May 22, 2010

Covered in hope and vaseline still cannot fix this broken machine

Nine Inch Nails, "Gave Up". Fitting!

Education means NOTHING. For a nation that takes so much pride in educating young citizens we sure do fail them over and over.

So I hope by now you've all seen this news about the Texas School Board attempting to gonna rewrite American history to white conservative sentiments. You can look at some of the horror here.

And here.

Unsurprisingly I had an angrier post in mind when I started crafting this, but as often happens when I'm mad, I stopped, took a nap, and wasn't as miffed anymore. I mean, I assure you I'm still MAD in the same sense that I get mad at all ridiculous things our fair country does. I had to concede defeat to myself in that I just don't get this.

I asked myself some questions (aside from the cynical "Why does raw fear drive weak men so much?" bwaahaaa.)

I just don't get the purpose of effectively brainwashing millions of school children to this silly conservative worldview, I guess. Every time I take a history course, even in university, I always find something that was hidden from me in high school or even further back. Why? When I was in grade school we all knew the Civil War was pretty much driven by slavery among other things, then suddenly in middle school it was "states rights" without making any of the obvious connections.

In grade school Native Americans were our friends who, unfortunately, contracted diseases from European settlers and died off. No mention of how, uhh, they didn't ALL die and how it was way less benign than little cartoons tell us.

Columbus discovered America. All this shit. All this either completely untrue or only the best part of the story. And it's not that elementary school kids are too young to understand things like genocide but we just never bother to rectify that when they get older and go on telling lies. We're going to keep sanitizing and sanitizing and people are going to keep wondering why minority groups are mad at them because THEY. KNOW. NOTHING.

I don't know what we're so afraid of. The truth of history isn't any more or less painful than the present--but obviously we can't make those connections because we like to bury our history under huge boulders and pray for fossilization. Then we can argue that too.

So what I'm saying is, obviously, this is ri-goddamn-diculous and, what's worse, serves NO PURPOSE AT ALL other than smug victory. How long are we going to keep hiding, dicking around with vulnerable minds? How long is a frightened group of people going to keep fucking with the kids, until we're back to the days of alchemy? Dark Ages? What must it take? And don't tell me homeschooling is the answer as if everyone is somehow privileged enough to do that either. This garbage we're going to call "factual" from now on makes me sick in ways I can't even tell you about. I'm still haunted by one of my students insisting to me that Native Americans presumably had died out before America was founded and that's what makes us "free". In the face of that I couldn't even say anything! Just gape. Is that REALLY what we're going to be teaching?

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