Posted on June 14, 2018

Campus Insanity Hits High School As Teachers Protest ‘Eurocentric’ ‘Imperialism’ of History Classes

Joy Pullman, The Federalist, June 13, 2018

{snip} This week high school teachers protested the College Board’s changes to its Advanced Placement world history classes, which thousands of high schools teach across the country every year.

“You cannot tell my black and brown students that their history is not going to be tested and then assume that that’s not going to matter. Right, the people in power in our country already are telling those same students that their history, that their present, that their future doesn’t matter. And by you making this decision, you are going along with that,” teacher Amanda DoAmaral told College Board Senior Vice President Trevor Packer at a conference this week.

Rather than pointing out to DoAmaral that it’s historically illiterate  — not to mention possibly racist — to assume you know a person’s ancestry simply by looking at his or her skin color, Packer told her other parts of the curriculum could fit in her demands. The AP curricula changes teachers object to are primarily simply dividing world history into two classes because, as one might reasonably imagine, it’s difficult to thoroughly cover the history of the entire world in a single class. {snip}


Apparently Mitchell’s AP world history class did not teach him the obvious reality that people defined on a fabricated dark-light skin color binary as “brown” can easily share just about no history at all. As far as I know, I have zero family ties to Scandinavia despite being “white” (that’s in quotes because it’s closer to peach, thanks). If someone told me I was being denied “hearing about my history” because I’ve never taken a Scandinavian history class, I’d look at him like the blockhead he is, and do whatever was in my power to make sure he never got near any curriculum committee.

Mongols and American Indians have very different histories, but to a person who only sees superficial exterior features they may look similar. Apparently that’s enough to tick off the “approved” box for learning their history instead of the history of politically disfavored outward appearances.

The pertinent thing, however, is not grouping people by appearances but by shared experiences, events, and ideas over time. That is partly what the study of history is. It is not an exercise in identity politics. {snip}


Apparently Mitchell and Roller’s AP world history classes did not teach them that, if neurotically bean-counting skin color and body features is an activity one must compulsively undertake despite its racist undertones, plenty of “brown” and “black” people have long histories in Europe and the Americas. Ever heard of the Moors? The Incas? The Ottoman Empire? So just stop right now, because until you can demonstrate you know a blazing single thing you most certainly have no license to tell other people what we ought to think. {snip}

It’s idiotic to decide who is important to study based on what their skin and hair looks like rather than our available knowledge about their civilization and their effects on their world and the worlds that came after it, especially our own. In fact, as research from social psychologist Jonathan Haidt and others has shown, using race as an organizing category for understanding the world actually increases racism. {snip}


Now, let’s be clear. College Board is in the middle of revamping all its history curricula. American history and European history were updated before world history came up on the dock, and independent evaluators found the changes there slanted the curriculum uniformly to the Left. Therefore, it is almost a certainty that the revamp to its world history curriculum will do the same.

But boilerplate anti-American, anti-West leftism does not placate identitarians like DoAmaral and those clapping and hollering her on at this conference for AP teachers. They want more. {snip}

Citizens who are unwilling to see that their children learn to seek truth, love what is good about their heritage, constructive ways to examine and respond to social evils, and to be wary of people selling tribalism — a country full of citizens like that is choosing to destroy itself. That would be a sickening shame and a horrific loss for the world, because despite its serious failures, the United States has been and still is the best place to try to make a life on our weary, poor, violent, stricken earth.