If you are stuck at the Atlanta airport at the moment, maybe you aren’t in the mood to appreciate their invention, but this is the 114th anniversary of the Wright Brothers.
I wrote in VDARE back in 2010:
For more than forty years, the teaching business has been completely dominated by the prejudices of the Sixties People, whose Gramscian “long march through the institutions” has left them in control of the schools.
What is striking to somebody like me, who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s, is the subsequent lack of generational rebellion. Kids these days tend toward intellectual conformism. They trust anyone over 30 who tells them what everybody else is telling them.
Why have the Sixties People proven so enduring in molding young people’s minds? My theory: The Sixties mindset—aggrieved, resentful, and unrealistic—is perfectly attuned to appeal permanently to the worst instincts of adolescents.
And yet young people do have a finer side—their hunger for heroes—that history books once tried to fulfill rather than exploit. For example, I was galvanized in 1975 when I read Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s tribute in his Oxford History of the American People to Orville and Wilbur Wright:
“Few things in our history are more admirable than the skill, the pluck, the quiet self-confidence, the alertness to reject fixed ideas and to work out new ones, and the absence of pose and publicity, with which these Wright brothers made the dream of ages—man’s conquest of the air—come true.”
But the Wright brothers aren’t the kind of heroes we like anymore. In our Age of Oprah, rather than Heroes of Accomplishment, we are addicted to Heroes of Suffering. ….
This Heroes of Suffering fetish is exacerbated in modern history textbooks by the “diversity” imperative.
Take, for example, one US history textbook widely used in high school Advanced Placement courses and in college courses: Nation of Nations: A Narrative History of the American Republic (McGraw-Hill, Fourth Edition).
It’s in many ways an impressive book. The amount of labor that went into it is enormous. And, as you notice the political mandates under which the five historian co-authors labored, you begin to feel sorry for them.
You feel even sorrier for the students, however. The need to include a huge amount of material celebrating each politically organized diversity group has bloated the textbook to 1277 oversized pages. It costs $108.78 on Amazon, and weighs in at a vertebrae-compressing 5.4 pounds.
That’s child abuse! If a kid is assigned five textbooks this massive, that’s a backpack that weighs 27 pounds.
No wonder high school students seldom ride bicycles to school anymore. They’re so top-heavy they’d topple over.
Celebrating diversity just take a lot of space. Even with a tome this immense, diversity awareness means that there isn’t room in all 1277 pages to mention…the Wright brothers. …