Wednesday, October 03, 2012

American History: Is the Big Picture being taught, anymore?

In 2008, we the people elected a man of color to the Presidency of the US.  Even if we didn't vote for him, we hoped.. beyond logic, in most cases.. this would be a change in the direction of the racial divide.
But even before being elected, the One showed how foolish that was, rewriting history by claiming the government didn't care about New Orleans. 

In heated ’07 speech, Obama lavishes praise on Wright, says feds ‘don’t care’ about New Orleans [VIDEO]

Thus pretty much rewriting history by shifting blame away from typical bureaucratic incompetency on all levels, particularly local Democrats, to an 'establishment attitude'.  Never mind the military's extraordinary response, since it is the ONLY organization fit for rapid reaction.

That this was not reported or commented on at the time is not an accident.  Higher education in it's left leaning paradigm is not interested anymore in turning out well read and informed individuals.  It's interested in promoting special interest viewpoints.  Read what the University of Michigan is doing as noted by KC Johnson on Minding the Campus
In History—the Obsession with Race, Class and Gender

With the rise of the race/class/gender approach, subfields perceived as excessively “traditional" or overly focused on “dead white males” have gone into decline—or, in the case of political history, have been “re-visioned” in the hopes of transferring focus to topics oriented around themes of race, class, and gender. Since (at least in large departments, or at elite institutions) U.S. history hires in the national (post-1789) period come in subfields, looking at personnel specialties can give a sense of exactly how a university does—or does not—fulfill its obligation to train future citizens in the foundational events of their nation.
Most of Michigan’s handful of active scholars researching historical topics deemed “traditional” do so in a way that conforms to the department’s preferred view of the American past. Michigan has no U.S. military historians on staff. (It does have several specialists in Native American history.) The department’s sole specialist in U.S. foreign relations, Penny Von Eschen, describes her research interests as “transnational cultural and political dynamics, and race, gender, and empire” and “the political culture of United States imperialism”; her most recent book, Satchmo Blows Up the World: Jazz Ambassadors Play the Cold War, certainly would not be confused with traditional diplomatic history. The department’s political historians tend to focus on themes of race and politics—again, an important theme, but obviously not an all-encompassing one.

 This isn't too extreme a viewpoint, either.  It extends to independent historical organizations.  Special Interest views now focus on race and gender rather than time, place and sociological/economic conditions

Look What they've Done to U.S. History

If you doubt that leftist activists now dominate the study and teaching of U.S. history, take a look at the program for the 2013 American Historical Association conference in New Orleans. The pattern  is similar to the University of Michigan’s history department, discussed here yesterday—a heavy emphasis on race, class, and gender, with more “traditional” topics frequently reconfigured to conform to the dominant paradigm.....

Multiple other U.S. history panels deal with race and gender, while in general, the preferred tactic seemed to be finding any excuse to tack on race (race and education, for instance). Or consider an environmental history panel entitled, “BLACKOUTS: Using Energy Regimes to Narrate Place, Race, and Ethnicity.” Almost comically, the panel organizers appear to have worried that they didn’t sufficiently stress race, so they selected a specialist in African-American history as commentator; they said they did so “in part because [the commentator] is not an environmental historian.” So much for the idea of the importance of academic expertise.

 I don't think any of this is a big surprise to someone who's kept their eyes open.  After all we've noticed that the prevailing motive of Journalism students is that 'thgey want to make a difference.  Meaning ACTIVELY SHAPE opinion.  A total corruption of the Fourth Estate's traditional charter.

Why should historians be different?  Any wonder why our leaders urge us to send more of our kids to college?