October 5, 2014
(TheAntiMedia) Jefferson County, CO – After two weeks of protests, student walk-outs, debate, and twitterstorms the Jefferson County School Board will not give in on its demand to rewrite history. Instead of voting to rewrite history, the school board has voted to institute a “curriculum review board.” So now, board-appointed community members will battle with teachers and students to find compromises on where it is acceptable to rewrite history in the name of making America look better. The only option the citizens have now is to force a recall of the school board.
After two weeks of protests, the school board still wishes to force this propaganda down children’s throats. That demonstrates very clearly how hard they are willing to fight to teach Colorado’s children lies instead of truth, fiction instead of fact, and propaganda instead of knowledge. Worse yet, this compromise allows the school board to infect other fields of study as well. If they are so dead set on indoctrinating children instead of educating them, the only course of action is to remove them from office. Image credit: Colorado Public Radio
History is not something to compromise on. History is a living, breathing academic field that has one sole purpose: to learn from the mistakes of the past. If a school board edits away any of those mistakes, future generations might repeat them. It’s obvious this school board skipped school the day they should have learned about Hitler’s book burnings.
Of course, the ignorance of this school board should come as no surprise. A member of the State Board of Education in Colorado, Pam Mazanec, recently said she supported giving students a more positive view of American history. In a Facebook comment, Mazanec said:
“Yes, we practiced slavery. But we also ended it voluntarily, at great sacrifice, while the practice continues in many countries still today! Shouldn’t our students be provided that viewpoint? This is part of the argument that America is exceptional. Does our APUSH (AP U.S. History) framework support or denigrate that position?”
As a student of history I was a little baffled by the comment, so I cracked open one of my history books. Sure enough, there it was. Chapter after chapter devoted to this little incident in American history called the Civil War. Half a million people died when the United States “voluntarily” ended slavery. Of course, that itself is rewrite of history.
The Civil War wasn’t actually fought over freeing the slaves. In fact, Abraham Lincoln offered the Confederacy the ability to maintain slavery if the states would simply come back to the Union. In fact, Lincoln said his primary purpose was to save the Union, not free the slaves. He said it more than once. The war’s end result was not a free black population; that took another 100 years and the very civil disobedience the Jefferson County School Board doesn’t want discussed. The end result was the fundamental transformation of the United States: states were completely subordinate to the Federal government.
As far as the little statement that other countries still do it, implying that the US was some sort of trendsetter in abolishing slavery:
1537: The Pope bans Slavery in Catholic Countries.
1542: Spain bans slavery in its colonies.
1569: England bans slavery within its borders.
1590: Japan bans slavery.
(Let’s skip ahead 100 years or so)
1723: Russia abolishes slavery.
1730: China effectively bans most forms of slavery.
1761: Portugal bans slavery at home and in its colonies in India.
(Skip another 100 years where dozens more outlaw the trade.)
1863: Three years into the Civil War, the President of the United States finally gets around to freeing the slaves.
So the reason students are provided that “viewpoint,” Mrs. Mazanec, is simply because it isn’t true. Frankly, you don’t belong on a school board, you belong in a school. You need to be sitting in a classroom learning all of the things that actually make this country great. It isn’t provided by some feel-good propaganda. If one studies history, they are quick to realize the United States is great not in spite of its mistakes, but because of them. The people of this country never stop fighting to make it a better place, even against ignorant and corrupt politicians bought off by the Koch brothers.
I have covered this debacle since it began, and I have had the pleasure of speaking with several students from Jefferson County. The students are bright and have a firmer grasp on history than any of the idiots sitting on the school boards governing their education. They have exemplified that uniquely American quality of sticking their middle finger in the air and reminding those that are authoritarian that in the United States, the people are the ultimate authority. Compromising on a curriculum that has developed such great students is an assault on history, decency, and common sense. Why would you change a history curriculum that not only taught the students history, but lit the fire that caused them to make history of their own?
It’s time for those students to take the next step in this fight, and start the process to recall those that would damage their educations and the educations of future generations.
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