In one of the Executive Orders reversing the backward policies of the now (Thank God) former Trump Administration, President (again Thank God) Joe Biden issued a directive revoking the Report of the 1776 Commission.
This commission, initiated by Donald Trump as a counterweight to the 1619 Project, gave a sanitized extreme right-wing version of United States History, downplaying the struggles of Blacks, Native Americans, and other Non-White groups.
Mr. Trump, using the language a Stalin, Mao, Hitler, or Mussolini might have employed, called this 1776 Commission a promotion of Patriotic Education.
He found willing allies for this alternative history program in the gutters of Trump Zone-Fox Island cultists who for years moaned and groaned that history classes did not glorify the white men’s only version of history and condemned any attempts to give a well rounded and fuller perspective to the National Story.
As I wrote when Mr. Trump first launched this attack on history in September 2020:
“Children do not need to learn the History of the United States and World according to Donald Trump.”
“Children, and adults, need more exposure to history, not just the sanitized “white men did it” version that the right would have everyone memorize and recite.”
“People need to know both the positive and negative aspects of the American Journey. It is a disservice to the idea of fostering an informed citizenry if that does not occur.”
“Children need more than two years of history in high school. They should have four so they are exposed to a fuller picture of what transpired in American and World Society.”
“More history courses that probe the Human Experience in depth should be required in K-8 and college as well.”
January 6, 2021, shows the need for robust History and Civics Programs in the Nation’s Schools and Colleges.
Those remarks from September are still as valid now as they were four months ago.
Maybe more so given how Mr. Trump was able to persuade millions of people the November 3, 2020 election was stolen from him and convince thousands to storm the Nation’s Capitol, in his name, in a Domestic Terrorist attempted insurrection.
In his inaugural address, President Biden stated:
“Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. Each of us has the duty and responsibility as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.”
With this Executive Order revoking the 1776 Commission Report, President Biden has taken the first step in “defending truth and defeating the lies.”
Hopefully, educators will heed what happened on January 6, 2021, and the lies uttered on an hourly basis by the former (Thank God) Administration and seek to mandate more factual history and civics education for students to master.
Character Education, Service Learning, and Economics would be helpful as well.
That way, hopefully, the support for the fringes version of history education will further fade away and no President will ever support anything so outlandish as the findings of the 1776 Commission.