Radicalization Concern Trolls and the new Apology Tour

In 1999, when I was lobbying to defeat Georgia’s hate crime bill for the first time, I coined the term “Apology Tour” to describe grasping politicians who try to score points by very publicly proclaiming their guilt for some racist act in their distant past.  

Such timed confessions aren’t really about atoning for personal error: they are one-upsmanship attempts to project accusations of racism onto anyone who doesn’t apologize as loudly as you do — and also fall in line with your politics. ... 

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From the Comments. And, Howard Zinn’s Capitalism Isn’t Bad Like the Other Kind. Also, the Haymarket Square Police Memorial.


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:

I recently spent some time researching the history of left wing bombing incidents in America- specifically the wave of anarchist terror that washed over the entire globe in the mid to late 1800s through the depression. Lots of attacks on cops. Lots of murdered cops. The radical flower bombers of the late 60?s merely picked up where their anarchist grand daddies had left off. Suddenly, they were marxist revolutionaries- but the same old disregard for the law, disregard for other persons and smoldering hatred of the police. a lot of armed robbery to liberate funds for the revolution. and lots of bombs.The more I studied the more I realized I had been lied to in school-or at least been sold a bill of goods that obfuscated and slanted incidents in favor of the radical leftist terrorists (I take this is because my teachers were of that generation). Next to nothing was taught about the unprecedented level of anarchist/communist violence against persons in the early 20th c- it was all about the brave labor movement and the evil business men and their thug cop storm troopers or the fascist government victimizing immigrants. Nothing about 39 bombs mailed to sundry citizens on May Day. Nothing about the likes of Sacco and Vanzetti being card carrying anarchists sworn to violence. Nothing about Haymarket Square in chicago where 60 police officers were wounded and 7 died when a supposed anarchist heaved a stick of dynamite at them at a rally.

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 Schoolstwo 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. ... 

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