Here comes another ‘you voted for him, now you’re stuck with him’ story. Far too many of our state and federal officials attempt to insert their own agenda after they are elected to office. And this will sound like I’m anti-Republican; but that’s not true. It’s just that it seems all the crazy extremist ideas come from the right. This time it’s about changing history by eliminating the truth and including only facts conservatives want our children to learn. This same group wants to violate the Constitution by creating a national religion.
Daniel Fisher is a Republican Representative in Oklahoma’s state legislature. He and the other members of the ‘Black Robe Regiment’ are voting to remove the state’s Advance Placement history course. They claim that too much negativity about America is included in the course. They want Oklahoma’s history to contain a greater amount of patriotism and include a closer relationship with religion, but only Christianity. Fisher says he want the focus to be on American principles.
I firmly believe that after reading an accurate portrayal of history is the most important subject in our school system. Without understanding how the world and our own nation was formed, and the problems faced by our predecessors, our future will be bombarded with mistakes we made in the past, but the future leaders of our nation knew nothing about. Our children need to understand that our nation is not perfect, and that our leaders are expected to work hard and attempt to reach that perfection.
Humans learn from their mistakes. Fisher believes that history should not include information relating to gender and racial oppression, and prejudice towards ethnic origins. He would also remove information about those whose efforts changed our government and championed causes for minorities and the poor. He would remove all reference to America as oppressors and imperialists.
Here’s where he proves that he is bat s**t crazy. Instead of the speeches of Martin Luther King Jr., or those of Abraham Lincoln related to slavery, the 58 page document would include three speeches by Ronald Reagan, and one by George W. Bush. Bush? Why would any document include an illiterate speaker and attempt to give him credibility?
Fisher would replace history written by historians and educators with fantasized tales written by Republican legislators. He would create a generation of young men and women who will never know that we forced Native Americans off of their land for our use. They probably would go through life unaware that the Civil War ever happened; that would require a reference to slavery, which of course never happened. And of course they wouldn’t learn that our government placed the nation in three unwinnable wars and withheld the truth or blatantly lied to the American people about the reasons we sent our young men and women into harm’s way, and the eventual results.
The truth is not always pretty, but failing to treat our youth with honesty would be tantamount to creating ‘Hitler youth.’ These boys and girls were given history lessons from the Nazi perspective which eliminated most of reality. One final thing Fisher would not allow our children to learn; according to his version of history the Holocaust never happened.
Commentary by James Turnage