Christine M. Flowers: A Textbook Case of Hysteria





[Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer. Listen to her Thursdays on WPHT/1210 AM, 10-midnight.]

FOR YEARS, liberal activists and historians have engaged in an all-out effort to redefine our country's narrative by attacking the so-called "white and patriarchal" interpretation of history found in most pre-1960s textbooks....

Nothing wrong with that, in theory. The more information a student is exposed to, the better.

Assuming, that is, that there's balance in the mix. Unfortunately, for decades, there's been a concerted move to replace the original three "R's" of much of the traditional curriculum - "readin', 'ritin' and 'rithmatic" - with something more along the lines of "racism, reproductive rights and revolution."...

It's not that I have a problem with classes like "Cross-Cultural Narratives of Desire," "Witchcraft in Colonial America," "Mythology and Community in Twentieth Century Queer Literature," "Spike Lee" and "New York Mambo: Microcosm of Black Creativity." If Yale University thinks these are valuable topics, far be it for me to question the Ivies....

But I do question the wisdom of adopting that "anything goes" philosophy for elementary- and secondary-school curriculums.

Trying to convince teens and tweens that the magnificent Constitution crafted by our Founding Fathers is simply a footnote to the greater fact that they were slaveholders might make us feel all righteous. But it's counterproductive....

Liberals are up in arms about what they perceive to be the hijacking of American education. As Mavis Knight, a Democratic member of the school board, noted when her proposal emphasizing the absolute separation of church and state was defeated, "the social conservatives have perverted accurate history to fulfill their own agenda."

That's a nice rhetorical flourish, even though "accurate" is often in the eye of the specific academic. As noted by Jon Meacham in "American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation," while the Founders didn't intend for us to be a strictly Christian nation, they clearly didn't envision the Secular Nirvana pushed on us by those who think the "wall" between church and state is as long and steep as the one in China....

For example, it's OK to have Black History Month and inform school kids that it encompasses a lot more than Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver and Martin Luther King Jr....

But if you advance an agenda that tears down conservative values in order to empower the traditionally ignored, you get what happened in Texas: special-interest education.



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