The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Professor Loewen: believe, or leave

The National Review blathers about PC again. They cite another once-useful дурак, former Rep. Ben Jones (D). But we'll ignore the sources for now, and concentrate on the NR conclusion: We’re no longer fighting just to get history into classrooms; we’re now fighting for the right to teach history in all its complexity, not merely the PC versions of it that please sanctimonious leftists. The Vermont professor James Loewen would be one such leftist - and worse.

Two years ago (based on evidence collected 2005-2012) I gave up on Loewen and concluded he was a willful liar. Loewen now says that getting the Civil War "right" ought to be demanded of every prospective citizen (bye, Apu!):

So does the history test we give to immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens. Item No. 74 asks them to “name one problem that led to the Civil War.” It then gives three acceptable answers: slavery, economic reasons and states’ rights. (No other question on this 100-item test has more than one right answer.) If by “economic reasons” it means issues with tariffs and taxes, which most people infer, then two of its three “correct answers” are wrong.

You say history, I say literacy...

... Yeah, I went there. For him it's an issue of citizenship, so it has to apply to current citizens as well. Suppose you are a native Kentuckian, and you've said "states rights" or at least waffled that over the 1861 crisis it became such an issue for Virginia and Tennessee. Suppose you even dared say that the Union's refusal to recognise the South's right to secede (on whatever basis) is what inspired shots to be fired on Southern soil (whoever fired those shots). Should you remain a citizen? Suppose you mention this to your daughter. When she gets to voting-age, should the registrar ask her this question?

This is ironic given that Loewen's whole career, as a writer, involves teach[ing] history in all its complexity and not merely versions of it that please... whoever the hell those versions he doesn't like ever pleased. Loewen is the classic Ambrose Bierce liberal: the man who hates existent evils and seems to replace them with others. The man lacks even such self-awareness as to make those new evils "other".


posted by Zimri on 12:17 | link | 0 comments

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