A couple years later, reading the history text used both in middle and high school in our school district, I discovered the probable source of this propaganda. The text book, which I plan to analyze in some detail in a later post, included several chapters lauding Islam, and making excuses for the crimes of Mohammed -- or rather ignoring them. The man comes across as a model citizen, a liberal country gentleman. No mention is made of his murder of 700 Jewish men in Medina, attacks on neighboring tribes, enslavement of those he conquered, assassinations or torture of enemies, or the fact that he consummated marriage (at over 50) to a nine year old girl.
In short, our children were being systematically lied to about history.
Why? To make peace. So that Americans would be more kindly disposed to Islam, and not blame it for any unpleasantness in the daily headlines.
Meanwhile, the same textbook said practically nothing positive about Christianity. Jesus was given, not a whole chapter like Mohammed, but a single, ambivalent paragraph. Evils done by the Church were headlined in the sections on the Medieval Era and the so-called "Enlightenment." (Which was also treated with the adulation of the ignorant and gullible.)
Does this strategy of berating our spiritual heritage in favor of Islam really help us make peace with the Muslim world?
Judging by the Boston Bombers, apparently not.
|What are nice young boys like |
these doing, committing acts
Aaronson was also a friend of Howard Zinn, the radical anti-American historian (see my review of his famous People's History of the United States). Here's Aaronson's report on how Aaronson taught Zinn's version of history in high school, and how that teaching radicalized students at the school the Boston Bombers attended:
You wanna read a really good American History book? Read Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States. I will knock your socks off!” -Will Hunting (Matt Damon), “Good Will Hunting”
|Larry Aaronson, radical former |
teacher at CRLS.
Howard Zinn’s history book A People’s History of The United States, has a compelling connection with CRLS. Rindge was one of the very first US urban high schools to allow teachers to use the controversial revisionists (sic) history book. I was one of the very first history teachers allowed to teach Zinn’s revisionist history in an American public high school. The year was 1981, less than a year after the book appeared. I taught 20-some years at The Pilot School, the progressive alternative school program housed in CRLS. I taught extensively from “The Peoples’ History” for the next two decades.
I submit there is a direct correlation between the introduction of Zinn’s book and the extraordinary awakening of student leadership in Cambridge Rindge and Latin during the 80’s and lasted until early 90’s. The change in the political activism in the school was palpable. Student leaders angered by US indifference to the Apartheid in South Africa, drove out all Coca-Cola dispenser machines from CRLS when they learned the corporation lied about their divestment policy. Students’ response to the California jury’s acquittal of the LAPD’s beating of Rodney King was to organize with teachers and alumni to produce their own revisionist multicultural curriculum writing project (Onesimus), dedicated to combat racial, gender and class prejudice and stereotypes in our schools. When a former CRLS student was senselessly murdered outside a housing project, students established Students Against Violence and For Equality (SAVE). When local educators, parents and civic leaders feared the worst– a rampaging AIDS epidemic, youth peer leaders organized a condom distributions program in our school’s Teen Health Clinic, one of the very first such projects in any public school in America. Student activists also helped establish Project 10 East, the second in-school support youth program for GTLB community in the country, another first! I actively joined my students in their endeavors.
Howie died promoting his latest project, “The People Speak.” He wanted it to inspire students to find their voice and take courage to fight for social justice and human rights. How will we be able to get this curriculum into our public schools?
But in fact, Howard Zinn did not speak up "for social justice and human rights." He spoke up for just and human rights whenever they could be used to make the United States look bad, never to save (for instance) the millions of innocents oppressed by left-wing totalitarian regimes around the world. When it came to the victims of the communists, all through People's History, Zinn walks by on the other side, as in Jesus' story, in silence.
Aaronson also seems strangely giddy, this May Day, considering what communism has wrought in the name of this holiday. Here are his comments on Facebook today:
MAY DAY!!!! MAY DAY!!!! MAY DAY!!!! It's blessed May Day! Shall this be a call to socialist revolution for social justice??? Or a call sounding "Alert" "Help" "Vigilance" "Emergency" ????? Or both????
Apparently, Aaronson takes it for granted that it is right to brainwash his students in standard Marxism, rather than in Islamic jihad. So how could Aaronson or his fellow ideologues at CRLS possibly be responsible in any way for the crimes that the misguided young Tsarnaevs committed? The curious thing about the Tsarnaevs is that even having been welcomed into the United States, even having their education and welfare paid for by American citizens, even having a liberal school bend over backwards to welcome them, they nevertheless justified and nursed a powerful grievance against Western civilization in general, and the United States in particular -- to the point of murdering the innocent. What the two ideologies share in common is the presumption that America is generally in the wrong, a determination to focus on the evils of the United States. Zinn also is determined in ignoring the greater evils of America's foes, in particular, the gross injustices perpetrated by communist ideology, which America nobly and successfully opposed.
During the Cold War, the European and American Left sometimes distanced itself from communism. (Though Howard Zinn did not -- he was a communist, as were some of Barack Obama's mentors.) But they shared a principle that was sometimes formulated, "No enemies on the Left." Those who actively and vocally opposed communism were the "real" enemies, to many (not all) on the Left.
After the fall of communism, and especially after 9/11, many leftists found it natural to transfer their distaste for those who vocally criticized communism, to those who vocally critized radical Islam. A mild expression of that distaste was, "Aren't we just as guilty as they are? Don't we have religious radicals a lot like the Taliban?" (To which, of course, the honest answer is, "No, not really.")
But more radical expressions are also common. The textbook used in my school district is an example: to be "fair," History Alive criticizes only Christian civilization, and gives Islam a complete pass, to the extent of baldly misrepresenting history by means of out and out lies.
What is a young Muslim boy to think, exposed to such propaganda?
It's a likely bet that like my students in Washington State, after 9/11, the Tsarnaevs were taught to adore the "prophet Mohammed," and despise the real or imagined evils of Western civilization. And it seems probable, though we will see what direct evidence shows up, that some of those lessons stuck. Certainly, the two boys turned out as "politically involved" as their friend Mr. Aaronson brags were their radical liberal fellow students, and shared with them a jaundiced perspective on America.
It is time to rethink American (or should we say, anti-American) education. Let's get rid of the pinkos, the reds, and the Islamicist quislings, and begin to teach our kids the truth about world history, again.