17 May 2011

3rd Graders Are Being Taught To Hate Their Country

One of the topics that is germane to any blog which discusses history is education. That is, of course, applicable here. The future of any nation depends, to one degree or another, on how history is transferred from one generation to the next. When I was in grade school, I was taught to love my country and that our economic system allowed the United States to lead the world in its standard of living as well as freedom and liberty. I was not taught to hate my country. Our textbooks did not contain vulgar profanity.

Sadly, this is no longer the case in the United States, at least not in all parts of the country. Over the years I've been blogging here, I've had academics and various persons involved in education mock my contention that radical, leftist ideology was being taught at all levels of education in the United States. I've also pointed out that these individuals are either:

                               1. Ignorant fools.
                               2. Complicit liars.

Once again, I'd like to share with readers more "anecdotal" evidence that my concerns are legitimate and that those who would deny this are . . . see 1 and 2 above.

From a book being used in Arizona, children as young as those in the third grade are reading:

“We have to destroy capitalism and we have to help 5/6 of the world to destroy capitalism in order to equal all peoples’ lives. . . The Declaration of Independence states that we the people have the right to revolution…the right to overrule the government…Any country based on capitalism is based on greed.”

Fomenting hatred and revolution to third graders. Quite a lot to swallow in between peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They are also being read the "F" word in class as well as "S***". Recently, at a public school board meeting in AZ, a concerned parent spoke of her concerns about this particular book. She was admonished by one of the board members to refrain from using that type of language because there were "young people" in the room. Yeah, I know. 

A year or so ago, the academic world got their shorts all knotted up over the Texas text book issue because of, ostensibly, "right wing" ideology in history books. Let's just see how many of those same academics are concerned about this story. I predict not one.

This story illustrates the ultimate fruit that is borne of those who embrace an "anti-American Exceptionalism" position in teaching history. I'm not going to embed the video which was recorded at the board meeting here due to the language, but the source for this story is here


msimons said...


Check this out Richard!!!!

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Mike. Yes, I had read about that. Years ago when folks noted offense regarding the Confederate flag, I predicted it was just a matter of time before others noted the same offense at Old Glory. Many of the same arguments apply. Its a slippery slope.

The Warrior said...

Excellent post, you're dead-on. I will cross-post this one.

Michael Lynch said...

What grade is using the book, and how is it being used? Are they using this material as an example of anti-capitalist and anti-American points of view to be debated, or are they presenting the textbook content as undisputed fact? If it's the latter, then I'll be the first in line to condemn it.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hey Michael - if you'll go to the link, there are more details there. I believe it is "poetry."

Regardless of how its being presented, I don't think its appropriate for 3rd graders.

Michael Lynch said...

I watched the video again, and it's being used in a high school class, and is evidently from one of multiple books used in the course.

I think there are two issues here.

First, there's the issue of the language. I'm not crazy about the use of profanity in high school reading material. When I was in HS we had to read a number of classic literary works that had suggestive themes and language (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A Shining Season, etc.), and that I can understand, but in this case I think the material probably wasn't the wisest choice.

Second, there's the issue of the content itself, the anti-American and anti-capitalist stuff. Since this is for an ethnic studies class, I'm not quite as shocked and appalled by it as I was when I first read your post. An ethnic studies course is, after all, supposed to take into account the viewpoints of the groups being studied, and there is undeniably and understandably quite a bit of suspicion toward American capitalism in the Latin world.

Again, I'd want to see how this material is being used. Provoking a discussion in class with controversial material is both legitimate and occasionally necessary; indoctrination is not. If this is being used in such a way as to achieve the latter, then Houston, we have a problem. Without knowing whether this is the case, I object to the language thing more than the content. This is a story to keep an eye on to see what develops.

If the class is just bringing this up as one manifestation of Hispanic reactions to American politics and culture, then fine--but I think they could probably find examples a little more suited to a high school classroom.

Incidentally, I think the lady speaking to the school board mistranslated the tense of one of those Spanish swear words.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

The parent reading the material clearly states she contacted officials and then states the book was being used with 3rd graders.

"If the class is just bringing this up as one manifestation of Hispanic reactions to American politics and culture, then fine--but I think they could probably find examples a little more suited to a high school classroom."

I would agree, as long as there is a counter viewpoint expressed - how other Americans feel about the Hispanic reactions.

Fair enough?

Thanks for the input Michael. We're probably fairly close in how we view this.

Michael Lynch said...

You're right--she does say they told her it was being used in third grade, which is inappropriate both for the language and for the material itself, which seems to me a little too advanced to be used in a third-grade classroom. That's weird.

If her information is correct, then somebody on the curriculum committee needs his head examined.


Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Agreed. Thanks for stopping by.

13thBama said...

Maybe for the 3rd grade class they could say "Class, we just finished 'Everybody Poops' and this book is proof of that."