By Paige Clark
Recently, Oklahoma proposed Republican-backed legislation to eliminate A.P. History classes. The Republican National Committee said the courses showcase a “consistently negative view of American history” – basically educational bad juju.
I remember my first reading assignment for Dr. Patterson’s A.P. History class. I remember begrudgingly rolling my eyes at the long range of pages assigned.
But what I remember most is the different style of writing within the textbook. For the first time in my high school career, I was handed a book with opinions and real background information, not a public relations-approved paragraph about scandals with a positive spin.
And maybe that does come off negative, but I think it’s more honest and transparent. No matter how hard you spin Watergate it’s still bad. No matter how you spin concentration camps for Japanese Americans, it’s still bad. Segregation? Still bad.
We’re America the Great, not America the Perfect. Social norms change and mistakes happen. But what really makes a mistake a “scandal” is usually the big lie used to cover it all up. Why would we want to encourage removing a class that removes all the lies and just tells the truth?
Besides, it’s 2015. If high school kids want to learn all the deep dark secrets about American history, they can just Google it. Wouldn’t you rather them learn about America’s past, positive or negative, from an approved historical text book rather than some blog written by an American conspiracy theorist who only drinks Mountain Dew, blames the Smurfs for the terrorist attacks and still lives with their mom?