If we don’t know our history we’re doomed to repeat it, but Oklahoma doesn’t seem to be concerned with that age-old adage.
Last week, Oklahoma state representative Dan Fisher authored a bill that would effectively eliminate the College Board’s Advance Placement U.S. History. The bill has yet to be voted on, but it has already passed through a committee hearing.
It isn’t about inaccuracies in the curriculum, Fisher said, but about the attitude.
“In essence, we have a new emphasis on what is bad about America,” Fisher said according to CNN.
Fisher and other Oklahoma lawmakers agree that the course simply isn’t pro-America as much as it ought to be.
Instead, HB 1380 identifies a number of speeches and documents that would replace the so-called anti-American curriculum instead, the Gettysburg Address and the Federalist papers among the examples.
Oklahoma’s lawmakers aren’t the only one with this concern. Georgia’s House Education Committee has also questioned the AP course, calling it radical revisionist history. The Republican National Committee passed a resolution over the summer echoing the same sentiments.
There’s no doubt that the nation’s history isn’t as gleaming as they’d like it to be, but it is the truth. AP U.S. History is not embellishing details, it just so happens that the details are ones these lawmakers would rather have left out.
While it’s nicer to re-imagine American history through rose-colored glasses, it’s foolish, too.
History can’t be changed just because the past isn’t patriotic. If anything, it must be taught to keep the country from reverting to mistakes made in the past.
We cannot forget the darkest moments of American history. We cannot forget the countless decades of racism, from signs that read, “Irish need not apply” to the struggles endured by African-Americans.
We cannot forget the plight of women in this country, who couldn’t even cast a ballot until the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920.
Just because future generations learn of America’s failure does not mean patriotism is waning.
Although America still has a long way to go, it has progressed rapidly because people who love this country fought to change it for the better.
Defunding AP U.S. History to teach only the most basic cornerstones of the American story takes out all the color that students need to better grasp life in older days.
Leaving the truth out only dumbs down future generations. The less we teach them, the less they’ll know, and the more likely they’ll repeat the mistakes of the past.
It was in fact the freedom of knowledge and the freedom of information that the Founding Fathers seek, not its prohibition.