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During the first week of the school year before classes began, teachers gathered in departments to review plans for teaching their subjects. The U.S. history teachers gathered in a room. It was my first week, and within a few minutes, it came to my attention that the teachers in the room all planned on regularly distributing excerpts from Howard Zinn's bestselling college textbook A People's History of the United States. Suddenly, I realized I was in a dark coven of male commies. Collectively, purposely, and without hesitation, they were agreeing on teaching that American history was a betrayal of the people by the power-mad white capitalist elite. Our history was presumably a history of oppression, suppression, and exploitation of "the people."
When I told them Zinn was a communist (pretending I was telling them something they did not already know as they discussed distribution of photocopies from Zinn's textbook), they replied with utter contempt for me. One snake said, "What do you know?! Have you ever published anything?" You would be shocked (maybe not) at their dismissive tone and attitude toward a colleague as I questioned their use of Zinn in the classroom. I told them that even if they agreed with Zinn, it was their duty and responsibility as teachers not to present Zinn as the only final and legitimate interpretation. As professionals who are teaching, they should not use the classroom as a bully pulpit for Zinn. If they wanted to use Zinn, they should at the very least present other historical takes on the same events or criticism of Zinn's interpretations by other authors. My main point was that it would be best not to use Zinn at all in the classroom because he was identified with such a fundamentally anti-American, anti-liberty ideology.
Yet, less than one week...
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Conservatives are to the GOP what oil is to water, and the GOPe spend most of their time skimming it off or setting it on fire.