I hold a great passion for history. I have held a passion for history since I was a child. It has never been about dry facts and dates, but the real experiences of people who lived before us. I find it inspiring, and at times heartbreaking. I’d rather sit down to a good history book than a novel. I like to see how the pieces all link together, and imagine what I would have done in those times. Our history is the roadmap of how we came to today.
I recognize that a lot of people don’t share that passion, and that history as a subject for American students is woefully lacking. While I respect that it is not everyone’s passion, we do a tremendous disservice to our youth by neglecting such an important area.
There has always been the issue of history being dry facts and dates, but history is anything but. If that is what the student has received it is because the teacher has failed to make it come alive. The textbooks don’t help either.
I have five children, all still in school, and I was shocked when I went through their history books with them. The presentation is disjointed and makes huge leaps while presenting an overly simplified version of American history. It is overtly hostile to the American people and leaders, while whitewashing all others, except maybe universal bad guy Adolf Hitler. It is more concerned with propaganda than history, which is never so black and white as they might say.
I do enjoy going over the history lessons with them, but if the little bit of history that is taught is unbalanced and hyper critical of the United States, where is the benefit? If we to raise a generation to believe that their country is evil should we marvel if they fail to believe in it? How are we to join as one nation united under certain ideals if none of that is taught?
The United States has done some great things, and yes, some evil things. It is in the balanced presentation that we can correctly understand our past and move forward to make the corrections that will bring us closer to the ideals upon which our nation was founded.
As history has become politicized, the truth has largely become hidden under false emotion by those who are more concerned with their agenda than reality. To stand up in front of a classroom and condemn George Washington while wearing a Che t-shirt hardly reflects balance or academic responsibility.
The only motive in presenting our past as a cartoon loosely based on reality is to subvert any pride in America with the intention of removing it far from it’s foundation. There are those who want that in America today. These are the same people who denounce John Wayne movies and the like as American propaganda, but what is presented in those movies, biased as it is, is far more balanced than what is presented in classrooms across the United States.
To these people, American can have no heroes, because they are flawed people. The reality is everyone no one is perfect, but that does not take away from their heroism, or the value of their ideals.
When U.S. college students don’t know our history, what hope do we have of preserving our nation? What hope does the concepts of liberty and freedom have against the teacher in the Che shirt? Will the sacrifices made for freedom hold any meaning to those who can identify Cesar Chavez, but not Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln? To those students, the United States is nothing to be proud of.
If only they knew…