(05-27-2018, updated 08-02-2018) So segregation held African Americans back until the Civil Rights Movement. But there has been no institutional racism since, so they have no excuse for being less well off today, do they? And what about poor white people? Well, it just so happens that two recent reports dispute the myths about the wealth gap between whites and people of color.
(02-23-2018, updated 07-08-2018) The Black America Show: Slavery as Entertainment. Like Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show", but about the Old South. A news headline called it a show about the “Fun-Loving Darky of Old Slavery Days.” I kid you not. This may well have been the beginning of Southern revisionist history: whitewashing Southern slavery and romanticizing the antebellum South.
(10-30-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Fascism in America Part 11: Conclusion. Most of you Americans on the left were gobsmacked when Trump won the election. You completely underestimated his allure. So we now have a wanna-be fascist in the White House. Apart from dealing with the matter at hand, you all also have to think about post-Trump America.
(10-29-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Propaganda, Censorship and Other Suppression of Dissent. The fascist attitude: if you're not for us, you're against us and therefore an enemy of the state. Suppression of opposition is key. Book bans, book burning, press censorship, etc. The flip side of government suppression of dissent is government propaganda. Distorting facts and history to create a convenient story to force-feed to the masses.
(10-20-2017-updated 07-08-2018) Respect: American For Blind Submission to the Authorities. Americans, you sacrifice too many freedoms to institutions. The president should not be an adored god, the police are not heroes (as a collective group) and you pay schools to educate and care for your children, not to police them. It's ridiculous how you let them abuse their powers to the extent that they do. Powers that, half the time, they shouldn't even have,You really need to take a step back and have a good look.
(09-05-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Optimists still think that the white supremacists in Charlottesville were outliers, or that this is when everything changes. I'm not that optimistic. Too many Americans can't distinguish between patriotism and nationalism, let alone malignant nationalism. Or why that's important. To many outsiders America already lives with "a very quiet kind of fascism". I've always felt that America is primed for a fascist takeover. I'm sure most readers will still think, even after Charlottesville, that I'm overreacting, But I don't think I am.
(08-15-2017, updated 07-12-2018) How To Bring Effective History Education To American Public Schools. So, Charlottesville happened. Trump is to blame, as well as all Trump supporters. It was 100% predictable. Only the willfully ignorant didn't see this coming. "Wir haben es nicht gewuβt" hasn't been a valid excuse since 1946, and neither is not knowing what that means.
(08-14-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Hostages, Domestic Abuse Victims, White Southerners, Working-Class Trump Supporters and Cognitive Dissonance. I read this and sympathized. Just like Trump's base always believes him, despite overwhelming evidence that he's lying. They won't face facts either. Why do they act against their own interests? Collective Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Wife Syndrome could offer some insight.
(07-29-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Concerning Trump's speech to the Boy Scouts of America at the 2017 National Jamboree. Dear Boy Scouts of America (BSA) parents, those of you who were shocked, livid, dismayed, appalled, about Trump's speech at this year's National Jamboree, Tom Horneman probably spoke for a lot of you when he wanted the BSA to apologize.
(01-31-2016, updated 07-14-2018) Surprise? Only in America and only to Americans. In an otherwise good article, Ann Marie Cox claims that Trump's success in this GOP primary race could not have been foreseen with logic or by looking at history. Really?
(11-20-2015, updated 07-14-2018) What Americans should learn in History class: Just because something starts off small doesn't mean it's not a big deal. In an interview on NPR a few people discussed Trump's Muslim registration and identification plans. One person immediately brought up the Holocaust. Another thought it wouldn't hurt anyone to just register Muslims and require a Muslim ID.
(11-18-2015, updated 07-14-2018) This explains American lack of historical perspective, the weird nationalist pride, the idolization of individuals and the notion that universities are communist breeding grounds. Loewen argues that high school history textbooks are the source of the problem.
(11-17-2015- updated 07-14-2018) Historical bibliographies with unimportant anecdotes, alphabetically arranged; wars are about dates of battles and numbers killed -- I can see why kids think, "Why even bother?"
(11-12-2015) This is when high school history education comes in handy, if you've had any. The 2016 presidential election campaign is in full swing and the angry goldfish at the top of the GOP presidential candidate polls blames all the country's woes on a vulnerable group in society--undocumented immigrants in this case.
(11-01-2015, updated 07-14-2018) Both the police force and the school were okay with letting Ben Fields loose on kids, and so, apparently, are many others. The Spring Valley High School SRO had two lawsuits filed against him, for excessive violence and for targeting black students. Were these the first ever incidents that he was perceived as violent and racist? It's possible. But one his nicknames was Officer Slam.
(10-29-2015, updated 07-14-2018) When and why did it become acceptable to have Officer Slam in school? And why is discipline seen as the be-all, end-all in American public education? If you had asked me last week what a school resource officer was, I wouldn't have known, but my guess would have been someone who was somehow involved in directing students to the appropriate resources for whatever they needed, be it the school library, the counselor, a local college, whatever. But no, SROs--School Resource Officers--are police officers who have been placed in public schools "to keep the students safe".
(10-28-2015, updated 07-14-2018) If you're black in a public high school in South Carolina, using your phone in class can be extremely dangerous. When a sixteen-year-old girl at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was caught with her phone, the teacher told her to hand it over. She refused. The teacher then ordered her to go to the principal's office. She refused.The teacher called the assistant principal, who then told her to leave the classroom. She refused. So the assistant principal sicced the cop--excuse me, I mean School Resources Officer Ben Fields--on her.
(07-05-2015, updated 07-14-2018) Don't blame the Koch brothers for bad American history education -- it was always terrible. When I saw this video on Facebook, it didn't surprise me how many Americans don't know that the Fourth of July celebrates the American Revolution, and independence from Britain. What did surprise me, although I suppose it shouldn't have, were a lot of the comments blaming the GOP and the Koch Brothers.
(03-19-2014, updated 07-15-2018) What should history education be: the battles (and the dates and the dead) or the reasons they were fought? Let me pause for a moment and make an even stronger disclaimer than I made in last night's post. My focus is on slavery in this series of posts, so I focus on slavery when discussing the Civil War.