The 271-page result, called "National Standards for United States History," turned out to be so faulty as well as so anti-American that the U.S. Senate denounced it by a vote of 99-to-1. Lynne Cheney, who was National Endowment for the Humanities chairwoman when the grant was given, turned into a vigorous opponent, denouncing the volume as "politicized history," which it surely was.
"National Standards" was not a narrative of past events, but was left-wing revisionism and political correctness. Almost every event in U.S. history was described as though it had race or gender motives and effects, and all ethnic groups except white males were portrayed as oppressed and mistreated.
The PC flavor was established right off the bat when "National Standards" taught that calendar dates should be identified as BCE (before the Common Era) or CE (Common Era), rather than as B.C., as in before Christ, or A.D., as in Anno Domini, Latin for year of Our Lord.
Left-wing bias showed itself in the skewed selection of historical figures. Dozens of obscure people were singled out for study, while Paul Revere, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Gen. Robert E. Lee, Albert Einstein, Jonas Salk and Gen. Douglas MacArthur were omitted.
Anti-Communist Sen. Joseph McCarthy received 19 unfavorable mentions, while students were told to study the influence of MTV, Madonna, Murphy Brown, and Roseanne, and to read Ms. Magazine and the writings of Betty Friedan and Margaret Sanger. The 1848 feminist Declaration at Seneca Falls, N.Y., was mentioned six times, putting it on a par with the Declaration of Independence and making it more important than the U.S. Constitution and the Gettysburg Address.
The late American Federation of Teachers Chairman Albert Shanker said that "History Standards" was the first time a government tried to teach children to "feel negative about their own country."
After the national flap about "National Standards of United States History," the volume was revised with slight cosmetic improvements. However, by then the original volume had been shipped to school districts and book publishers. No one knows which version is in more common use today.
Despite the discrediting of the taxpayer-financed "History Standards" project, it is obvious the current crop of academic professionals is determined to drop the DWEMs, Dead White European Males, down an Orwellian memory hole and to replace history with Multiculturalism and Oppression Studies, featuring third-rate writers who attack Western Civilization as sexist, racist and oppressive. Parents should check out the history books used in their local schools.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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