Leave it to the eggheads to storm in to a party and kill every one’s buzz. As I wrote about two days ago, the Tey-HAS! state board of education is attempting to make all sorts of wacky changes to the school curriculum — like pretending Mexicans, blacks, and the transgendered don’t exist. Hahaha, History is fun! But now all these hot-shot historians are pissin’ in the punchbowl by bringing their “expertise” to the issue. Can we just call them commie fags and be done with it?
To bring any new readers up to speed, here’s how the Washington Post describes the board’s discussion of the curriculum changes:
Discussions ranged from whether President Reagan should get more attention (yes), whether hip-hop should be included as part of lessons on American culture (no), and whether President of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address should be studied alongside Abraham Lincoln’s (yes).
YES. Don’t that sound like funner history? The answer is yes, yes it do. And you know what, it might not be accurate, but it sure does feel right.
Of particular contention was the requirement that lessons on McCarthyism note that “the later release of the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.”
The Venona papers document communication between the Soviet Union and its spies. Historians dispute the extent to which transcripts show Soviet involvement in American government.
Also contentious were changes that asserted Christian faith of the founding fathers. Historians say the founding fathers had a variety of approaches to religion and faith; some, like Jefferson, were quite secular.
Yes, but wouldn’t it be great if that weren’t the case? And that’s really what history is, right? The story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Well, who cares if that story is wildly inaccurate. What’s important is what should have happened. It would’ve been so great if McCarthy had bravely fought against the Red Menace, saving America from the scourge of Communism. And it would’ve been so great if all the founders really were super duper Christian. And it would be great if hip hop weren’t so popular, and if you didn’t see a goddamn Mexican every time you turned around. The fact that those things aren’t true doesn’t make them any less appealing.
We can all agree that that’s how America should be. So, let’s teach our children that’s how things actually are. It’s like the right-wing Pentagon official in In The Loop says:
Linton Barwick: … Get a hold of those minutes. I have to correct the record.
Bob Adriano: We can do that?
Linton Barwick: Yes, we can. Those minutes are an aide-memoire for us. They should not be a reductive record of what happened to have been said, but they should be more a full record of what was intended to have been said. I think that’s the more accurate version, don’t you?
Besides, we all know this country only has a few years left in it anyway. Let’s not strain ourselves too hard.