A bill to revise American history is being pushed through the Oklahoma state legislature with overwhelming support by nationalist fundamentalists. Eleven Republicans voted against 4 Democrats to approve this measure in committee. The bill HB1380, if passed, is designed to force the creation of a new version of white-washed American history.
What is at stake is a program called Advanced Placement. (It’s the word ‘advanced’ that scares them.) Advanced Placement is a series of tests and courses developed by the College Board, the “mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity.” The idea is that high school students taking Advanced Placement courses will earn college credits to give them a head start upon graduation.
The main complaint among nationalist Republicans seems to be that they feel history class should be a sermon rather than a learning experience.
“In essence, we have a new emphasis on what is bad about America,” said state Rep. Dan Fisher (R), the author of the measure. “[Advanced Placement] trades an emphasis on America’s founding principles of Constitutional government in favor of robust analyses of gender and racial oppression and class ethnicity and the lives of marginalized people, where the emphasis on instruction is of America as a nation of oppressors and exploiters.”
So, Advanced Placement effectively puts an emphasis on real history, the sort of things that get repeated if not learned, as the expression goes. The Republican nationalist movement, of course, only wants our children to learn that America is the best country ever and never makes mistakes. That is, of course, a huge mistake, but one we can’t speak of in history class.
This act of revising history goes so far as to make a specific list of documents allowed for discussion in U.S. History. Surprisingly, a few leftists texts made the cut, such as the works of Thomas Paine and the speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It gets really weird when you start to see the new additions deemed significant to American History.
- The Ten Commandments – It should not take an historian to tell you that the formation of The United States as a country or as a system of laws has nothing to do with the Ten Commandments. Out of all ten, the only commandments we enforce as law are numbers six, eight, nine, and sometimes 7.
- The national motto and national anthem – The only function of a motto or anthem is as nationalist propaganda. You can argue the pros and cons of their existence, but they’re existence alone is not of historical significance. Every empire has them, they are not unique.
- Speeches by former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush – No mention of any recent Democratic presidents. These two guys here are the only presidents in Rep. Fisher’s recent memory who said anything important. No, this isn’t politically based at all, of course not.
What we have is a nationalistic movement being pushed by the Republican party all across the country. In Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Colorado Republicans are challenging American History to replace it with their own version. A cheerleader sort of history, that chants “Rah Rah Rah! America is Great!” without focusing on any of the progress we had to go through to get where we are.
An ignorant populace is easier to control. What they want is a nation of ignorant serfs that will perform the will of the elite without question while going to church every Sunday to beg forgiveness for wanting more. If they aren’t stopped, they will continue to gut education until they have their way. They already have a “Tea Party” that has no idea what the Boston Tea Party was actually protesting.