Hat Tip to Big Hollywood.
Children are uniquely malleable beings, readily convinced of magically colorful tales – Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy are the first that come to mind. This innocence is beautiful, but it is a quality that can easily fall victim to radically foreign ideas if taught consistently and pervasively at an early age. One need only look at the birth of fascism or socialism to see a recipe for how radical ideas become ubiquitous among a nation’s youth.
Enter Howard Zinn – an author, professor and American historian – who, with the help of Hollywood and the History Channel, intends to change the way our pre-K through high school children learn American history. His current curriculum suggestions, like introducing three-year-olds to the lynching of African-Americans, or quizzing seven-year-olds on which Presidents owned slaves, should be a red flag to parents.
Zinn has spent a lifetime teaching college students about the evils of capitalism, the promise of Marxism, and his version of American history – a history that has, in his view, been kept from students. His controversial 1980-book The People’s History of the United States paints traditional American history as a façade – one that has grotesquely immortalized flawed leaders and is based on principles that victimize the common man. In 2004, Zinn wrote a companion book entitled Voices Of A People’s History Of The United States, which includes speeches and writings from many of the people featured in The People’s History.
These two books have now become the basis for a new documentary, entitled The People Speak, to be aired December 13th at 8pm on the History Channel. The trailer portrays the documentary as a collage of compelling one-person readings, told through the words of “ordinary” people who have struggled throughout American history against oppression. Produced by Zinn, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Chris Moore, the documentary appears to be cloaked, ironically (given Zinn’s admitted socialist agenda), in many of the traditional ideas that were behind our founding. The verdict is still out on the doc, but it is not for the books that inspired the film as well as the educational initiative associated with it.
Perhaps due to their one-sided perspective of America’s past, Zinn’s history books have largely been limited to colleges and universities, until now. In the press release announcing the broadcast, HISTORY introduced a partnership with VOICES Of A People’s History Of The United States, a nonprofit led by Zinn that bares the same name as his companion book, to help get his special brand of history into classrooms.
Delving into Zinn’s nonprofit is where this story gets interesting, and the organization’s grade school educational ambitions concerning.
VOICES’ function is to provide live performances of readings from the book Voices of a People’s History as well as educational materials to schoolteachers. The nonprofit’s site provides teachers with resources, including a teaching guide that explains how to get students excited about Zinn’s history books. Their educational materials also includes the Zinn Education Project, a resource for teaching Zinn’s perspective of American history to – drum roll please – pre-Kindergarten through high school students! Included in the curriculum for pre-K students (that’s three and four year-olds) is “Rethinking Columbus,” which counters “the myth of Columbus.” In Zinn’s view, our pre-K children “need to hear from those whose lands and rights were taken away by those who ‘discovered’ them.”
Another teaching lesson for our three-year-old students is “One Country! One Language! One Flag!” that includes teaching ideas for “examining the history of the Pledge of Allegiance and the political milieu in which it was written.” The teaching plan suggests introducing our pre-K-ers to the lynching of African-Americans in the 1880s, and introducing the history of violence and discrimination against minority groups. It also proposes a discussion on an old “One Language!” chant allegedly used in classrooms up until 1942, and poses teachers with the question, “Why not lead kids in the original Pledge to the Flag, including the ‘One Language!’ chant and the Nazi-like salute, and then lead a discussion about the politics of the Pledge?”
……The background of the board of directors and advisers of VOICES’ can only be described as jaw dropping and begins to show a clear motive behind teaching this predominantly anti-American history at such a young age.
Aside from the involvement of Hollywood actors, the participants in this shit pile of anti-American propaganda includes Brian Jones, a New York teacher, actor, and frequent contributor to the Socialist Worker, Sarah Knopp, a Los Angeles high school teacher on Zinn’s Teacher Advisory Board who also writes for the Socialist Worker, and Jesse Sharkey, a schoolteacher in Chicago, member of Zinn’s Teacher Advisory Board, and writer for the Socialist Worker.
It’s incredible that the History Channel is aiding and abetting this repugnant nihilist indoctrination of school children.
Zinn leveled his hatred toward America during a 2006 4th of July column:
……Is not nationalism — that devotion to a flag, an anthem, a boundary so fierce it engenders mass murder — one of the great evils of our time, along with racism, along with religious hatred?
These ways of thinking — cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on — have been useful to those in power, and deadly for those out of power.
National spirit can be benign in a country that is small and lacking both in military power and a hunger for expansion (Switzerland, Norway, Costa Rica and many more). But in a nation like ours — huge, possessing thousands of weapons of mass destruction — what might have been harmless pride becomes an arrogant nationalism dangerous to others and to ourselves.
Our citizenry has been brought up to see our nation as different from others, an exception in the world, uniquely moral, expanding into other lands in order to bring civilization, liberty, democracy.
Newsflash Howard: On that last sentence, you’re goddamned right. Not that you appreciate the civilization, liberty, and democracy which endows the unfettered opportunity to vomit your bile without fear of being dragged off to a gulag. Howard would rather have American citizens “cultivated, nurtured, indoctrinated from childhood on” with the communist totalitarian philosophy of Vladimir Illyich Lenin. Considering Lenin’s catastrophic legacy, his way would be so much better. More often than not, the “small benign countries lacking in military power” benefit from our foreign aid largess and usually look to us for protection.
Not one of the dedicated communists/socialists involved with this project has ever spent time or actually lived in a socialist/communist State. Most of the radical effetes fortunate enough to be born in a free country, never do. They just conveniently excercise guaranteed free speech rights; trashing the very country and the military that protects those freedoms. The country they despise so much provided them with a good education, a good livelihood, lots of eeeeevil capitalist money, and a forum for their inane bullshit.
Only a leftwingnut would believe that overthrowing a Democratic Republic in favor of a Communist system is a wonderful idea.
Zinn himself was born in Brooklyn, NY, and claims that his experience flying Air Force bombing missions for the United States in World War II, somehow shaped his opposition to war. Dropping bombs on the belligerent Axis powers who started WWII, was apparently more repulsive than defending the democracies they attacked.
This is rich:
Zinn’s one-man play Marx in SoHo provides an example of his attempt to reestablish the socialist ideology. The play, created in 1999, places Marx in New York after bargaining with the authorities of the after-life for a chance to come back to earth to clear his name. At the end of the cold war, Zinn felt that Marxism was unfairly discredited through being anchored to the fall of the Soviet Union. Through the play, Zinn wanted “the audience to see Marx defending his ideas against attack.”
Too bad Zinn isn’t honest enough to show and discuss the body count of Lenin’s “legacy”.
Communism only killed about 100, 000,000 people. Let’s give it another chance.
Fuckwads like Zinn tend to hide under a rock until the United States goes to war. The latest thing that put a wild hair up their ass is that America fought back after being attacked by the latest focus of leftwing sympathy—“the peaceful practitioners of Islam”.
Zinn’s specialized history revisions are replete with ‘America and “white” people are bad’.
Two months after Zinn’s 4th of July screed, Dennis Prager conducted an interview with this addle-brained moron, and as you can surmise by the transcript, Zinn isn’t exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. His entire view of history is an endless blame America fest while minimizing the atrocities and brutality of the enemies we fought.
The truth about history is a bit more complicated than the “whitey is responsible for all the world’s problems” crap that he spews.
If anyone thinks the “native American Indians” were all about “peace, love, and Kumbaya” until the Europeans showed up, they’re just plain stupid. The tribes that occupied this continent, as well as Central and South America, were some of the most blood thirsty cutthroats on the planet. They fought, slaughtered, and conquered each other for eons. And as for the Blacks, some of their own people sold them into slavery.
There isn’t one ethnic group on this earth who hasn’t been kicked around or done its own kicking. I’m Irish-Scots-German-Cherokee. I’m not ashamed of any part of my heritage. I will never apologize for my ancestry.
As for the History Channel, after this gawd-awful, obscenely skewed “documentary”, it owes a big apology to its viewers.