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With his days in Office coming to an end, Donald Trump chose yesterday, Martin Luther King Jr. day, to introduce a school curriculum that minimises slavery and promotes ‘patriotic education’.
Taking place on the third Monday of each year, Martin Luther King Jr. day celebrates the life, achievements and legacy of the civil rights leader who fought for racial equality in the US.
This year, MLK day just so happened to fall on the final Monday of the Trump administration, January 18, with Joe Biden set to take over the White House following his inauguration on Wednesday, January 20. Trump is using his final days to his advantage, issuing pardons and introducing notions such as the ‘1776 Project’.
The new school curriculum appears to be a rebuttal to The New York Times’ 1619 Project, which aims to teach American students about slavery. Trump slammed the project as ‘toxic propaganda’ and announced his own commission last Autumn in response.
The Trump administration issued its report on the 1776 Project yesterday, in which it described today’s ideological divisions as being on par to those experienced during the Civil War.
Per CNN, the report states:
Americans are deeply divided about the meaning of their country, its history, and how it should be governed. This division is severe enough to call to mind the disagreements between the colonists and King George, and those between Confederate and Union forces during the Civil War.
Dubbed a ‘definitive chronicle of the American founding’, the report pushes back on what the commission claims to be a ‘decline of American education’ led by ‘progressive educators’.
The reports criticises progressivism and ‘racism and identity politics’ as ‘challenges to American principles’, and claims the Civil Rights Movement was ‘almost immediately turned to programs that ran counter to the lofty ideals of the founders’.
Educators are urged to teach slavery in a ‘much broader perspective’ and reject the notion that the Founding Fathers were hypocrites for preaching that ‘every man is created equal’, even though many of them owned slaves, stating it is ‘untrue, and has done enormous damage, especially in recent years, with a devastating effect on our civic unity and social fabric’.
The authors also target feminists and civil rights activists, claiming:
A radical women’s liberation movement reimagined America as a patriarchal system, asserting that every woman is a victim of oppression by men. The Black Power and black nationalist movements reimagined America as a white supremacist regime.
Meanwhile, other activists constructed artificial groupings to further divide Americans by race, creating new categories like ‘Asian American’ and ‘Hispanic’ to teach Americans to think of themselves in terms of group identities and to rouse various groups into politically cohesive bodies.
The authors encourage states and school districts to ‘reject any curriculum that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our principles’.
The authors of the report also state that educators ‘must convey a sense of enlightened patriotism that equips each generation with a knowledge of America’s founding principles, a deep reverence for their liberties, and a profound love of their country’.
Trump has previously blamed the existing school curriculum for violence in Black Lives Matter protests, claiming the ‘rioting and mayhem’ was a ‘direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination’ in schools.
It’s unclear whether Biden will take action against the 1776 Project when he becomes president.
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