:

Christopher Columbus: Columbus was a ruthless man who was the father of the transatlantic slave trade. He would penalize Native Americans for not bringing him enough gold by chopping their hands off.
Teddy Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt was a bloodthirsty warmonger that applauded the mass slaughter of Native Americans.

Then there is the ignoring of the mass genocide of Native Americans, and portraying the U.S. as a nation that was developed by peaceful settlers.

Ignoring the internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War 2, or at the most, dedicating a paragraph or so to it - making it appear as a minor thing to merely be glanced over, and certainly not worth any serious attention.

Those are just a very small number of them. It's always easy to just blame the teachers, but the teachers are all just pawns in this. They will actually lose their jobs for not teaching what the government text books say. In fact, since NCLB was enacted, teachers have basically had their hands completely tied from teaching any kind of critical thinking - just tests, tests, and more tests! They're the bulletproof vest of Congress: Congress gets to make ridiculous laws turning the educational system into an indoctrination center where critical thinking is eliminated, then turn around and point the finger at the teachers.

I know that Indian genocide is not a pleasant thing for a child to learn about, but history is history, and I wouldn't want my child taught false information. If I were Native American I'd be absolutely furious for my child to be taught such bullshit, and history is not something that should be taught where if one child is Native American and another is of European ancestry, then they should each learn a different version of U.S. history in our nation's schools. I don't feel good having my kid being told that some ruthless, murdering asshole was a hero, and it's not fair that somebody is looked on as a bad parent for telling them the truth. Schools are supposed to be places where our kids learn facts, not ridiculous, feel-good propaganda.

What are your feelings on the matter?

“Religion was invented when the first con man met the first fool.” - Mark Twain
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02-01-2014, 03:27 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
I guess in your case it is a cultural thing.

You country hardly ever had to go through a deep cultural shock of being proven to have done something very wrong.

Where I live, almoust everything that happened pre 1949 is seen as something bad. When I was tought about the first Habsburg King, the emphasis was not on how he conquered lands and was a nationfounding personality. But on how he brutaly butchered and subjegated the people of Bohemia and had the corpse of his contestant to his throne displayed to the public for a year until it was so rotten that it fell from the churchtower it was tied to.

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02-01-2014, 04:02 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 03:20 PM)WindyCityJazz Wrote:  I've always wondered how we would go about changing the U.S. educational system to teach kids real history and not the feel-good bullshit that we were taught as children, such as:

Many historical figures who are portrayed as heroes, but were anything but heroes:

Christopher Columbus: Columbus was a ruthless man who was the father of the transatlantic slave trade. He would penalize Native Americans for not bringing him enough gold by chopping their hands off.
Teddy Roosevelt: Teddy Roosevelt was a bloodthirsty warmonger that applauded the mass slaughter of Native Americans.

Then there is the ignoring of the mass genocide of Native Americans, and portraying the U.S. as a nation that was developed by peaceful settlers.

Ignoring the internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps during World War 2, or at the most, dedicating a paragraph or so to it - making it appear as a minor thing to merely be glanced over, and certainly not worth any serious attention.

Those are just a very small number of them. It's always easy to just blame the teachers, but the teachers are all just pawns in this. They will actually lose their jobs for not teaching what the government text books say. In fact, since NCLB was enacted, teachers have basically had their hands completely tied from teaching any kind of critical thinking - just tests, tests, and more tests! They're the bulletproof vest of Congress: Congress gets to make ridiculous laws turning the educational system into an indoctrination center where critical thinking is eliminated, then turn around and point the finger at the teachers.

I know that Indian genocide is not a pleasant thing for a child to learn about, but history is history, and I wouldn't want my child taught false information. If I were Native American I'd be absolutely furious for my child be taught such bullshit, and history is not something that should be taught where if one child is Native American and another is of European ancestry, then they should each learn a different version of U.S. history in our nation's schools. I don't feel good having my kid being told that some ruthless, murdering asshole was a hero, and it's not fair that somebody is looked on as a bad parent for telling them the truth. Schools are supposed to be places where our kids learn facts, not ridiculous, feel-good propaganda.

What are your feelings on the matter?

I agree, it is sad that in 2013 we still have a federal holiday for Christopher Columbus...

• In 1492, no one actually thought the earth was flat. “Pretty much anyone with an education knew the earth was round. The Greeks had proved it 2,000 years before Columbus was born.”
• Columbus didn’t actually “discover” the New World. Not only were there natives living in the Americas for 14,000 years, Leif Ericson found the same territory 500 years before Columbus.
• Columbus wanted gold, and lots of it. His initial ideas for a new trade route to Asia fell by the wayside as he realized how much gold was available in the New World.
• The natives would provide little resistance. According to his own journal, Columbus believed the indigenous Lucayans would not be a significant challenge. “I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men,” he wrote, “and govern them as I pleased.”
• For his second visit, Columbus armed for war. When Columbus returned to the New World, he brought 17 ships and 1,500 men.
• Columbus treated the natives brutally. Columbus demanded treasure, food and sex for his men, and when the Lucayans refused, he ordered their noses and ears cut off to serve as a warning.
• Columbus treated his conquered people harshly. When the Lucayans rebelled, Columbus crushed the rebellion and carted off 500 Lucayans to be sold into slavery in Europe.
• Columbus disrupted the entire economy of three continents. Post-Columbian disease and starvation killed three to five million people over the next fifty years. And the influx of gold disrupted the global economy to the point that African slaves became a dominant commodity.

Columbus “discovered the New World much like a meteorite discovered the dinosaurs,” and yet is still honored with a federal holiday. Making the point impossible to miss: “The father of the transatlantic slave trade is honored on the same level as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.”

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02-01-2014, 04:14 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
You make a good point, but the US history books are geared to feed the lazy folks the 'we're number one' and 'god is on our side' BS.

The US history is in fact a small pimple on the wordls overall history, and the education system has by now gotten below some 3rd world standards.

In contrast, speaking for myself, I'm a pure blood German and my family lineage is traced back for 800 years (according to the family bible) and I dont have any shame for what occured before I was born and had no control over, even had a count (Lutz von Bernstein) that wasnt the most pleasant of people, so it reads as one of my direct fore fathers, my grand father was in the Luftwaffe and was killed in Russia during WWll. All taught to me by family and schools there without hesitation or excuses.

The Americans like everything suger coated and rosey, and ignore the horrors of their own history. Its the easy way out to ignore the messy parts and think your supperior to the rest of the world, as long as you dont need to get your fat lazy ass of the couch watching some reality TV show.

This wont change soon or easily, and tho I live here now, dont think I can make much difference. The dumbing down of America is still a work in progress.


I'll shut up now...... I've had a few drinks and think 'posting under the influence' might make me appear dumber than normal... Blush
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02-01-2014, 04:39 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 04:14 PM)War Horse Wrote:  You make a good point, but the US history books are geared to feed the lazy folks the 'we're number one' and 'god is on our side' BS.

The US history is in fact a small pimple on the wordls overall history, and the education system has by now gotten below some 3rd world standards.

In contrast, speaking for myself, I'm a pure blood German and my family lineage is traced back for 800 years (according to the family bible) and I dont have any shame for what occured before I was born and had no control over, even had a count (Lutz von Bernstein) that wasnt the most pleasant of people, so it reads as one of my direct fore fathers, my grand father was in the Luftwaffe and was killed in Russia during WWll. All taught to me by family and schools there without hesitation or excuses.

The Americans like everything suger coated and rosey, and ignore the horrors of their own history. Its the easy way out to ignore the messy parts and think your supperior to the rest of the world, as long as you dont need to get your fat lazy ass of the couch watching some reality TV show.

This wont change soon or easily, and tho I live here now, dont think I can make much difference. The dumbing down of America is still a work in progress.


I'll shut up now...... I've had a few drinks and think 'posting under the influence' might make me appear dumber than normal... Blush

well said war horse, you know how it goes, the victors write the history books...sad, we are teaching our youth lies and fairy tales....like religion Tongue

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"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones
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02-01-2014, 05:00 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
Funny, I was actually taught all these things. Except for Teddy, he's kind of an icon where I live. Sure, he's bloodthirsty but he lead an incredible life. A real inspiration if you leave out the nasty bits. I'll have to wholeheartedly disagree with War Horse, at least in my case, we didn't gloss over much. We learned of the infamous Columbus, westward expansion, manifest destiny and also the trail of tears and the horrors the nation faced within and abroad.

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02-01-2014, 10:16 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
I don't remember American history class being nothing but feel good propaganda. All the bad stuff was taught.

The problem may be that most students are apathetic about history, and can't really be bothered to feel upset about it......wait until the students get to college, then they will become social justice activists.Rolleyes
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02-01-2014, 10:50 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
(02-01-2014 05:00 PM)grizzlysnake Wrote:  Funny, I was actually taught all these things.

(02-01-2014 10:16 PM)Juv Wrote:  I don't remember American history class being nothing but feel good propaganda. All the bad stuff was taught.

You mean in K-12 grammar/high school, or at the university? Little of the bad stuff was taught in the public schools I attended.

Look at my debate in the 'gay affirmative action' post about Lincoln and the civil war. Are you seriously saying in your history class they taught that Lincoln had the choice of buying the slaves' freedom for less than the cost of the war? Or that he imprisoned and exiled political opponents and journalists who criticized him? Or that he had a 'white dream' to rid the continent of blacks by sending them back to Africa? I was taught none of that in my government indoctrination courses.

It's true there was talk about the native Americans that were killed. However, very briefly. Far more time was spent on Thanksgiving plays, portraying the settlers and indians enjoying meals together like dear friends.
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02-01-2014, 11:24 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
Pfft. There's another kind of history? Tongue

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02-01-2014, 11:55 PM
RE: Fighting Against Teaching Kids False History In U.S. Schools
Just look at the rankings of countries by internationally standardized test scores. The countries with the most local autonomous curriculum do best. Finland takes it to the most extreme letting each teacher pick their own curriculum, and they rank #1 across the board.

There's a good interview of Milton Friedman in the 80s when he talked about the sharp, measurable decline in the quality US education that occurred as soon as the Dept of Education was formed. Today, after forty years of declining education we still haven't learned and the DoED is bigger than ever.
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