one step forward, two steps back
one step forward, two steps back
When I was in grade school, there was a good deal of revisionist history taught. Now that the radical left has gotten ahold of our textbooks, our kids are learning distorted history; lessons that go too far in making America accountable for its actions in the past.
I have no problem with teaching our children the realities of life and war in the past. America was not always the good guy. But I do believe that as Americans, we should portray a somewhat balanced outlook on history. Not lies, not distortions, just balanced truth.
|"The most dramatic offering in Bridges to Literature is a lengthy excerpt from Laurence Yep's semi-fictional Hiroshima, which appears in the textbook immediately preceding the Holocaust story about Anne Frank mentioned earlier. Many pages are dedicated to detailing the suffering and death of 195,000 Japanese, thanks to the Americans. "People are still dying today," the author informs. Yep acknowledges that war began as a result of a Japanese aerial attack: "Caught by surprise, many ships and planes were wrecked at the naval base, Pearl Harbor." But nothing is said about anyone being killed.
The narrative jumps back and forth between the crews of the Enola Gay and its escort planes and two Japanese teenage sisters, Riko and Sachi. The Americans are shown preparing for their operation. Finally, "The bombardier presses a button to release the bomb." As for the girls: "Sachi mercifully passes out." "Riko and her classmates are destroyed." Later, "The bodies of schoolchildren are piled up on a hallway bench. The mother looks through the bodies for her daughter. She hears a groan. Someone is alive. It is Sachi. However, Sachi has terrible burns on her face. She cannot even smile. It is as if she has no face."
How can you possibly teach about Pearl Harbor, recounting the horrors of the bomb, without recounting the Americans killed in the attack by Japan? Sometimes an absence of truth is as bad as a lie.
|"A section called "Courage Counts" contains stories about four heroes: an escaped slave named Tice Davids, Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, farm workers union organizer Cesar Chavez, and Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller. Chavez is graced with a lengthy profile and canonized as "one of the truly heroic figures of the twentieth century," "a giant in the civil rights movement of the United States," and "A saint. A hero. The Mexican-American Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." Contrast the treatment of Chavez with a story elsewhere in the book about Abraham Lincoln, the only traditional American icon to be featured, which is limited to reporting on his childhood relationship with his stepmother and says next to nothing about his accomplishments. |
Have we gone so far in our attempts at political correctness that we are teaching our children to forget everyone but minorities? Please don't get me wrong; I think it is wonderful that kids are learning about more than white-bred heroes. But must we leave the majority out in order to teach about the minority?
Then there's this gem:
|"Poetry selections in Bridges to Literature include a 27-line verse entitled "Graffiti" and subheaded "A Little Graffiti Can Say a Lot about the Person Who Wrote It." The editors pose to students three questions labeled "Connect to Your Life": "Where have you seen graffiti? Did you think about the writer? How do you think the writer felt when he or she wrote it?" There is no discussion of the wrongfulness of graffiti vandalism.|
Now we are teaching kids to view graffiti as meaningful artistic statements? Our town just spent a million dollars on removing graffiti from walls and educating children about vandalism. Now they want to introduce grafitti as literature into the school system?
I can imagine it now. My daughter, at the police station, hands staind with spray paint.
"But mom, you should think about how I felt when I wrote that. I mean, my words are on the side of the Dairy Barn. I'm an author!"
I do not agree with the author of the article on everything. I do think that it is about time we taught our children more than what is in their history books now. I do think that other races, religions and nationalities should be reprsented in our history books.
What I don't like is the America as the Bad Man mentality that seems to be cropping up in our schools. Sure, America has been the bad man at some times. Let the kids know that. But don't include all the bad parts without teaching them the good parts. If you want to make room to include the negative aspects of our history, you can not do at the expense of the good parts of our history.
(link via: I'm not sure what weblog I saw this at today!)