Thursday, October 4, 2012

What Are We Teaching Our Kids?

The world truly has spiraled right off its axis.  I don't write educational blogs.  I don't have any desire to educate anyone.  That's not me.  This is a therapy blog.  I write about what I know.  Me.  My stuff.  You all come here to read about my junk.  The subject I know best is me.  My triumphs and failures and everything in between.  And then there are my crushes and fun stuff like that.  I occasionally provide eye candy, music videos, and I used to do those one word and fifteen minute blogs.  Now those were fun, right?  What happened to that????

I haven't even delivered the goods on "what is going on with me" in forever.  And there has actually been stuff.  Go figure.

Did all of you read JJ's post on The American Revolution?  JJ's blog is The Disconnected Writer.  I am too lazy today to link it in.  You can find it on my sidebar.  You should still read it to get EVERYTHING he is saying, but the upshot is that our youth are not being given access to the same education that you and I had.  The focus now is on the last fifty years.  So, stuff like the American Revolution is pretty much being left out.  The kids don't know who Ben Franklin is.  They have a right to a better education than that.  They have a right to that information.  Now, I know that didn't feel like a right when I growing up, because it was couched in words like homework, reading assignments, pop quizzes, and you will be tested on this on Friday.  But it was actually a RIGHT.  They were endowing me with information, whether I understood that right or not.  Whether I took advantage of that right or not.  Some people did.  Some didn't.  Some stored it in permanent memory.  Some short-term.  But it was offered.

My mom and I were driving to an appointment yesterday, and she told me that she read on the web that England's history books are also undergoing a rewrite.  Apparently, the Holocaust is offensive to the Muslim population, so it is getting written out.  The teachers are afraid to teach it.  She said that Eisenhower predicted this back when it happened, so he ordered as many pictures be taken as possible, because some day someone will try to say it never happened.  That day has come.  I looked on Wikipedia.  Apparently, it has been coming for decades.  People have been yelling long and loud that it never happened.  It has just taken a while for people to actually cave and write it out of textbooks.  So far, we are still standing strong here in America, in terms of our textbooks, but I have to wonder how long that will last.  We are so damn politically correct.  We sure don't want to offend anyone.  And the Holocaust offends our Muslims neighbors (apparently.. see the link below for an article on how this is all going down in England).  Apparently, so do the Crusades.  Can't teach that either.  That was the Christians and the Muslims duking it out. Folks, history is history.  You can't change it.  The best you can do is live with it and learn from it.  And hope to never repeat it.  I don't understand this Let's Just Erase It Mentality.  Or We Can't Talk About It Mentality.

Here is the link referred to above: click to read.

Here is a link to a site that looked at how Jewish history was being taught to children around the world.  Well anti-Semitism is alive and well.  Teachers are still teaching it.  And textbooks are still dishing it up by the spoonful all over the globe.  And, if you don't believe me, since I have a history of lying on this blog (not), here is the link: click to read for yourself.

And here is a direct quote from the United Kingdom's Holocaust Education Report, "In a recent BBC poll published in November, 45% of UK adults (16 years old and above) did not know what Auschwitz was."  You can read it for yourself here.  You have to scroll all the way to the bottom in order to find it.

My Polish friend and I just had an IM conversation about this topic (the Holocaust being erased out of England's textbooks) and she was shocked.  She lives in London now, and can't understand why the Muslims would be offended by the Holocaust.  I told her that it well... you know... makes the Jews somewhat sympathetic in the history annals.  You know you cannot have that when you're trying to wipe them off the map.  And she was like, "Oh, I see your point."

She also told me that she is amazed at how downright scared people are of Muslims in London.  Well, duh.  I think that is the kinda sorta the point.  No one ever orchestrated a takeover by being cuddly.

If you read that and thought to yourself, well those other countries are real bastards, but the U.S. is not SO bad.  I mean the hate in this country versus other countries isn't nearly so awful.  Sure, we've had some swastikas painted, Hitler faces, and some gas chambers.  And there was that "Hit A Jew Day" in the St. Louis area, but compared to the firebombing of a Jewish boys' school in Montreal, that's peanuts.  The solution falls back to the parents so says the study.  I mean the history books are just not going to get everything right.  It is up to the parents to educate their kid.  They need to know all of the facts about Jewish history and explain it to their kid.  Right????

The U.S. has always been Israel's biggest ally.  Yeah, maybe not so much.  Me?  I was thinking it was just the President who was not in Israel's corner until earlier today.  If you're wondering why I am thinking that, you haven't been watching the Prime Minister of Israel nearly enough.  I know this is a bit long, but this is put together by a liberal Jewish New Yorker who is concerned about what is going to happen to Israel.  I, too, am concerned.  This video details her research about Israel and where it stands in this precarious time.  If you care anything about Israel, it is worth your time to watch it.  Actually, since what happens in Israel will affect the Middle East, and that will affect us, it is worth your time to watch it.

So what happened earlier today?  Well, I was on facebook reading through everyone's rehash of last night's debate.  I had pretty much decided I didn't want to jump into that mess.  I've been bloodied enough already, thank you very much.  However, someone posted something and I thought they were asking for clarification... not argument.  And it had nothing to do with Israel, obviously, because that wasn't even up for debate last night.

Anyway, this person started IMing me.  And she was very nice to me.  But she was vicious tongued.  And I was very nice to her because I remain firm in the belief that everyone wants the best for the country, even if they disagree on how to get there.  Plus, there is not a good reason to be ugly.  The Middle East came up.  And I expressed my concern for Israel.  And I got a shock. 

She said, " Israel is taking land that doesn't belong to them... that is why so many of the Middle East countries hate them."

I replied, "Redrawing the lines to 1967 is throwing Israel under the bus. Well, they know they are on their own. For the first time in a very long time."

She responded, "I don't know what the lines were... I do know that they want land that isn't theirs. I really hope they are on their own... we can't afford to send our kids to war!"

Well, the conversation went on with me trying to explain that we would be at war no matter how the whole thing played out, but it was like talking to a wall.  I also tried to explain that the Prime Minister was right to be worried about Iran having a nuke, but she seemed to think that everyone ought to have nukes.  She was also convinced that Israel knew about 9/11 prior to the attacks and there was "dancing in the streets" in Israel over our misery.   While you might think this is a political post, it is not.  Electing Romney is not going to erase anti-Semitism.  Electing Obama is not going to erase anti-Semitism.  I am afraid that ship has sailed.

If we embrace the attitude of my facebook "friend," I am afraid Jews will not only be unsafe in Israel, but they will be unsafe everywhere.  Well, that does seem to be the case according to the site indicating the ever-increasing anti-Semitic incidents worldwide.  So, if we abandon Israel, there will be war.  And if we don't abandon Israel, there will probably be war.  So, I guess you have to decide who your friends and allies are.  Who has stood for you in the past?  Who would stand for you in the future?  When I look to the Middle East the only country that I think would stand for the U.S., should we need them, is Israel.  Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, and Iran are all a bit busy burning our flag at the moment.  Yet, we continue to send them foreign aid.  That is a bit of a head scratcher.  

So, I look to you my blogger friends.  I figure one of you can unravel this mystery better than I.


  1. What a powerful post, Robin. I have always believed that we should be journaling our lives in our own personal diaries/journals . . . in that way the history of our personal lives cannot be changed/erased/devalued, etc. The world is a bit crazy now. I feel for Israel and all its people. I feel for our children may only know what the politicians want them to know - - unless we teach them the truth. Ah, I wish there were easy answers.

    Great post!

  2. I know quite a bit about the history surrounding Israel. However, it does not pay to go into it. I taught for two semesters at Israel college, and I came away with some lifetime friends. I am convinced the Israelis want peace. As for the Holocaust, my father was one of the soldiers that liberated the camps. I have some terrible photos as proof. The Holocaust happened!

  3. I really don't know what to say about any of this. I have Jewish friends who have many times said things to the effect that in the end they feel they will always be at risk of some sort of torture/ostracism/being misunderstood. I feel as if no people should ever be the forever underdogs. I grew up understanding that Americans were there for Israel and now I just feel as if we are turning our backs. I don't get it. I thought America cared for those who are persecuted unfairly. I don't think that's wrong, but our message is not strong for Israel any more.

  4. WOW on the posting. I think it is sad to remove this from our kids text books. :/ I often think that one of these days we are going to wake up and realize that the US was auctioned off to the highest bidder.

  5. From my position, students/young people don't want to know history... TV is slanted towards reality stuff, and what a bunch of people who deserve no notoriety at all do on a daily basis.

    I fear for the direction of our Country... and the direction of the World.


  6. Well, Rob.. You know my feelings on the subject. I am sickened by the lack of support for Israel from our current administration and I'm afraid not only for Israel, but for us. (meaning the US) I spent a great deal of time as a child with a Jewish family. Their daughter and I were best friends. I met Holocost survivors, heard their stories, saw their tattoos and felt the pain that still resided in them decades later. Oh, it happened alright. But, I'm getting away from the point of my comment. I love this post. I think it should be printed off and sent to every politician in this country and frankly, the WH itself. You hit it right on the head, my friend and there are a lot of people who could benefit from both your research and your compassion. I'll be passing it on to a few people, that's a promise. I'm always proud to be able to call you my friend, but what I don't say enough, is that I'm grateful. XOXO M.


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