Sunday, September 20, 2009

Textbooks and Propaganda

Good article on rewriting of American history in Texas at Sociological Images: Seeing is Believing. Amazing to hear people talk so blatantly about removing any critical thinking from texts and schooling.

The net effect of the motion, would be to remove any trace of activism from American history -- because, presumably, you don't want kids to think that they could lobby government for change.

1 comment:

  1. It appears that propaganda--sorry--the idea that history should be rewritten to reflect the lessons we want it to teach rather than the ones it does teach is not considered unacceptable in Conservative Red-State Amerika. Unlike, say, racism, which has to be couched in signifiers rather than in clear or honest language. Such as the charges of reverse racism on Rush Limbaugh's show.
    More interesting yet is the discussion of how two different countries (Amerika and Germany) face their pasts. Germany has taken an unflinching look at their treatment of minorities during the Second World War and drawn a moral lesson from that history--teaching that lesson along with the history. Amerika, the home of the Empire of Entertainment, has taken a different tack; changing the narrative of history to reflect a myth rather than accuracy of fact. As an example, the controversy surrounding the death of German POWs in US custody after the end of WW II; even the figure of 0.15% is rejected by most Americans. Or how historian Stephen Ambrose' ( who acknowledged "We as Americans can't duck the fact that terrible things happened. And they happened at the end of a war we fought for decency and freedom, and they are not excusable." about the treatment of those German POWs) own work detailed in Band of Brothers was attacked by "U.S. Army Air Forces veterans who objected to his characterization of C-47 pilots as untrained and incompetent in the Normandy invasion."