Unhinged History

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I thought we were over this, but apparently it's still a thing.

The New Jersey legislature will consider a resolution, introduced by State Senator Joe Kyrillos (R), that condemns Advanced Placement U.S. History for being some kind of anti-American hogwash the likes of which would make you want to join ISIS.

"It strikes me that there is an inordinate emphasis on political correctness and so-called balance that is designing potential curricula and guidelines," Kyrillos told The Auditor. "And the AP test doesn't properly portray our history, the beginnings of our country, its values and its unique role in the world, past and present."

According to the resolution, the framework the College Board adopted in 2012 "reflects a seemingly biased view of American history, overemphasizing the negative aspects of our nation's history while omitting and minimizing many of the positive aspects."

I've said this before, but it's been a while since the last time this subject came up so I'll say it again: this isn't patriotism.

There's nothing patriotic about the idea that we should whitewash history and present a more rosy picture of our past than is warranted. That's not patriotism; it's jingoism.

Conservative opposition to a full accounting of our history is increasingly easy to understand. Accepting a whitewashed version of history is the only way you could muster the arrogance required for saying that we are, unequivocally, the greatest nation in the history of ever.

Or, in Marco Rubio's case, the arrogance (or ignorance) required for asserting that America is uniquely righteous and just.

Manifest Destiny is the kind of thing you may learn about in Advanced Placement U.S. History.

  • Badgerite

    “So called balance”, or as we on planet earth refer to it…..what’s true. America was founded by men who were steeped in the ideas of the enlightenment that emanated from Europe during that century. That is where anything good in our Constitution and Declaration comes from. Quite a lot of the bad ( 3/5 s of a person and “Indian Wars” and resettlement )came from the reality of our society at the time. To ignore that is to ignore what’s true and to undervalue what America has accomplished toward achieving those Enlightenment values during its troubled history. You may as well send kids to Disney World as teach them a bunch of bilge about a country that never really existed.

  • This goes along with their other recently reintroduced talking point that Democrats were the ones who founded the KKK, established Jim Crow, and basically were terrible racists (until they all became Republicans). They’ve said this for years, of course, but lately it’s been trotted out more and more.

  • muselet

    As I’ve suggested before, the apoplexy over the current APUSH framework is because Righties cling desperately to the Great Man theory of history, the notion that a few outsized individuals are more important than the millions who strive and struggle.

    Righties want history to be rote memorization of Important Names and Important Dates, the way it used to be done. That the APUSH framework doesn’t do that horrifies them.

    It’s the same reason Howard Zinn’s name will always be used as a synonym for Satan in Righty circles: Zinn argued that the Great Unwashed were as important as generals and presidents, and that understanding why history happened the way it did is important.


  • Clusterpuck

    “There’s nothing patriotic about the idea that we should whitewash history…” heh-heh…I see what you did there.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    More to the point, whitewashing our history is a means of making liberals and liberalism not only historically wrong, but historically unnecessary. Whatever blemishes we have on our record, it was liberals and liberalism that corrected them. If there was never any injustice, never any wrongs to right, then we never needed liberals to right them. That way they can claim with a straight face that conservatives ended slavery, even though there’s nothing conservative about abolishing any entrenched social or economic institution.

    Accepting a whitewashed version of history means never having to admit that liberals have been right all along.