I frequently watch the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. If you haven’t heard of them they are two satirical television programs that focuses on politics and national media. While both shows often make me laugh, the issues they cover are usually pretty serious. I appreciate the fact that they can combine humor and politics. The other day I saw a report on the Colbert Report that some Tennessee Tea Party leaders are campaigning to remove mentions of slavery from textbooks. They are doing this in order to protect the image of “our” founding fathers (i.e.- George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson) who indeed owned slaves. Click here to read more in detail.
Having lived in Tennessee (birth state of the Klu Klux Klan) I can’t say that I’m surprised that there are people in that state who feel this way. There is a saying that goes “History is written by the victors.” There is a reason why when taking US history in high school and college we’re taught stories such as the Boston Tea party, the American Revolution and the story behind the Star-Spangled Banner. These lessons are meant to paint America in a positive light, as a place that has always held the ideals of patriotism and what is right close to its heart. Those of us that know better know that this is not the case.
I know that this country was built on a foundation of lies, corruption, greed and sin. The men who founded this country are made to be patriots and forward-thinking in writing the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights. These were men who were once called traitors and turncoats and charged with treason by the British. Today they are celebrated as heroes for denouncing a tyrannical government and claiming their freedom. They essentially did what they felt was right. Approximately 180 years later some other men stood up to a similar government and were cut down by character assassination, espionage and murder. But you know facts like that never showed up in my history books and I’m pretty sure that was the case across the board.
You see the history of this country is already told through rose colored glasses. If these Tea partiers have their way slavery would never have happened. According to this new history Africans would have been brought here to enjoy and share the freedoms held by Americans. We would have been handsomely paid for our labor. Jim Crow never happened. Reconstruction never had to occur. 40 acres and a mule? Hogwash. Black people were given stock options and were integral in helping write the Constitution.
See how silly this sounds?
If some Tea Party members have their way then this is what our children will learn about their history. Since the “majority” is quickly becoming the new “minority” in this country new strategies are needed to pull votes from people that wouldn’t normally vote conservative. What better way to do this than have them believe that conservatives have always had their best interest at heart.
I see the end game.