"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"The US military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force." Is this the future teaching of Common Core American History?

Perhaps this a sneak preview of common core curriculum your Missouri (and other states who will/have adopted common core standards) student will learn in history class about World War II.

American Thinker writes: "A group of 25 selected professor historians met in Hawaii at a workshop sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). They were to present and hear scholarly papers on the history of these United States in World War II. It was to be a high-level intellectual rendering of that war receding now into history". The conference was entitled "History and Commemoration: The Legacies of the Pacific War."

Here are some of their findings as reported by Professor Penelope A. Blake, Rock Valley College in Rockford, IL, who attended the government funded seminar:

1. The U.S. military and its veterans constitute an imperialistic, oppressive force which has created and perpetuated its own mythology of liberation and heroism, insisting on a 'pristine collective memory' of the war. ...
2. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor should be seen from the perspective of Japan being a victim of western oppression (one speaker likened the attack to 9-11, saying that the U.S. could be seen as "both victim and aggressor" in both attacks); that American "imperial expansion" forced Japan's hand: "For the Japanese [according to one presenter], it was a war to defend their unique culture against Western Imperialism and the Pearl Harbor attack could be seen as a "pre-emptive strike."
3. War memorials, such as the Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery [on hallowed ground in Hawaii] (where many WWII dead are buried, including those executed by the Japanese on Wake Island and the beloved American journalist Ernie Pyle), are symbols of military aggression and brutality 'that pacify death, sanitize war and enable future wars to be fought" ...
4. The U.S. military has repeatedly committed rapes and other violent crimes throughout its past through the present day. Cited here was the handful of cases of attacks by Marines in Okinawa... (Not cited were the mass-murders, rapes, mutilations of hundreds of thousands of Chinese at the hands of the Japanese throughout the 1930s and 40s) ...
5. Those misguided members of the WW II generation on islands [such as] Guam and Saipan who feel gratitude to the Americans for saving them from the Japanese, are blinded by propaganda supporting "the image of a compassionate America"...
6. It was 'the practice' of the U.S. military in WWII to desecrate and disrespect the bodies of dead Japanese. (Knowing this to be absolutely false, I challenged the speaker/author, who then admitted that this was not the 'practice' of our military) ...
7. Conservatives and veterans in the U.S. have had an undue and corrupt influence on how WWII is remembered, for example, successfully lobbying to remove from the Smithsonian Enola Gay exhibit, images of the destruction caused by the atom bomb ...
8. Conservatives are reactionary nationalists (no distinction was made between nationalism and patriotism), pro-military 'tea baggers' who are incapable of 'critical thinking.' Comments were made about 'people who watch Fox News' not caring if the news 'is accurate or not...' ( The end result of this deprecation within the conference room was to discourage debate and create an atmosphere of intolerance to opposing views) ..

Dr. Blake was so concerned about these findings she contacted her Illinois Congressman, Donald Manzullo. Her letter in its entirety may be found at Powerline, the first blog to cover this story. Read the entire letter. She details the shameful revisionist history our scholars possibly have in store for our public education students.

Not only does Dr. Blake detail what was discussed in the workshop, she demands this revisionism be investigated and monies withheld from future historical dishonesty:

The NEH is requesting an operating budget of 161 million dollars for 2011, including over 71 million to support conferences like the one I have described. I ask that you do everything in your power to delay approval of this request until the NEH does the following:

1. Reviews all NEH conference and workshop proposals and supporting materials to eliminate any overt political agenda;

2. Illustrates to Congress and the American people an ability to create programs which support sound and objective scholarship and provide forums for debate in which all sides are recognized and encouraged;

3. Eliminates all intolerance and pejorative language towards any group or viewpoint;

4. Commits itself to a fair and balanced view of our nation's history and humanities, acknowledging its mistakes but also honoring its achievements.

To demonstrate the above, any group or institution requesting a grant from the NEH should be required to submit its entire schedule of presenters and a complete list of the literature which will be discussed at the conference to ensure that varied sides of any issue will be represented and respected.

Until these actions are taken, I sincerely doubt that the majority of Americans would approve of their tax dollars supporting this academic attack on American history and culture. I plan to do everything in my power to inform American voters of this issue, and I trust our elected officials will take heed of their constituents' reactions.

Take this last paragraph to heart. I would add to Dr. Blake's statement; I don't think the the majority of Americans approve of their tax dollars supporting the choice architects at work in the tweaking of K-12 curriculum that is now nationalized. If the NEH sponsors workshops like this one, and the findings of the "scholars" are so revisionist to paint American veterans as "martyrs of their sacred war", conservatives as "reactionary nationalists"...pro-military "teabaggers" who are incapable of "critical thinking", taxpayers had better be concerned these viewpoints will be predominant in any nationalized standards presented to public school children.

Permit me a bit of snarkiness here. This workshop was supposedly to be a high-level intellectual rendering of that war receding now into history. Does "high-level intellectual rendering" include calling American veterans "martyrs", and calling conservatives "teabaggers incapable of critical thinking"? That sounds like elitism and choice architecture at its ugly best.

Dr. Blake stated in her letter to Congressman Manzullo:

In my thirty years as a professor in upper education, I have never witnessed nor participated in a more extremist, agenda-driven, revisionist conference, nearly devoid of rhetorical balance and historical context for the arguments presented.

Thanks to Dr. Blake for her courage in standing firm in her professional and personal convictions and contacting her congressman to this historical revisionism occurring in this workshop. Which historians do you think are writing the standards for the common core history curriculum? You better hope they don't subscribe to the revisionist viewpoint. If so, your child will hear nothing about American exceptionalism. It doesn't exist in their world.

Watchdogs should contact Congressman Manzullo to ensure no future funding is given to NEH until this matter is investigated for truthfulness and historical accuracy. This is a government funded entity. The government is dictating (via choice architects) common core standards. This is not a good sign for those interested in honest recounting of history. The Congressman's contact information is here. We need a voice in Congress to review the choice architects' vision of American history.

You might also want to read Dr. Blake's response to the overwhelming number of letters she has received in support of her letter to Congressman Manzullo. Note that James Leach (jleach@neh.gov), contact for NEH funding, is apparently unimpressed with the uproar and that he will propose no meaningful changes in the NEH process and intends to continue to fund future projects by the East-West Center. Now is the time to alert the new House members of this questionable use of taxpayer funding. Maybe Mr. Leach intends to continue future projects; but if the Republicans are made aware of this revisionism, perhaps THEY won't fund future projects.

Perhaps you need to forward this blog to veterans' groups. I doubt they would appreciate being portrayed in such a way as they were in this workshop. In fact, I think I will forward this to my WWII veteran father. This is shameful.


  1. They are trying to revise our history so our children and grand-children are NOT proud Americans and to make it easier to make America a solicalist/communist country...One World Order and with our own tax dollars.
    "They" really do think ALL of us are stupid - not.

  2. What do you expect coming from STATISTS.You get revisionist history. Some schools do not want to teach the history of this country from the founding but rather start around the "Progressive" (oppressive, tyranical) era around 1900. You have the likes of Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrne, Jeff Jones who were members of the Weather Underground who advocated the killing of 25 million Americans who would not be re-educated into Communism if they were able to overthrow this country, INDOCTRINATING our children in colleges and universities. You have the Communist Van Jones indoctrinating our children at Princeton. there is Ward Churchill and many other Statists teaching (Indoctrinating) our children. Not to mention Hollywoods effect on these young skulls full of mush.

  3. This incident represents just one of many projects funded by the NEH. To single out a single incident like this and act like it represents the rest of the work of the Endowment is unfair. The NEH has also funded many projects with more conservative agendas, sometimes to the tune of millions of dollars. These include, but are not limited to, the American Constitution Center, the National World War Two Museum, James Madison's Montpelier, The Association for the Study of Free Institutions, the Museum of the Confederacy, and Colonial Williamsburg. NEH also regularly supports the documentaries of Ken Burns, and was a premier supporter of his very popular Civil War and The War films.

    There was a balance of viewpoints at the Hawaii workshop, including those of a number of invited veterans. Another workshop attendee who posted as Texas Native at http://www.joannejacobs.com/2010/11/professor-neh-funds-anti-u-s-bias/comment-page-1/ characterized the event this way (these are quotes from an attendee--not my words):

    [QUOTE] "I attended the workshop. The organizers attempted to cover too much material and look at the entire Asia Pacific War. Therefore there was an emphasis on the Asian theaters. As for American imperialism, panelists presented the argument the Japanese gave for invading China in the1930s was to protect China from American imperialism. This was the argument Japan used it was not a reinterpretation of our foreign policy.

    There were several Pearl Harbor veterans there and they were cherished members of the group. They sat in on many sessions and did not appear to be offended in the least. They loved visiting with us and we with them. We thanked them for their sacrifice and service. I was honored and humbled to be able to meet them and hear their stories.

    Professor Blake, I believe, has misconstrued the facts to the point that it made me question if we attended the same workshop. Sure, the workshop was not perfect, but it was not anti-American and it was not anti-veteran." [ENDQUOTE}

    I should also point out that the workshop in question was co-sponsored by the USS Arizona Memorial Museum Association (now called Pacific Historic Parks), the organization that supports and funds educational materials, museum exhibits, and interpretive programs for four National Parks throughout the Pacific, namely World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument at Pearl Harbor (USS Arizona Memorial), Kalaupapa National Historical Park on the island of Molokai, American Memorial Park in Saipan and War in the Pacific National Historical Park in Guam. Workshop attendee also heard from the Chief Historian of the USS Arizona Memorial. It sounds to me like there was a balance of viewpoints and, along with the veterans who were present, many people who could and would have refuted claims that were not backed up by evidence. Indeed, the people who actually fought the war and were bombed at Pearl Harbor were there to refute such claims.

    How do I know this? I requested the letter from Jim Leach to Penelope Blake that Power Line has spilled a lot of electronic ink over but has yet to post, despite the fact that they have it in their hands. Email Power Line yourselves to get the letter along with a letter to Commander Kenny Hanson, Commander of the American Ex-Prisoners of War. Then draw your own conclusions about Professor Blake’s comments.

    Another detail I learned from the letter: the NEH has funded the Dwight Eisenhower and George Marshall Papers (they were, of course, two of the greatest heroes of WWII), the Richard I. Bong World War II Heritage Center, US Naval Special Warfare Records at the Navy UDT-Seal Museum in Florida, and the USS Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum. It seems to me like the NEH is definitely doing its part to support significant non-revisionist projects in World War II history.


Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter