Sign Of The Apocalypse?

One of the more insidious movements in this country is that toward the rewriting of history– eliminating unpleasant facts from the history books. This movement is perhaps a part of the New History movement about which I have blogged in the past — the attempt to reduce history to a form of literature, giving special attention to minor historical figures that have been ignored in the past (probably with good reason!)

In any event, one does wonder why this sort of censorship is not only allowed, but encouraged — even by the Texas State Board of Education which has decided to erase any mention of Hillary Clinton from the history textbooks in order to “streamline” history. As a recent Yahoo news story tells us:

The Texas State Board of Education voted Friday to remove mentions of Hillary Clinton and Helen Keller from the state’s mandatory history curriculum . . .  The Dallas Morning News reported.

The changes are part of an effort to selectively ”streamline” information in history classes for some 5.4 million schoolchildren.

The board also voted to keep in the curriculum a reference to the “heroism” of the defenders of the Alamo, which had been recommended for elimination, as well as Moses’ influence on the writing of the nation’s founding documents, multiple references to “Judeo-Christian” values and a requirement that students explain how the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict” in the Middle East.

Ignoring, if we can, the multiple absurdities these no-minds have decided to make public policy, let’s simply consider the elimination for any reference to Hillary Clinton. Whether or not one is a fan of Mrs. Clinton, she is an important part of American history — not only as a recent presidential candidate who outdrew her opponent by 3 million votes, but also as a former Secretary of State and Senator from New York. And, of course, she was married to a sitting president throughout his eight years in office. One wonders what the hell is going on between the ears of those in Texas who voted for this move. But, then, it is Texas — the state that wanted to secede from the Union in 2017 because they were not pleased with the way the Federal Government was behaving. And it is a state in which, according to a recent study, three-fifths of the high school biology teachers think evolution is a fiction and that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time. These same teachers deny that DNA has anything to do with heredity. Biology teachers, not students.

As far as the other determinations by the Board, we must suppose they were smoking something potent and their collective brains were just a tad cloudy. No?

In any event, one continues to wonder where this country will end up as it drifts slowly but inexorably toward the deep morass of stupidity and self-satisfaction.



31 thoughts on “Sign Of The Apocalypse?

  1. The tendency of all nations is to paint themselves white even during times of war. I’m old enough to remember the British Empire which painted the atlas red , and land of hope and glory is sung with vigor every year on the last night of the Proms. Mother of the free it continues as if we encouraged freedom in all our dominions.
    President Macron has apologised for the cruelty of France in the Algerian conflict a bold step to admitting his country is not faultless.
    Is any nation faultless ? is any person without blame ? is the human character one of goodness and generosity?
    The distasteful side of history tends to be quietly forgotten and the history books are bias towards the county they are written in. The pulling down of statutes and monuments is an attempt to erase the past and some argue that errecting statutes is worshipping the ideas and concepts that those men and women stood for.
    If we bear in mind what human nature is like it will help us to unravel history and we must endeavour to read different accounts to avoid deception.

    • It is a tendency, certainly. But that does not excuse it! History should try to tell us the whole story as accurately as possible, warts and all — given all the qualifications necessary regarding human fallibility. But this action on the part of the Texas School Board beggars belief!

  2. Hugh, I hate to say this, but there is a slow and insidious movement toward addressing the changing demographics in America. The rewriting of history to expunge things that could get in the way of that movement toward protecting the rights of white Americans is part of this. The advancement of Donald Trump is just part of this. The nationalist doctrine espoused by Trump and Steve Bannon is part of this. The pressure to restrict voting rights through ALEC is part of this. The acquiescence to a white Russia and its LGBT bashing is part of this. And, the push to get 34 states to get a Constitutional convention (they have 28 states) is part of this – a key measure would be to revoke an amendment to make Senators appointed again.

    I know this sounds very conspiratorial. Yet, there are some people much smarter than me who have said this is the Koch long game they hatched twenty years ago. I started to see some of this about two years ago when Trump was campaigning with his nationalistic message.

    This is a key reason that Dems must get out and vote this fall. Keith

  3. Dear Hugh … this did indeed leave me breathless, for I spent what little breath I had emitting a long, drawn-out primal screech upon reading the first paragraph. I am still grumbling under my breath and shaking with rage. HOW DARE THEY??? History = facts … who, what, why, when, where and how. It is NOT subject to the opinion of white, southern “Christians”!!! I expect revisionist history from, say, Nazi German back in the 1930s-40s, but not the U.S.! And yet, I suspect Keith’s points are well taken also. I am re-blogging this … I wasn’t aware of it, and I’m sure there are others who are not. I jokingly told Gronda the other day that she and I should collaborate on writing a history of the current era. Now I’m thinking maybe we really should!

    • The problem will come when they start owning publishing houses and restrict what books can be published and it will be only the ones with the history they want out there for the public. And then of course, they will have to control the internet (which will virtually be impossible) and other countries will still have our histories, so it will be a tough constriction for the rulers.

      Remember Fahrenheit 451?

      • You paint a picture that has run through my own mind more than once. I wish I could say, “it will never happen”, and frankly I think the likelihood is slim, but I won’t say ‘never’, for things are happening today that I would have said, “No way” if anybody had told me 5 years ago. Yes, I remember Fahrenheit 451 and also 1984. Sigh.

  4. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    When I first began reading Hugh’s post, I inadvertently let out a primal scream, and after another paragraph, slammed the lid on my laptop, got up and reheated a small bowl of rice before I could finish reading the post. This may not sound like an endorsement for the post, but believe me, it is. Hugh has brought to light something that is happening today that has far longer reaching and outlasting consequences than any of the many abominations tied to Donald Trump. The subject? The re-writing of history, the replacing of facts with opinions. Please, please take a few minutes to read Hugh’s excellent post and think about what he is saying. Get your bowl of rice before you start, though. Thank you, dear Hugh, for bringing this to our attention, and for your generous permission to share.

  5. Three fifths of the biology teachers believe in the creationist theory in Texas? Maybe it’s time to cut Texas adrift and see how it survives on it’s own. At least the sane people may leave and join the sane states while your nutters may go and request asylum there.Hell, build a wall.

  6. We are doomed. I wish we could split the US into two countries…one liberal, educated, inclusive and secular. The other conservative, religious, uneducated and bigoted. Otherwise, the latter is going to drag us all down and ruin everything.

  7. Wow… I am speechless. One expects this from a tin pot dictatorship with a funny sounding name, but not from the world’s leading nation (which it still is, but perhaps not for much longer). 👀

  8. Dear Hugh,

    When my children were younger, I taught them a lot about history, geography and social studies from home because I lived in Florida. History was a favorite subject of my ex-father-in-law who also shared with them.

    I am appalled about how much young people don’t know about these subjects.

    And then to leave important historical figures out of US textbooks is an added outrage.

    Austin is a lovely place but it seems to be the exception in Texas. But the landscape is changing.

    I’ve been staying in Minnesota as my son and family have moved here from Denver. I was thrilled to learn this, as their schools tend to be outstanding.

    My 16 year old grandson has been telling me how impressed he is with how Minnesotans make investing in schools, one of their top priorities, for real.

    Republicans don’t get why headquarters of the numerous companies located here don’t move due to the higher tax rates. It’s because the executives like the top notch delivery of services like education, health care, infrastructure development, access to better educated population, etc. Places like Florida have not gotten the picture.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • As one who has lived, taught, and raised two sons in Minnesota since the late 60s, you don’t have to sell the state to me!! I am delighted you are here and that you have been impressed. Yes, the taxes are high, and I have seen retired folks leave to find states where the taxes are lower. But those taxes, for the most part, contribute to a fairly strong education system, among other things. One of my pet peeves (and I have many, as you probably have noticed) is those who live here for years educating their children and even drawing their livelihood from the tax coffers who leave once their kids have grown up and they are no longer receiving an income from the state. My wife and I chose to remain here after retirement precisely so we could give something back and continue to pay the taxes that help maintain a strong education system.

  9. The south, including Texas, is very behind in all the things you mention…
    I blame it on poor education, generally more poverty, more religious in the far right variety and more racist.

    • Education is the key. Where there are strong educational institutions — such as Austin, Texas and Charlottesville, Virginia, one can expect greater enlightenment. But outside the cities where there are viable universities and colleges it’s dark, indeed.

  10. A worrying trend Hugh.
    Yet History and the Social perversity of Humanity might have the last laugh.
    You remember in our youth we thought all this sort of nonsense would be consigned to foot notes in history, and yet here it is. The suppression of facts.
    Well, the more you supress something the more interesting it becomes, particularly to the younger generation to whom ‘No’ is just an invitation to do it.
    So as these folk toiled to make their own versions A Fact, so will come a generation (or even sooner) behind them who will unravel all their ‘hard’ work.
    ( And I would not been surprised if a ‘bunch of kids with attitude’ from some part of Texas form a rock or metal band named ‘Hilary Clinton’- all guys of course!)

  11. Dr. Curtler,

    Once again, an important topic.

    James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me makes the argument that the more high school students study history, the more ignorant of history they become.

    One of the principal reasons for this, he says, is the practices and undue influence of the Texas State Board of Education. The last chapter of the book is dedicated to a discussion of this topic.

    I highly recommend this book and others by the same author, for example, Lies Across America, which recounts the actual historical backgrounds of many “historic” monuments.


    Jerry Stark

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