Thanksgiving is the most uniquely American day of the year — regardless of our ethnic ancestries. It is a day of gratitude spent with family and friends, feasting on turkey with all the trimmings and watching football. Most of all, Thanksgiving is a day to recall our shared American heritage, except at school where political correctness and the Common Core have hijacked our history and our traditions.
In Providence, Rhode Island, Thanksgiving has gone global, no longer a day of stuffing and gluttony topped with pilgrim hats and belt buckles because the schools have moved beyond historical facts, morphing the holiday into a 21st Century cornucopia that embraces the all international cultures represented in the classroom — Mexico, Bolivia, Liberia and Nigeria, according to the Providence Journal.
They are not united by the word “American” but the word “thankful” regardless of wherever they come from.
Welcome to the war on Thanksgiving, not quite as volatile as the war on Christmas yet but it is a Fed Led Ed world where teachers ask students to “explore the differences and commonalities between the first Thanksgiving and the one we celebrate today and they instead read a variety of immigration stories, followed by asking students to share their own pilgrim journeys,” the Journal stated.
The Common Core teachers in Rhode Island emphasized that history is often written by the victor, so there may not be one right answer to the question: What is Thanksgiving?”
Elementary schools across the nation now approach that first Thanksgiving with a much more critical eye, the article continued. They study the event from multiple perspectives in a project-based learning environment, where they will figure out the meaning and come to an opinion about Thanksgiving by committee.
Well, there goes Thanksgiving — the way of Christopher Columbus who was thrown out of Seattle, a city distraught over latter day allegations of the voyager’s barbarism. Last year, in response to this growing uneasiness with the maligned Columbus, the Washington Post offered up Canadian Thanksgiving Day to Americans who “feel uncomfortable celebrating a guy who did terrible things to native people in the new world.”
Associate Professor of Education at the University of Rhode Island, Diane Kern, told the Journal about our understanding of the holiday, “What we experienced as children was very Euro-centric.”
Is that educratic code for white-privilege?
Kern added, “History was taught from the point of view of the dominant culture. We’re teaching teachers that the textbook is narrow, and they need toseek other sources.”
Sounds like Texas Senate Bill 6 that ripped the textbook right out of teacher’s hands in exchange for e-books that professors liked better because changes are more expeditiously made to content, Breitbart Texas reported.
Today, children are learning about Thanksgiving “like historians”, Kern said. The problem with that is they are learning about it through the Common Core’s amorphously lit cause-and-effect lens.
As Kim Heckart, board member from the National Council for Social Studies told the Providence newspaper, “We want them to see how cause-and-effect works and make comparisons from one time period to another.”
Those historical insights, however, come with a modern day understanding of a very different world, which can result in a very misguided moral equivalency.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Providence, third graders were busy debunking more alleged Thanksgiving “myths”. Rather than a class performance of the elementary school holiday classic, Stone Soup, these kids were discovering the meaning of Thanksgiving through Fed Led Ed sanctioned primary source documents like a painting of the first Thanksgiving — from the 1930’s.
A sketch or pencil drawing from the 1600’s or 1700’s might have been a tad more accurate.
Texas got its latest big whiff of the politically-correct historian-minded during the recent State Board of Education (SBOE) Social Studies textbook adoption process. The leftwing tirelessly lobbed flagrant accusations that the new instructional materials were going to teach children that Moses was a founding father of the United States. This was sheer ideological hyperbole, let alone, false, Breitbart Texas reported. Similar bias issues surfaced with the Advanced Placement (AP) US History.
In September, the same 15-member publicly elected SBOE voted 12-3 to pass an amendment intended to shore up Texas sovereignty over its Social Studies state standards, the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS). This better ensured that high school students enrolled would be taught the TEKS, especially in vulnerable courses like that AP US History, which was redesigned by the College Board, which is headed up by the architect of the Common Core State Standards, David Coleman.
Today, it is a one big paradigm shift where Thanksgiving emphasizes the Kumeyaay and Wampanoag peoples of the land and deemphasizes the Pilgrims and their exodus for religious freedom to a new land. Thanksgiving becomes the latest platform to recount social injustices, although the retelling may be just as lob-sided as they claim it was before. Only now, Thanksgiving is taught through biased education reformer eyes.
“Thanksgiving means so many different things today — and that’s OK,” the director of the San Diego Unified School District American Indian Education Program and a Cherokee Indian told the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2009.
If it means enough things, it will ultimately mean nothing.
Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.