Friday, October 3, 2014

Jingoism isn't up to snuff

The school board of Jefferson County, Colorado, under conservative control, declared history classes should be purged of anything that is "unpatriotic." High school students walked out in protest. Conservatives responded by declaring students must be pawns of the teachers' union. Apparently, students are incapable of thinking for themselves. Joseph Palermo of Huffington Post put it this way:
Young people today have lived their entire lives under the shadow of multiple foreign wars, the worst economic collapse in 75 years, and governing institutions dominated by Koch Brothers plutocrats that seem wholly unresponsive to the needs of the people. They've been exposed to terrorist attacks and beheadings by America's vast array of enemies, and are now urged to get behind yet another American war in Syria. They've lived through the dashed hopes of the Obama presidency, and they've been subjected to fossil fuel industry propaganda telling them to bury their heads in the sand about global warming.

They've also lived through the Occupy Wall Street movement's exposure of the bankers' crimes, and ongoing racial conflict like we've seen recently in Ferguson, Missouri. The same week their protests broke out calling for critical thinking in their American history courses the world saw the giant People's Climate March in New York City. The student demonstrations in Jefferson County are about the present as much as they are about the past.

Given what they've seen throughout their childhoods it's not surprising that these kids would sense that the jingoistic version of American history that their right-wing school board wants to spoon feed them isn't up to snuff.

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