Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Oklahoma hates History

Oklahoma bill would make AP U.S. History history

Updated 9:00 AM ET, Wed February 18, 2015

Why would anyone think that it was a good idea to get rid of Advanced Placement History courses?

What's their beef? The course, which was redesigned by the College Board and implemented in high school classrooms last year, isn't quite pro-America enough. 

Ohhhhh, of course! They have no idea what the purpose of History is!
They think that the purpose of History is to make you feel good about the past.
Oh, and also to implant right-wing ideology, of course.

"In essence, we have a new emphasis on what is bad about America," said state representative Dan Fisher, the measure's chief sponsor.
"(The new framework) trades an emphasis on America's founding principles of Constitutional government in favor of robust analyses of gender and racial oppression and class ethnicity and the lives of marginalized people, where the emphasis on instruction is of America as a nation of oppressors and exploiters," Fisher lamented at a legislative committee hearing Tuesday.

Right, we can't have History classes that talk about all the history. We have to skip over the few minor little bad things that America might have done, if you believe the nay-sayers. You know, minor missteps like slavery, genocide, not letting women vote, lynchings, Vietnam, etc.

For instance, the bill to replace AP History with whatever they're going to call the "pro-America" class would require the reading of:

Founding documents of the United States that contributed to
the foundation or maintenance of the representative form of limited
government, the free-market economic system and American exceptionalism Oh, fer fuck sake. . . .

"American Exceptionalism" isn't really a thing. It's a fallacy, like the maturation of odds, or "if you're a cop, you have to tell me."

Up until the rise of the Tea Party and the elevation of ignorance to a virtue, if someone said that you believe in American exceptionalism, they were making fun of you.

The bill would also mandate the inclusion of

the sermon known as
"A Model of Christian Charity" by John Winthrop
the sermon known as
"Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by Jonathan Edwards

In a public school, you want them reading sermons?

We had to read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" in high school, but I went to a fundamentalist Lutheran high school, and even we were appalled by "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." The whole point of this sermon is that God may, at any time just decide to fling you into eternal hellfire because he has serious anger management issues. It's pretty horrifying.

And oddly, since the bill's sponsors object to "robust analyses of gender and racial oppression and class ethnicity and the lives of marginalized people," the new curricula would include:

the letter known as the "Letter from Birmingham Jail"
written by Martin Luther King, Jr.

the I Have a Dream speech made by Martin Luther King,

the Ballot or the Bullet speech made by Malcolm X

Which won't make a lot of sense when you're pretending that America has never done anything bad like segregation or Jim Crow or whatever. But then again, what does make sense in Oklahoma anymore?