Chicago-Area Leaders: Cancel U.S. History Classes

In this May 20, 2014, file photo, Illinois Rep. La Shawn Ford, D-Chicago, speaks at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill. The furor over recent Chicago police shootings has legislators considering whether voters should be allowed to recall Mayor Rahm Emanuel or future officials who hold his post. Ford …
AP Photo/Seth Perlman

Chicago-area leaders led by State Rep. La Shawn K. Ford (D) urged the Illinois Board of Education to end U.S. history classes in the state’s public schools until a curriculum that, in their view, is not “racist” can be created.

“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said at a press conference Sunday in the suburb of Evanston, according to NBC5 News.

Ford is sponsoring a bill (House Bill 4954), which says that “the teaching of the history of the United States shall include the study of the American civil rights renaissance, that period of time from 1954 to 1965 called the Movement.”

He said during the press conference:

I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history. Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved. I’m also alarmed that people continue to display symbols of hate, such as the recent display of the Confederate flag in Evanston.

The bill also states that it:

Adds as commemorative holidays January 15 (to be known as Humanitarian Day and observed as a day of respect for the principles of human and civil rights and to involve the use of the color white as a visual affirmation to practice these principles), April 4 (to be known as Victims of Violence Wholly Day and observed as a day of respect for the principles of nonviolence and to involve the use of the color black as a visual affirmation to practice these principles), and August 28 (to be known as Dream Day and observed as a day of respect for the spiritual and moral principles of peoplehood and to involve the use of the colors black and white as a visual affirmation to practice these principles).

Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty (D) said while he is “not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended,” he nevertheless supports Ford’s bill, according to NBC5 News.

“I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America,” he added.

Meleika Gardner, a board member of We Will, an organization of women that states it is “pro-choice, pro-racial equity, and pro-education equity,” also weighed in on the situation.

“The miseducation of our children must stop,” Gardner said.

“It is urgent that it comes to an end as we witness our current climate become more hostile,” she continued. “Miseducation has fed and continues to feed systemic racism for generations. If Black History continues to be devalued and taught incorrectly, then it will call for further action.”

As Breitbart News reported Friday, Black Lives Matter activism materials, including the New York Times‘ “1619 Project,” which claims America was founded on slavery and racism, are being incorporated in the curricula of some government schools, including those in Chicago; Newark, New Jersey; Buffalo, New York; and Washington, DC.

A Michigan school board created a firestorm recently when it approved a Black Lives Matter resolution that states its community is “a primarily white school district” that “occurred as a result of endemic racist housing policies, restrictive covenants, and intentional urban planning that prevented people of color from even entering white spaces.”

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has introduced the Saving American History Act of 2020, which would ban federal funds for schools that teach the revisionist “1619 Project.”

“The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded,” said Cotton. “Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage.”


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