Byline: Robert Holland, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
In his Jan. 11, 1989 farewell address after eight years as President, Ronald Reagan warned that the teaching of U.S. history could be going into irreversible decline in the nation's elementary and secondary schools.
"If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are," he said. "I am warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit."
The Great Communicator's words have a poignant ring now that we know the memory-robber called Alzheimer's was about to afflict him. But his words were prescient in anticipating the assault on study of U.S. history that grows ever more intense almost two decades later.
The multicultural doctrine promoted by academic elitists is a prime culprit.
In Texas, academics have prepared a set of college readiness standards for the high-school curriculum that emphasize "diverse human perspectives and experiences" while omitting pivotal events and heroic movers and shakers.
For instance, while ignoring the enormous sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation to defeat fascism in World War II, the standards ask students to explain the impact of that war on "the African-American and Mexican-American Civil Rights Movements."
While the standards make no mention of Pearl Harbor or the Battle of Normandy, they invite students to second-guess President Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.
Instead of probing the intellectual roots of a Declaration of Independence that still motivates oppressed people around the world today, the proposed Texas standards imply that the American Revolution was nothing special.
Specifically, students are to "identify how revolutions such as the American, Cuban, French, Russian and Iranian Revolutions affected the functions and structure of government in those countries."
The academics who drafted the standards up for adoption by the state's Higher Education Coordinating Board on Jan. 24 boasted that their approach was consistent with that of other states and national organizations. About that much they are right. Multiculturalism is weakening the study of U.S. history in many school systems.
Chicago is a case in point. There the public school system uses a voluminous curriculum guide for teaching history to its Latino students - Mexican history, that is, with U. …