The disturbingly-named blog commenter Mr. Mittens (whose mittens apparently prevent him from capitalizing words, which I have mostly corrected below in the spirit of promoting capitalism) weighs in with us on the history of anti-cop violence and other radical activism:
Today, children are very likely to learn about Haymarket Square in their classrooms. Unfortunately, what they learn is the problem, as I detail in this report with Mary Grabar, published at Accuracy in Media.
And now for an object lesson in radical rewriting of history. The following “Occupy Education” manifesto was posted in both the (Howard) Zinn Education Project and Rethinking The Schools, two radical leftist education websites:
In this age of standardized, scripted curriculum and corporate-produced textbooks, it looks like not everyone is following the script. Teachers are “teaching outside the textbook,” in the slogan of the Zinn Education Project. This kind of defiant “We’ll decide what our students need to learn, not some distant corporation” needs to happen in schools across the country. We don’t need to take tents and sleeping bags to our town squares to participate in the Occupy Movement—although it would be great if more of us did. We can also “occupy” our classrooms, “occupy” the curriculum. At this time of mass revulsion at how our country—our world—has been bought and bullied by the one percent, let’s join this gathering movement to demand a curriculum that serves humanity and nature, not the rich.
“Bullied by the one percent.” Is this what your kids are hearing in schools? Of course, both Zinn Education and Rethinking offer their own “standardized, scripted curriculum and corporate-produced textbooks.” But they’re the standardizers and the scripters and the corporation, so it’s OK.
Because they’re using their capitalism to teach kids to hate other American capitalism.
Just like they’re teaching a version of history designed to teach children to hate their own country and blame — to be blunt — contemporary Republicans for the existence of slavery and other oppressions that occurred in the past. Not all slavery, not all oppression — just American slavery and oppression. The existence of historical or contemporary slavery practiced by other nations, for example, is simply disappeared from the curriculum. Only America is bad, and, according to these folks, it’s as bad today as it was when people owned slaves or paid children pennies a day to labor in factories.
The Occupy Movement may seem moribund on the streets, but according to this editorial, it’s alive in the hearts and minds of unknown numbers of schoolteachers:
The Occupy movement itself spurred new momentum. In Trenton, N.J., demonstrators briefly occupied the state Department of Education, protesting Gov. Chris Christie’s pro-charter school initiatives. In New York City, members of Occupy DOE (NYC Department of Education) have offered a spirited challenge to Mayor Bloomberg’s undemocratic, handpicked Panel for Educational Policy (PEP). At one meeting, Occupy DOE mocked the PEP functionaries, yelling “puppet!” after each was introduced. As reported in Rethinking Schools, Social Equality Educators in Seattle led an occupation of the state capitol to protest school budget cuts and to stage a citizens’ arrest of legislators for abandoning the state constitution, which proclaims the support of public education as the state’s “paramount duty.” Teachers’ actions inspired hundreds of students at Seattle’s Garfield High School, who walked out of classes and rallied at City Hall in solidarity. Blogs like Occupy Education created a forum for “messages that dare public schools to serve students’ passions instead of politicians and vendors’ coffers,” and feature poignant student artwork displaying different “occupy” interpretations.
One of the most militant of the occupations occurred in Chicago, where more than 100 parents, youth, and community members staged a four-day sit-in at City Hall to protest Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “practice of maligning black and Latino neighborhoods by destabilizing their public schools and selling them off to the highest bidder.” Organized by the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO), and supported by the Chicago Teachers Union, UNITE HERE, and other community groups, demonstrators demanded that the mayor meet with the community to discuss its well-researched alternative to the Chicago elite’s profit-driven school improvement plans. ...