Totalitarian regimes and interests have long understood the inherent power of manipulating historical narratives to serve their agendas. As recognized by the ruling party ‘s strategy in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, “Who controls the past controls the future. And who controls the present controls the past.”
In the early 1980s, right on schedule, pseudo-historian and Communist Party member Howard Zinn set out to target just such a revisionist narrative on American students through his lamentably influential book A People’s History of the United States. President Trump recently referred to “Propaganda tracts, like those of Howard Zinn,” being used “to make students ashamed of their own history.”
Speaking at an Independence Day celebration this summer, the president said, “Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains.”
Trump added: “There is no better example than that of the New York Times’ totally discredited 1619 Project” to re-write history to teach children that America was founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom. “All of this” he said, “is contrary to the fundamental premises underpinning our Republic: that all individuals are created equal and should be allowed an equal opportunity under the law to pursue happiness and prosper based upon individual merit.”
The 1619 Project is based upon “critical race theory,” a Marxist concept of “struggle” pitting races and sexes against each other by labeling them “oppressors” and the “oppressed”…then reinterpreting history as being rooted in this struggle.
More and more school districts across the country are all-in on creating programs to instruct K-12 administrators and teachers how to indoctrinate impressionable young minds not only that they live in a racist society, but that they and their parents (if white) forever carry the historical stain of slavery.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that is unaffiliated with the Pulitzer Prizes), reported that it has released 1619 project-related materials to more than 3,500 classrooms. Schools or school districts in Chicago; Newark, N.J.; Buffalo, N.Y.; and Washington, D.C. have produced 1619 Project-related events.
Referring to the 1619 Project as “educational malpractice,” the New York Post’s Editorial Board observed: “If this effort succeeds in shaping the nation’s youth — tomorrow’s leaders — it will be a grievous blow to this country’s noble experiment in liberty, in which Americans have always fought to make promises of the Declaration of Independence true for all its citizens.”
Horrific results of the most recent 2019 opinion survey conducted by the Victims of Communism (VOC) Memorial Foundation found that 7 in 10 Millennials (ages 23-38) said they are likely to vote for a socialist. Only one-in-two among the Millennials and Generation Z (ages 16-22) reported having a favorable opinion of capitalism.
It got even worse:
- About one-in-five Millennials (22%) believe that “society would be better if all private property was abolished” (compared to 1% of the Silent Generation).
- Communism was viewed favorably by more than one-in-three Millennials (36%), up 8 points from 2018.
- Slightly more than two-thirds of all respondents were unaware that the Hitler-Stalin pact started World War II.
- Only slightly more than half (57%) of Millennials (compared to 94% of the Silent Generation), believed that the Declaration of Independence better guarantees freedom and equality over the Communist Manifesto.
VOC Executive Director Marion Smith voiced alarm about evidence of “historical amnesia” on full display in the findings: “When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas.”
Smith urged, “We need to redouble our efforts to educate America’s youth about the history of communist regimes and the dangers of socialism today.”
This clearly isn’t happening.
According to U.S. Department of Education 1998 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data – the latest available – just 15 percent of American students were at or above the “proficient” level in history. Education Week magazine described this“National Report Card” as “an alarming result at a time of deep political polarization, economic uncertainty, and public upheaval in the United States.”
Fewer than one-in-four eight-graders performed at or above the proficiency level in civics.
These disturbing educational deficits begin at earliest grade levels and with assistance from ideologically biased curricula developers and deceptive teaching materials.
We have witnessed the tragic effects of deceptive and divisive Marxist narratives pushed upon brainwashed young Americans playing out in legitimate racial justice protests that devolve into anarchic mob riots, looting, massive property destruction, individual violence, and even murders.
Funded by rich and powerful individuals, companies and foundations, their expressed goal is to “fundamentally transform” what they portray as an evil America.
There is little or no hope of effectively addressing this Marxist invasion of our education systems until taxpayers and parents take a hard look at the historical truthfulness and balance that is being presented to young people in public school curricula and materials.
Although no substitute for public vigilance, a new nonprofit organization, the American Achievement Testing (AAT), in partnership with the National Association of Scholars (NAS), has received a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to design instructional materials for kindergarten through 12th grade U.S. history courses. NAS will also be reviewing mainstream history textbooks.
AAT has committed to address a current lack of historical context, yet to also reveal ‘warts and all’ that offers students accurate reasons to be proud and patriotic American citizens.
As historian Ashley Cruseturner, a professor at McLennan Community College aptly states, “History represents the preservation of our collective past as well as the study of change over time…The role of the historian encompasses a sacred duty to offer a multi-dimensional picture of the past (and the people of the past) in the context of the past.”
Honest and competent educators owe full and accurate credit to those wise and heroic American founders who bequeathed all of us countless reasons for gratitude too often taken for granted.