Christian Curriculum

CRT: School and Comfort Lies – An Old Battle Continues

This is Mike Strong, at Hays, for HPPR. The graphic history book is “March” by John Lewis, in a set of three books, in trilogy form. The inspiration for creating John Lewis’s “March” as a graphic book trilogy was a 1957 comic strip about Martin Luther King. That same year, 1957, the State of Virginia published a book it had commissioned in 1950, A History of Virginia, a textbook for use in Virginia schools. Among his subjects is slavery in Virginia.

The history book, titled “Commonwealth Rider,” teaches that slavery wasn’t so bad. Heck, it was even beneficial for slaves. Seven years of preparation and we have a calculated erasure of knowledge and history, the betrayal of how we got here.

So, a few unvarnished quotes:

“Of course, the slave was not free to change employers, (but)…his condition had its advantages.” … “he enjoyed long vacations, especially at Christmas. He didn’t work as hard as the average free worker since he didn’t have to worry about losing his job. In fact, the slave enjoyed what one might call full social security. In general, his food was plentiful, his clothing adequate, his cabin warm, his health protected, his leisure carefree.

Wow. I might want to register. Besides, a statement like that makes me wonder why these plantation owners didn’t register so that they too could benefit from all this “comprehensive social security”. Could be like reverse mortgages, just reverse slave owners.

This is the kind of story the CRT attackers would like us to learn. Another quote:

“…the relationship between the two races was governed by a great deal of kindness and mutual trust. Both understood that bondage as they knew it was not all bad; the two realized that slavery in a civilized world had been better in many respects for the Negro than the barbarities he might have suffered in Africa;

Wow, “enslavement” and “civilizedin the same sentence.

Again, quoting:

“…it was easy for Virginians who profited from Negro slavery to consider themselves the benefactors of a backward race. Indeed, in some respects they were clearly (benefactors).”

There are many more. So much more than we have space here. This 1957 Virginia history book, designed to erase, perfume and conceal the horrific history of the breed in this country, was in use until the late 1970s. About 20 years.

You might hope this was the last of these manuals. But in 2016, a McGraw Hill textbook of world geography said the Atlantic slave trade brought “millions of workers,(note: workers rather than slaves) in the southern United States. Then the text wraps these slaves in the mixture of “immigrants and their descendants” that formed the United States.

Well, at least the 2016 book got a lot of reviews.

*Side note: Enslaved Africans found themselves transported throughout the Western Hemisphere, not just what became the United States.

One of the more recent attacks on accurate history is the attack on an academic niche topic, CRT, Critical Race Theory – (I still remember CRT as a cathode ray tube). I did some research on the subject and found mostly empty. I looked for courses at KU. Also, FHSU for “Fort Hays State University CRT program” and got “Missing: crt

At KU, it’s not in any of the core courses. I found an invitation to a two-part conference last year for advanced law students. CRT is not a course and apparently not a big topic. Not that the lack of existing CRT courses matters. The attackers claim that any mention of diversity and equality is the same as CRT. This bar-shifting response means that the CRT, as such, is not a real concern, but only a stalking horse, a symbol in a struggle for broad-spectrum political dominance.

This is Mike Strong, in Hays, for HPPR Radio Readers Book Club.

REFERENCES

Organized threat against public education “The wolf at the school gate” (book November 17, 2020) https://bookshop.org/books/a-wolf-at-the-schoolhouse-door-the-dismantling-of-public-education-and-the-future-of-school/9781620974940

Parental Rights: Christian Fringe on the Organized Effort – January 12, 2022 https://www.salon.com/2022/01/12/parental-rights-started-on-the-christian-fringe–now-its-the -gops -winning-issue/

Obsession with Parents’ Rights – December 9, 2021 https://newrepublic.com/article/164648/gop-obsession-parents-rights

Manhattan Institute Model Legislation – a major coordinator of Astro turf “A Model for Transparency in School Curriculum” (HTML and PDF links) https://www.manhattan-institute.org/transparency-school-training-curriculum

https://media4.manhattan-institute.org/sites/default/files/MI_rufo_copland_ketcham_model_legislation.pdf

Comment attacking public schools, saying Asians want charters https://nypost.com/2022/03/19/asian-parents-want-more-charter-schools-available-to-their-kids/