America’s mistakes shouldn’t be ignored

When ByteDance, Oracle, and WalMart were in talks to purchase the social media service TikTok, President Donald Trump voiced his support. However, as a part of that deal, he wants $5 billion to be funneled into education.

This $5 billion would go towards teaching Americans the “real history of our country — the real history, not the fake history.” This comes not too long after the President stated he would defund schools teaching the 1619 Project; a project where the goal is to reframe the nations history and development through the lens of slavery and racism.

When brought to his attention that California may have implemented the 1619 Project into its public schools, Trump said in a tweet, “Department of Education is looking at this. If so, they will not be funded!”

The President is concerned about liberal indoctrination. At his Mount Rushmore rally, Trump said, “In our schools … there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance … Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that they were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.”

The issue with this response is that it is doing the exact same thing it is reprimanding. It is telling Americans to not think, to just believe that the people who founded the country and the choices they made were morally and ethically correct. That we should have a blind love for our country and not push for change where people see the need for it. It calls for complacency.

A misconception that the president has is that all people who criticize our country do it out of hate. In fact, some of the most critical people of a thing are the ones who like it the most.

In my creative writing classes, we don’t just pat each other on the back; we often spend more time telling each other what doesn’t work and where the problems are.

We don’t do this to be mean, or because we don’t have good things to say as well, which we always do. We are critical of each other because that is how you improve. It is more useful to acknowledge your shortcomings and work on improving them than to just receive compliments. I would expect someone to criticise my work just as much as I would theirs.

This is a far-right, biased response to a thought experiment that uses real American history to connect the dots between where we came from and where we are today. The point of studying history is to look at what happened, the causes and effects, and to learn what we can from it. This view of history as a celebration of America is dangerous and would do more of a disservice to American children than the 1619 Project would.

If “real history” is ignoring the bad, idolizing the good, and not allowing people to think critically about the past of their country, then the “real history” is useless and shouldn’t be taught at all.

 

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