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As I retire from teaching, exchanging my piece of chalk for a journalist’s pen, I can’t help but dole out a parting shot to the textbook publishers. I have tolerated them, I have tried to turn a blind eye to their machinations, their half-truths, their lies by omission, their lies of commission. The time has come now to settle accounts. It may turn into a series of essays, or perhaps a lifetime of excoriation. And despite my retirement, my life extends far into the horizon, I am not old. So wrote T.S. Eliot, “Life is very long.”

Literature textbooks insist on including material by “diverse” authors, most of which clearly should not be there. By “should not” I mean to say that this literature has no literary merit. As readers know well, this is done in the name of multiculturalism. But one could also say that the textbook publishers have a real agenda—something more nefarious—in addition to the purported agenda.

Do minority students care about reading literature from their own? Experience tells me no, a resounding no. Most students viscerally dislike all literature, with the possible exception of young adult books about vampires, which some girls enjoy. Further, literature which is dealing explicitly with cultural and racial issues is simply awkward reading in a diverse classroom.

To qualify that last idea: students prefer easily comprehensible literature, and diverse authors such as Gwendolyn Brooks are easy to read. They’re easy to read because they merely scratch the surface of artistic depth. They lack the subtlety of meaning, and majesty of language, and are therefore quite straightforward in theme and diction. This makes diverse literature admittedly well suited to the literal minds of adolescents.

The purported agenda of the educational complex is to reflect diversity of the students and raise their self-esteem. The practical outcome of this philosophy is a literature curriculum which actually more resembles a civil rights social justice curriculum. From Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King, English class has become “down for the struggle.”

As an example, I sometimes ask students what their favorite speech is, or to name one they find significant. Other than no response at all, the only other I heard was “I Have a Dream,” which is an admittedly significant speech. But would it kill them to learn about perhaps a Churchill speech? Does that not also have literary merit?

To further illustrate this point, here’s from Rita Dove’s poem on Rosa Parks, included in an English textbook:

How she sat there;

the time right inside a place

so wrong it was ready

 

That trim name with

its dream of a bench

to rest on. Her sensible coat.

Clearly social studies has been subsumed by the civil rights movement, and now English too. We can say, then, that the entire humanities is basically a social justice course of study. I once taught civics, and was asked by a Spanish teacher, “So civics…that’s civil rights, right?”

The joining thread to all the selections is that there’s always an ulterior motive as to why a given author is included in an anthology or textbook. This is excluding the classics which remain in the curriculum, more or less, though in an absurd juxtaposition next to multicultural literature. One cannot very well get rid of Shakespeare without raising some eyebrows, but certainly other dead white males may be dispensed with without further ado.

Occasionally there is a white author of whom no one has heard. What could possibly be the explanation of including such an author in a literature textbook for modern America? Take Doris Lessing. Her bio reads: as part of a small community of white farmers in Rhodesia, she “saw firsthand the injustices of white minority rule and racial segregation” and whose books “deal critically” with colonial society. Oh, that’s why she’s included. And I’m sure she would love to return to the non-colonial Zimbabwe, where presumably there is no more injustice. (Though to be fair, her writing is not bad.)

A perhaps surprising staple in literature textbooks is the Iroquois Constitution. This most bizarre of governmental agreements is now put on equal literary and historical importance as the Constitution itself:

We spread upon those seats, spread soft with the feathery down of the globe thistle, there beneath the shade of the spreading branches of the Tree of Peace. There shall you sit and watch the Council Fire of the Confederacy of the Five Nations, and all the affairs of the Five Nations shall be transacted at this place before you, Adodorhoh, and your cousin Lords, by the Confederate Lords of the Five Nations.

Weren’t Jefferson and Franklin also sitting on “globe thistle” when they sorted out our founding documents? So the parallels are readily apparent.

Students are already confused enough. The last thing they need is to slog through the impenetrable customs of the Iroquois Confederation. This is ironic in light of all the dubious claims of cultural discrimination in the SATs, most notoriously, the use of the word “yacht,” which is supposed to be biased against minorities who have no experience with yachts. Now we’ve really come full circle, with Native American texts such as the above and their esoteric terminology—and no one is raising a red flag? One can only conclude that cultural bias, despite being the rallying cry of the left, is not the real issue, but only an alibi for some other agenda.

Giving further evidence of what may be referred to as cultural bias (to appropriate a term), there are numerous pieces of Hispanic literature in textbooks and other test material which make generous use of Spanish words, for example, abeulita (grandma), meant perhaps to signal authenticity. This could just as easily, and in fact more plausibly, be viewed as culturally biased against everyone else who is not Spanish speaking. That is to say, if we are to be on a hair trigger alert for cultural bias, certainly having texts with words and phrases in a different language should set off that trigger. (Granted, there are footnotes to define foreign words, but there is no guarantee that students will avail themselves of footnotes—which require extra reading, mind you.)

And of course every literature collection treats us to the musings of Maya Angelou:

The caged bird sings

With a fearful trill

Of things unknown

But longed for still

Ms. Angelou, one could say, is easy to read, easy to digest, with not much “there there,” as they say in politics. John Derbyshire refers to her work as “semi-literate gibberish” and “formless meaningless babble.” (Other than that, he really likes it.) And yet one must admit, again, it is tailor made for the adolescent mind…

I well understand the arguments in favor of the rainbow hodgepodge of multicultural literature that constitutes our English textbooks and anthologies. Yet aesthetically it does not work, this we must all concede. The pairing of a Shakespearean sonnet with a poem which is meant to represent diversity is just too grotesque to countenance. More to come on this morose topic.

 

Malcolm Unwell is a lachrymose chronicler of America gone wrong and aspires to be a malevolent voice in journalism. Contact him.

 
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  1. I forget who said it/But it struck me as apt/For the likeness a shoe in/That if Maya Angelou were white/She’d be Rod McKuen

  2. “The purported agenda of the educational complex is to reflect diversity of the students and raise their self-esteem. ”

    If higher self-esteem is such a big priority, then why not:

    A: check which students actually have low self-esteem (which can be done quite easily and cheaply with personality tests)

    B: provide these students with targeted treatment for improving self-esteem (perhaps through summer school classes, with appropriate CBT materials for homework reading).

    Self-esteem is a significant issue for some students, and mood disorders are increasingly common among first-year university students, but there is no evidence that low self-esteem negatively affects the majority of students or is a major cause of poor academic performance.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
  3. rod1963 says:

    I feel sorry for the few intelligent kids that are subjected to such literary garbage as described by the author. It is sheer hell for them to be tormented by simpletons like Maya Angelou. Only a deranged intelligentsia could laud such a talentless hack and foist her upon society.

    If I had been exposed to that s**t I would have walked out and not come back. I view such authors as a mind numbing affront to the human intellect and spirit.

    Though it’s been 30+ years I still remember my high school English classes quite well. We had all the great ones such as Shakespeare, Tennyson, Steinbeck, Kipling, Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English(actually quite enjoyable), Emerson, Thoreau, etc. Now these weren’t AP classes, just your run of the mill English classes in a small town high school.

    Now, looking at Whittier High School’s 9th grade English Honors curriculum I am simply dumbfounded and heartbroken at what passes for studies for honors students and it gets worse for successive grades. I shudder to think what average English class has for reading requirements.

    At least their high school has AP courses, even as worthless as they are. My alma mater has none, but considering it’s ethnic make up, it sadly is not surprising. You wouldn’t have anyone capable of working at level, even as crippled as it is by today’s social engineers.

    This is the path towards Idiotocracy and the Marching Morons. WTF is wrong with these people?

  4. TheJester says:

    The corruption of literature, history, and education in general in the interest of racial and cultural diversity and “gender bending” is not new. Indeed, one might redefine education since the 1980s as mandatory “reeducation camps” for the masses.

    When my sons were in elementary school in the 1980s, the alphabet posted above the chalk board systematically reversed traditional gender roles. Except for a few “feminine” roles, the White Male had been purged from the alphabet. “P” for Police was a woman; “F” for Fireman was a woman; “J” for Judge was a Black woman; and “B” for Bottle showed a man feeding a baby. Later, in high school in the 1990s, the block on the history of WWII, via a novel, focused on the experiences of a Black boy living in Jamaica. Their English literature texts pandered to unknown Black and female authors.

    Now, as I review reports and other written products in a corporate setting, I’m appalled at the almost universal illiteracy of young people who pretend they have university educations. They cannot read; they cannot write; they cannot spell; and they cannot think. They do not know the basic rules of punctuation and sentence structure. But this is the “new normal” so they see nothing amiss.

    However, these issues do not hold them back in their corporate careers … if they happen to fall into the appropriate “victim groups” who are being fast tracked for promotion.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    , @woodNfish
  5. iffen says:

    At least the quality of the decline and fall chroniclers is improving. Welcome aboard.

  6. unit472 says:

    American public schools are, to use the English phrase, unfit for purpose. They are beyond salvaging and the educational equivalent of a Michelle Obama ‘school lunch’ which is yet another reason to get rid of them. Since when did your local public school become responsible for the feeding of America’s children… not just the traditional ‘lunch period’ but breakfast, weekend and summer vacation dining? Aren’t poor parents already claiming so called “Food Stamps” for the children they can’t pay for?

    We need to realize that our public schools have become, with apologies to Mr. Unwell, a vast jobs program for the dregs of ‘Education departments’ at America’s diploma mills. Where else can a person who is barely competent get a ‘tenured’ job ( as if teaching elementary school is the professional equivalent of being a full professor on the faculty of Stanford ) spend three decades turning out feral illiterates ( not that it is the teacher’s job to be an animal trainer) and retire at $60 or 70k per year? Well there is police officer and prison guard, which, to be honest, is not a whole lot different job in some public schools than being teacher except you don’t get a gun or a can of pepper spray to control your charges.

    It is time we just dismantle our public schools or at the least downsize them. The 2000 student high school and 1000+ student junior high developed in an American that no longer exists. The era of the two parent, one breadwinner family living in stable neighborhoods not the multilingual,multinational, multicultural hell that America has become. With no dominant national culture anymore it is not surprising that adolescent and teen children placed in these grotesque government run institutions come to resemble state prisons or Lord of the Flies academies where the strong rule the weak and your social standing with your peers more important than your standing with your teachers. Vote against school bonds, vote against any candidate who talks of increasing public school funding ‘for the children’ because we aren’t doing ‘the children’ any favors sending them to these dysfunctional facilities. Make the public schools so horrible ( if they aren’t already that way in your community) that no decent parent would even consider enrolling their children in them. Home school them and insist that government fund private alternatives.

    • Replies: @Michael
    , @Robert Kelley
  7. I see where you used with irony the Marxist phrase of cultural dominance, “to appropriate a term”. As we know, Marcuse maintained that true revolution was not possible in Amerikkka because the system co-opted any movement that threatened its hegemony by buying it up, bleaching out the radical component, repackaging it and selling it as mainstream in the marketplace.

    So that brings up the question as to why it is that a minority group’s adoption of Euro-created cultural artifacts such as cell phones, computers in classrooms, TVs in the home, automobiles etc. use are not considered instances of appropriation? Minority access to them are, paradoxically, used as proxies and benchmarks for social “justice”.

    If minorities have too few cell phones then that’s an example of deprivation and indicates white privilege. If they all have cell phones then that’s cultural hegemony by white Overlords.

    True, there are no spots on the dice that you can see but don’t worry, like Big Jule in Guys and Dolls, the Left remembers where they were. Just roll, they’ll tell you what number comes up.

  8. MarkinLA says:
    @unpc downunder

    B: provide these students with targeted treatment for improving self-esteem (perhaps through summer school classes, with appropriate CBT materials for homework reading).

    We need to stop emphasizing book learning for the less academically gifted. There are plenty of ways of making these kids feel good about themselves that don’t require a lot of book learning. Of course, we are removing vocational classes from schools with the misguided believe that a degree in Chicano studies is valuable. Someone who can restore antique furniture is more valuable than 100 black studies PhDs to society.

  9. @unpc downunder

    Anyone who has taught a significant number of Negro students is well aware that one of their major problems is not usually a lack of self-esteem but rather the reverse. A large proportion of the Negro college students I have taught have had a grotesquely inflated amour propre combined with a close-to-megalomaniacal misapprehension of their intellectual capacities. I recall reading of research suggesting Negro students tend to be much more confident of their academic capabilities than do their White and Asian counterparts. My experience, at least, confirms the existence of this pathetic misapprehension.

    • Replies: @unpc downunder
  10. Michael says:
    @unit472

    ill tell my ex to get right on that homeschooling- oh wait that was one of the things she left me over

  11. between the demands of the politically correct on one side, and the deniers of science and modernity, there is no center for the culture to adhere to intellectually. and that may be precisely the point. reality television provides a much more accessible portal through which shared values can be promulgated. the cost of entry to the world of books and reading has become prohibitive — just in time for caitlyn jenner & co.

  12. Wasn’t Doris Lessing a Communist?

    The Iroquois stuff — is that even taken seriously in academia anymore? The real inspiration for the Constitution was the Holy Roman Empire, but America has the habit of memory-holing all German influence.

  13. Retired says:

    As the parent of a high schooler stuck in a crummy public school I agree. Had to read Howard Zinn in Honors US history! Classes at the local Juco stunk too.

    School vouchers, first for the “underserved” and then phased in for every student. Break the government monopoly on education.

    • Replies: @Robert Kelley
  14. Tom Welsh says:
    @TheJester

    “…“B” for Bottle showed a man feeding a baby”.

    Ironically, the latest biochemical research strongly implies that bottle feeding is extremely harmful to the infant. Primitive hunter gatherers used to breast feed their babies until well past the age of 1 – sometimes as old as 4. Breast milk is not only a perfectly balanced diet for a growing infant; it also contains a complementary mixture of gut bacteria and the foods they require, such as oligosaccharides. There is a mass of concrete evidence that the more bottle feeding a baby has, the worse that person’s health will be growing up and as an adult.

    But of course, none of that counts in comparison with the need to deny that women were given lactating breasts for a purpose. It was just a vile sexist conspiracy by nature (or God, if you prefer).

    • Replies: @T
  15. Johann says:

    The obvious truth is that the American “intellectual ” class or soi disants has declared that nothing that happened before 1960 has any relevance at all on the intellectual training of the young American mind and that the very concept of traditional is a societal evil. To add to this disgrace they have also decided that the average American family must pay out tons of money to the Education Industry or Public Schools in order to facilitate this mass brain washing. I too have retired from the public school system and share most of this authors opinions. I cannot admire more my Amish neighbors where I live now because they have rescued their children from the horrors of the American public schools and the equal horrors of Americanized television. However , I feat the power of the American dictatorship will come down on them like a ton of bricks. Pray for our deliverance and Ask God to deliver us from the Evil One.

  16. Ivy [AKA "Enquiring Mind"] says:

    Parents have an even more important education role in the current environment. Much of the best learning takes place outside schools, and can’t just be delegated like some random task. If you won’t accept and embrace the responsibilities of parenthood, then God help you and your family.

    Read to your kids, explore literature together, delve into the Western Canon fearlessly. Otherwise, failure to understand and appreciate how and why the west developed is malfeasance. That isn’t some latter-day triumphalism, but is an acceptance of facts that are ignored to the detriment of all. There are many wonderful stories and lessons, all accessible in a handy carrying case called a book. You can supplement that with the rich literature from around the globe.

    The grievance-mongers of academia, media and politics rely on bullying a docile audience. Their game relies on a type of misdirection. They decry and flail at the purported noxious influences of WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) civilization. At the same time, they want you to forget, or not learn, how and why that civilization developed the way that it did and what incredible benefits that bestowed on the citizenry. Denigrating or cherry-picking a few millennia of history and human nature is an odd way to prepare for any type of future.

    The present public education system may be described as moving through a series of games.
    At one time, there was a positive-sum approach: greater understanding for better communities.
    Over the past few decades, the zero-sum approach: whites/males bad, others good.
    Now comes zero-sum’s nasty cousin, the negative-sum: you have to lose for us to feel good.

    It isn’t fashionable to talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg, but to pretend that it doesn’t exist is irresponsible.

  17. “And despite my retirement, my life extends far into the horizon, I am not old”

    well lucky you, i’m not old either but i have no hope of ever retireing so i’m glad America worked out for you

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  18. T says:
    @Tom Welsh

    “Ironically, the latest biochemical research strongly implies that bottle feeding is extremely harmful to the infant”

    I am 100% certain that you cannot provide a link to a study backing you up. I am 99% certain that you can’t come up with anything that is even semi-relevant.

    • Replies: @Tom Welsh
    , @Tom Welsh
  19. MarkinLA says:
    @interesting

    Forget what all the “experts” say about what you need to retire. Retirement is a state of mind. Unless you have dependents that need your income or other constraints, you can probably retire. No, you won’t be dancing on table tops with Russian supermodels in Monaco but not having to show up for a job is a vacation in and of itself.

    You have time to go to the gym, take a long walk with your dog, create that garage work-shop, take a cheap road trip camping along the way. Don’t work until the day you die or become too infirm to do anything. I have seen too much of that in my mom’s family.

    • Replies: @leper messiah
    , @Tom Welsh
  20. pyrrhus says:

    And what about the canonization of the trite and saccharine “To Kill A Mockingbird”? My kids enjoyed literature in junior high when they were reading, inter alia, Poe…and they both participated in poetry and short story contests. When they got to high school, they lost all interest, based on the horrific curriculum. The older boy read all the works of Shakespeare in his spare time…much better use of his time, IMO!

  21. @unit472

    Schools became responsible for the feeding of children as you wingnuts pushed conditions for lower class Americans to their present abysmal levels. Tax bastards like you until you squeal for mercy.

    • Replies: @unit472
  22. @Retired

    Good think you had to read some Howard Zinn. Might have purged your mind of a little of the wingnut nonsense that seems to fill it.

  23. unit472 says:
    @Robert Kelley

    Mr. Kelly, I’m terribly sorry if you are a low income person or have children you cannot feed yourself but I don’t even know you, had nothing to do with your inability to earn a decent living and certainly did not lie naked in a heap with your ‘woman’ and knock her up. How about taking some personal responsibility for the condition of your life instead of wanting to interfere with my enjoyment of mine?

    • Replies: @SecretaryNS
  24. Bob says:

    If you give anybody a choice, there’s always the danger that they might use it.

  25. @MarkinLA

    You have time to go to the gym, take a long walk with your dog, create that garage work-shop, take a cheap road trip camping along the way. Don’t work until the day you die or become too infirm to do anything. I have seen too much of that in my mom’s family.

    This is what I needed to hear. Thanks for this post. It gives me inspiration when I needed it most!

  26. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    As a lover of aesthetic literature, I sympathize. Having gone through teaching the multicultural curriculum, I can say it feels like teaching Communist theology. Whenever forced to read the modern textbooks, I ground my teeth and punched at the air.

    Maybe literature never fit very well in the middle school and high school classrooms. But it still seemed to serve an important purpose—trying to elicit thoughts from a few responsive minds, or at least prepare them for the lives they were about to lead. I look back at the books I read in high school and though I don’t always have time to go back and read them, many aspects of them make a lot more sense now.

  27. Henry A says:

    Churchill speech?

    No, thanks, I stick with MLK. Churchill is the reason we are in this mess in the first place…

  28. Tom Welsh says:
    @T

    You are 100% wrong. Try this for a start:

    Stuebe, A.S. (2009). The risks of not breastfeeding for mothers and infants. Reviews in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2:222-231.

  29. Tom Welsh says:
    @T

    Although I am surprised at your confrontational, rather aggressive tone. It seems almost as if you have some personal investment in not believing that breast milk is healthier. Surely it would be better if were to reason together cordially, and try to find out the truth? After all, it’s an important matter.

    • Replies: @SecretaryNS
  30. @unit472

    Note how Mr. Kelley delights in the thought of the government punishing those whose values clash with his. “So what,” he reasons to himself. “What once was good, is now bad, and what once was bad is now good. I’m the new good, and you are the new bad. Go get him, Daddy*!

    *the government

  31. @Tom Welsh

    You see this kind of thing all the time when it comes to parenting choices. If a man and/or woman performed Parenting Task X with Method A, and it is discovered by science that Method B was vastly superior, they can’t take it. They would rather vigorously defend Method A, against all reason, to assuage their guilt at the expense of younger parents who might learn from their mistakes. That it might even be their own grandchild one day escapes their notice.

    In nearly all cases, of course, Method A requires less effort than Method B. Which, deep down, they know full well.

    Christianity has been the cultural force that has thwarted this kind of thinking, being that it teaches that A) your Method A was done from selfishness and laziness and is therefore a sin, and B) there is Good News in spite, because you can admit you were wrong, repent, and encourage others to do the same. And the guilt goes away because you are forgiven by the One you truly sinned against. And to even carry the guilt is disallowed. Improve your ways, and further guilt/shame is forbidden.

    Science and faith, as a matter of practical human activity, go together like Jack and Coke. Too bad more people don’t see it.

  32. Owly says:

    Please write more, Malcolm Unwell.

  33. Tom Welsh says:
    @MarkinLA

    You also have oceans of time to take up any income-earning pursuit you like – without the crushing responsibility of risking your livelihood. Want to write? Make furniture? Tutor? The sky’s the limit, and you have little to lose.

  34. @Jus' Sayin'...

    This is why I said test for self-esteem first. If it exists deal with it, if it doesn’t don’t.

    Self-esteem is a significant issue for some graduating high school students, as they have to make a big leap from the increasingly sheltered world of high school to the increasingly competitive and unstable world of making a living and starting a family.

    Also as someone on the alternative right, I would like kids with independent opinions to feel more confident in expressing themselves. At the moment it’s pretty clear that most intelligent or creative young white people are way too easily intimidated by political correctness to think for themselves and express divergent opinions.

    In other words it’s a good Trogan horse policy from a right-wing perspective.

  35. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Much of this isn’t as recent as many people assume. In grammar school back in the early 60’s I remember being told that the founding fathers ideas about government were inspired in part by the Native Americans. That seemed odd at the time but I didn’t have the tools with which to dispute that. Schools have always been places where the intent is to brainwash the upcoming generation by slipping things in. The idea is not to just teach reading and arithmetic but to turn out ‘good citizens’ and the definition of what that might be depends on who one might ask. Most teachers are just ordinary, average people who have no great insights to impart anyway but just teach what’s in the textbook and go home at the end of the day.

    • Replies: @Enrique Cardova
  36. Unwell says:
    Literature textbooks insist on including material by “diverse” authors, most of which clearly should not be there. By “should not” I mean to say that this literature has no literary merit. As readers know well, this is done in the name of multiculturalism. But one could also say that the textbook publishers have a real agenda—something more nefarious—in addition to the purported agenda.

    True enough though it must be noted that textbook publishers have long tried to pacify and mollify conservative groups such as the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) and have downplayed such things as the role of slavery in making the Civil War. Indeed publishers for decades had separate versions of textbooks shipped to southern states- the “lite” versions compared to more detailed coverage for the non-southern states. Even today, in order to avoid offending powerful constitutiencies, both of the left AND right, publishers water down most content.

    .
    The purported agenda of the educational complex is to reflect diversity of the students and raise their self-esteem. The practical outcome of this philosophy is a literature curriculum which actually more resembles a civil rights social justice curriculum. From Rosa Parks to Martin Luther King, English class has become “down for the struggle.”

    Generally true as to key/classic literary figures and works, though as a former teacher in “diverse” Jersey, I can tell you that teachers simply have too many benchmarks to cover and too little time to be engaging in any social justice groupie development work. A more important problem is the thin spread of much substantial content in the name of “coverage.”

    .
    Clearly social studies has been subsumed by the civil rights movement, and now English too.

    This is not so at all. Open most social studies textbooks, and civil rights coverage is stuck mostly where it is prominent as such in the 1960s. Most such books are hundreds of pages in length, and have to cover over 200 years of history- everything from the American Revolution to Reaganism. There simply is no space for any civil rights takeover, and in any event most state coverage standards render any such takeover virtually impossible. Likewise English. There is no “civil rights takeover.” Even the supposedly “progressive” “SPringboard” (gag) texts do not do this. The problem is not “civil rights.” The problem is watered down coverage and emphasis on things like “constructivist” methods. Civil rights receives SHORT SHRIFT actually, and as noted above, publishers go “lite” on things like slavery so as not to offend conservative constituencies. Books such as Brudage 2009 (The Southern Past: A Clash of Race and Memory) document this extensively, including intimidation of publishers to toe the United Daughters of the Confederacy line.

    A perhaps surprising staple in literature textbooks is the Iroquois Constitution.

    It is hard to see any such staple per se. Most standard literature textbooks don’t mention it at all. SOME books with a clear “multi-culti” bent (as opposed to more standard texts) may include it, but as a minor part of hundreds of pages. The book “American Literature: Cultural Influences of Early to Contemporary Voices, for example is a clear “multi-culti” anthology, and specifically says it is going to use a number of diverse “voices.” The Iroquois Constitution takes up 4 pages out of over 540 pages, but also in those pages are several Bible selections and Puritan writings- even sermons. Whitman, Hemingway, Faulkner and a whole lot more of the classic “dead white guys” take up most of the slots.

    The “contemporary” era has only the Jewish writer Chaim Potok’s ‘CHosen” but as a serious novel that has sold over 3 million copies, it is not unreasonable to include it as the contemporary representative. No doubt some folk might argue with the Zionist themes mentioned. Why this particular Jewish author, and why is the State of Israel involved? Weren’t there other authors that could have been used for the contemporary slot?

    Now we’ve really come full circle, with Native American texts such as the above and their esoteric terminology—and no one is raising a red flag? One can only conclude that cultural bias, despite being the rallying cry of the left, is not the real issue, but only an alibi for some other agenda.

    While no battery of SAT tests is asking bout fire-keepers or thistles, or Iroquois place names, agreed.

  37. @anonymous

    Quite so. We really don’t have time for groupie development work. And the Iroquois constitution thing I believe comes from Benjamin Franklin, who is on record making the comparison, but that was Franklin in a letter to someone. No credible social sciences textbook I have used or seen claims or presents the Iroquois practice as having any significant influence on the development of the US Constitution. Mention it maybe yes. Serious influence? Nothing of the sort.

  38. Do you know the cute girl in purple or is that a stock photo?

  39. woodNfish says:
    @TheJester

    one might redefine education since the 1980s as mandatory “reeducation camps” for the masses.

    If we were talking about remedial education for adults that would be true, but this is all new for the kids. For that reason I think it is more appropriate to think of public schools as indoctrination camps rather than academic institutions.

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