Education History

False Patriotism for False Patriots


Fox Host Gretchen Carlson has a thing or two to say about the students who walked out in protest in the Denver, Colorado area after the local school board proposed censoring their history curriculum.

Carlson is “all for” free speech and what not, but get the fuck out.

“The last time I checked, we were still living in the United States of America, where we have a national anthem and an American flag,” she said on her show, “The Real Story.” “Are they the next things to be controversial and talked about being thrown out? How could being patriotic or learning about patriotism be a negative?” [...]

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of speech and the ability to gather and state your claim. But, quite frankly, if you don’t like it here, and you have a problem with promoting the basic freedoms that men and women have died for — protesting for the rest of us and protecting us — then get out.

You could say the same thing to Gretchen Carlson.

The point made by students is that censoring our history is anti-American; that discouraging protest and disobedience is anti-American.

Why does Gretchen Carlson want to censor America’s history? Why does Gretchen Carlson hate America? If she doesn’t like it, she can leave.

Snark aside — I think I finally have the answer to my question. I finally understand why conservatives want to emulate the educational practices of nations they would call enemies by censoring negative events in our history.

Conservatives are afraid that, if we don’t censor our history, children will grow up to hate their own nation. To me this demonstrates a fundamental lack of confidence in America and Americans and, more specifically, the students they apparently believe are incapable of forming their own opinions.

The actions taken by students proves the conservative premise is wrong. They not only can form their own opinions; they want to form their own opinions.

Fox News is false patriotism for false patriots. There’s nothing patriotic about censoring the embarrassments of our past. The idea that we should somehow dupe students into having a romanticized picture of America is a perversion of patriotism.