Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. History: Not About What They Did, But Who

 

When your kids learn about George Washington at school, what facts might be of importance? It would be good to know that he was Commander of the Continental Army. That he was our first President. The fact that he was a slave owner would also be a pertinent piece of information. How much time would you want teachers to spend telling your children about George Washington’s sex life?

While you might expect stoic people like George and Martha to stick to the missionary position, we have determined that to spice things up George liked to . . .

No. I do not think someone’s sex life is relevant to their historical achievements. Well, the Governor of New Jersey disagrees with me and has signed into law mandatory LGBT (insert addition initials as needed) history to be taught in all public middle and high schools in the state.

School boards are trying to figure out how to accommodate this new requirement and a school board trustee in Hackensack, Frances Cogelja, commented in an email, “I find it repugnant that someone’s sexual preferences have anything to do with their contributions or achievements in society.” Her point was if something is historically significant then it should be taught regardless of the person’s sexuality and, if it is not historically significant then we shouldn’t waste time on it because of sexuality.

With the LGBTQ community representing the states largest bullying group, you can imagine the uproar this comment caused. NJ’s two senators, Menendez and Booker, came out against this school board trustee and others like the group Garden State Equality have called for resignation (makes you wonder why we still have local school boards rather than just one Federal overseer, but I digress).

Years ago people pushed for more Black History to be taught because some important African-Americans were left out of the old history books. But is that true today of the LGBT community? Education is one of the most left-leaning fields and I think it would be hard to claim that current history books are not gay enough.

So what will LGBTQ history classes be? There are three different categories I would expect to see:

1.) People who have made significant contributions to society and are already being taught about in schools today. Like my George Washington example above, they will continue to teach about what the person did, then add factual information about their sex live.

2.) People who did not do anything historically significant, but were gay. Each year thousands of Americans are elected to city and state government offices. Not a big deal. Now we will hear, “Yeah, but this guy is outwardly gay.” Still not a big deal. We are forced to pretend that someone doing something ordinary is extraordinary because of their sex life. Harvey Milk is “important”, why? Because of his desire for teenage boys? Because he ran cover for Jim Jones’ cult? No, because he was gay.

3.) The last category is the most disturbing. This is where historically significant individuals will magically become gay with little or no evidence. Speculation will be enough. James Buchanan was never married, so he is gay. There is no historical evidence to suggest he was gay, or straight for that matter, but . . . Considering his record as president, I doubt either gays or straights are going out of their way to claim him. Lincoln succeeded Buchanan as president and, although he had a wife, he was once so poor he had to share a bed with a male roommate. Does that mean he had sex with the guy? No, but people who are into that type of thing will indeed create their own fantasies and teach them to school kids.

In short, teaching history based on feelings over facts really is repugnant. I guess I should resign . . . except I don’t really do anything to resign from.

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There are 40 comments.

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  1. Aaron Miller Member

    Again, President Trump should make elimination of the Department of Education a top priority. Do it while some generations can still remember America without it; before the damage. 

    • #1
    • June 25, 2019, at 5:31 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. Cow Girl Thatcher

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Again, President Trump should make elimination of the Department of Education a top priority. Do it while some generations can still remember America without it; before the damage.

    But this isn’t the result of something the federal government has done. The governor of New Jersey has mandated this in New Jersey schools. It seems to be something super important to New Jersey to include sexual preferences into their history curriculum. Seems obnoxious to me, as a teacher, to have to make these distinctions about historical figures.

    But…I do agree that the Dept of Ed is still something that could be eliminated.

     

    • #2
    • June 25, 2019, at 5:51 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. tigerlily Member

    We are in the middle of “The Great Unlearning”. That’s not my terminology – I read it somewhere a few years ago and I think it’s apt. It took humans millennia to advance from the tribe or the clan and group rights over the individual to the concept of liberty and individual rights, an advance that was led entirely by the West with it’s Judeo-Christian ethos. Western elites (progressives all) on both sides of the Atlantic have been attacking the foundations of classical liberalism of the 18th and 19th centuries for several decades now and no good can or will come of it.

    • #3
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  4. tigerlily Member
    • #4
    • June 25, 2019, at 6:17 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Ian M Coolidge

    George Washington also arguably started the French and Indian War! Fun (today, not then =P) little tidbit.

    • #5
    • June 25, 2019, at 7:51 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    But this isn’t the result of something the federal government has done. The governor of New Jersey has mandated this in New Jersey schools.

    Getting rid of the US Department of Education might result in a severe enough funding drop, New Jersey schools won’t have the money to implement this nonsense.

    Or would NJ eliminate something else, like sports?

    • #6
    • June 26, 2019, at 6:48 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Stad (View Comment):

    Cow Girl (View Comment):
    But this isn’t the result of something the federal government has done. The governor of New Jersey has mandated this in New Jersey schools.

    Getting rid of the US Department of Education might result in a severe enough funding drop, New Jersey schools won’t have the money to implement this nonsense.

    Or would NJ eliminate something else, like sports?

    NJ doesn’t make those types of choices, they just raise taxes again and again 

     

    • #7
    • June 26, 2019, at 7:32 AM PST
    • Like
  8. Stina Inactive

    Vance Richards: NJ’s two senators, Menendez and Booker, came out against this school board trustee and others like the group Garden State Equality have called for resignation (makes you wonder why we still have local school boards rather than just one Federal overseer, but I digress).

    Is this government persecution of free speech, yet?

    • #8
    • June 26, 2019, at 8:35 AM PST
    • 1 like
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    I don’t know how you can be so dismissive of the vital contributions of Dale McCormick, the 1996 State Treasurer of Maine who was heroically gay. 

    • #9
    • June 26, 2019, at 1:02 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Aaron Miller Member

    Eliminating the national Department of Education would be a step away from national standards and a return to federalism. That would help free traditional states of textbook markets dominated by California and company. The madness would continue, but at least it wouldn’t be everywhere. 

    Even students in ridiculous states would have a better chance at grasping reality if their online peers were not universally bombarded with lies.

    • #10
    • June 26, 2019, at 1:34 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    TBA (View Comment):

    I don’t know how you can be so dismissive of the vital contributions of Dale McCormick, the 1996 State Treasurer of Maine who was heroically gay.

    Sounds good. Of course there are only so many hours in a school day so we will have to get rid of one of those old straight white guys. I was going to suggest Hamilton, but he’s a hip-hop star now so I guess Thomas Jefferson will need to removed from the history books because Dale MCCormick is more important.

    • #11
    • June 26, 2019, at 1:49 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Gaius Member

    Didn’t read the post, but *whom.

    • #12
    • June 26, 2019, at 4:12 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Henry Castaigne Member

    Vance Richards: 1.) People who have made significant contributions to society and are already being taught about in schools today. Like my George Washington example above, they will continue to teach about what the person did, then add factual information about their sex live

    George Washington Carver is probably on this list. Bayard Rustin was also a very prominent figure in the Civil Rights movement that many folks don’t talk about because he was openly gay. Eleanor Roosevelt wasn’t as important as those two guys though she is fun to read about. I’d be fun teaching students, “Oh yeah this guy was gay.”, as long as they focus on the important stuff. But we have seen this constant pattern of making identity more importance than excellence or virtue. I am worried this proposal will follow that trend. 

    • #13
    • June 26, 2019, at 4:42 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Paul Erickson Member

    Another in a long line of ridiculous requirements thrust upon our public school teachers. When I taught in NJ public schools (1980 – 85) the big concern was poor reading scores. So I had to take an additional course on teaching reading to get my teaching certificate. And I had to document in every lesson plan how I was teaching reading.

    I was a general music teacher.

    I feel sorry for the teachers who will be saddled with this new ridiculous mandate. Maybe they should think about their union’s love affair with left wing democrats.

    • #14
    • June 26, 2019, at 4:48 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Samuel Block Member

    I foresee a spectacular backfire.

     

     

    I mean, have these people even met middle/high schoolers?

    • #15
    • June 26, 2019, at 4:50 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    Another in a long line of ridiculous requirements thrust upon our public school teachers. When I taught in NJ public schools (1980 – 85) the big concern was poor reading scores. So I had to take an additional course on teaching reading to get my teaching certificate. And I had to document in every lesson plan how I was teaching reading.

    I was a general music teacher.

    I feel sorry for the teachers who will be saddled with this new ridiculous mandate. Maybe they should think about their union’s love affair with left wing democrats.

    And thus were part of the problem – how can these kids ever be literate when you ignore three fourths of the alphabat!!? 

    • #16
    • June 26, 2019, at 5:00 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    I foresee a spectacular backfire.

     

     

    I mean, have these people even met middle/high schoolers?

    When underdogs and victims become overlords and bullies it is hard to view them positively.

    One could assume that this is indicative of their acheiveing parity, but that could of course never happen. 

    • #17
    • June 26, 2019, at 5:03 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  18. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    I foresee a spectacular backfire

     

    I mean, have these people even met middle/high schoolers?

    My daughter is in middle school (11-14 year olds). The counselor at her school started an LGBT club. No one showed up. They spent months promoting it and still, no one showed up. My daughter said all the kids were joking about it. Not mocking gay people, but the counselor’s desperate attitude about wanting a gay friend. “I want to encourage a gay child so I can brag to my liberal friends.” Kids can see through that.

    • #18
    • June 26, 2019, at 5:08 PM PST
    • 14 likes
  19. Steve C. Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    I was going to suggest Hamilton, but he’s a hip-hop star now so I guess Thomas Jefferson will need to removed from the history books because Dale MCCormick is more important.

    The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the people he doesn’t exist. Apparently his second greatest trick was getting millions of leftists to believe Alexander Hamilton was some kind of progressive dashboard saint.

    • #19
    • June 26, 2019, at 6:51 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  20. TGR9898 Coolidge

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    I was going to suggest Hamilton, but he’s a hip-hop star now so I guess Thomas Jefferson will need to removed from the history books because Dale MCCormick is more important.

    The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the people he doesn’t exist. Apparently his second greatest trick was getting millions of leftists to believe Alexander Hamilton was some kind of progressive dashboard saint.

    He had them at “Pro Immigrant” – because all the leftists choose to ignore the difference between “legal” & “illegal” just to smear their opponents.

    • #20
    • June 26, 2019, at 9:25 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  21. Henry Castaigne Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    I was going to suggest Hamilton, but he’s a hip-hop star now so I guess Thomas Jefferson will need to removed from the history books because Dale MCCormick is more important.

    The greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing the people he doesn’t exist. Apparently his second greatest trick was getting millions of leftists to believe Alexander Hamilton was some kind of progressive dashboard saint.

    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    • #21
    • June 26, 2019, at 9:38 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Stina Inactive

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    • #22
    • June 27, 2019, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Post author

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    Yes, but I don’t think he could have imagined just how big that centralized government would get.

    • #23
    • June 27, 2019, at 6:13 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Paul Erickson Member

    TBA (View Comment):
    And thus were part of the problem – how can these kids ever be literate when you ignore three fourths of the alphabat!!?

    What’s an alpha bat? Is that like an alpha dog with wings and poor eyesight?

    <g>

     

    • #24
    • June 27, 2019, at 9:23 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Samuel Block Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    Yes, but I don’t think he could have imagined just how big that centralized government would get.

    Yes. He was highly sceptical of the people – unlike today, he was pretty comfortable with his sense of superiority. I think it was him who called the populous the “swinish multitude.”

    • #25
    • June 27, 2019, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    And thus were part of the problem – how can these kids ever be literate when you ignore three fourths of the alphabat!!?

    What’s an alpha bat? Is that like an alpha dog with wings and poor eyesight?

    <g>

    ~blames teachers in general and music teachers in particular~ 

    • #26
    • June 27, 2019, at 3:23 PM PST
    • Like
  27. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    Yes, but I don’t think he could have imagined just how big that centralized government would get.

    Yes. He was highly sceptical of the people – unlike today, he was pretty comfortable with his sense of superiority. I think it was him who called the populous the “swinish multitude.”

    The populus is the swinish multitude and it’s their [redacting] country!

    • #27
    • June 27, 2019, at 3:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  28. Henry Castaigne Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    Yes, but I don’t think he could have imagined just how big that centralized government would get.

    I suppose the counter argument is that his pro-centralized banking let capitalism flourish and his Federalism let states avoid protectionism with one another to pursue economic growth. It’s not libertarianism but it’s not central planning either. 

    • #28
    • June 27, 2019, at 3:24 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Samuel Block Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    Yes, but I don’t think he could have imagined just how big that centralized government would get.

    I suppose the counter argument is that his pro-centralized banking let capitalism flourish and his Federalism let states avoid protectionism with one another to pursue economic growth. It’s not libertarianism but it’s not central planning either.

    Yeah, he’s definitely a pretty interesting figure. I can think of worse people that the Left could become infatuated with. 

    • #29
    • June 27, 2019, at 4:11 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    Hamilton seemed very into capitalism and making money in the play. Why was he a lefty?

    Wasn’t he pro-centralized government and pro-centralized banking?

    Since the Broadway show, I’ve been getting quite confused about Hamilton. He’s the first progressive, as far I was ever concerned.

    Conservatives seem to be all over the place on the merits of the Federalists vs anti-federalists.

    Yes, but I don’t think he could have imagined just how big that centralized government would get.

    I suppose the counter argument is that his pro-centralized banking let capitalism flourish and his Federalism let states avoid protectionism with one another to pursue economic growth. It’s not libertarianism but it’s not central planning either.

    Yeah, he’s definitely a pretty interesting figure. I can think of worse people that the Left could become infatuated with.

    I’m not sure how closely Singin’ Hamilton tracks with the historical one. 

    • #30
    • June 27, 2019, at 4:13 PM PST
    • 2 likes
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