Voucher schools in Louisiana and Indiana are using a “US History” textbook in their eighth grade classes that teaches that the “hippies” of the 1960s were draft dodgers who were rude, didn’t bathe, and worshipped Satan.
A friend has the book. He took a photo of the hippie section, below.
As Mother Jones noted last year, Louisiana’s voucher program has been fraught with problems:
Under Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program, considered the most sweeping in the country, Louisiana is poised to spend tens of millions of dollars to help poor and middle-class students from the state’s notoriously terrible public schools receive a private education. While the governor’s plan sounds great in the glittery parlance of the state’s PR machine, the program is rife with accountability problems that actually haven’t been solved by the new standards the Louisiana Department of Education adopted two weeks ago.
Another big concern is that a lot of the schools are religious, and voucher programs are a way for Republicans to brainwash kids by teaching them historically incorrect, anti-gay, and anti-science religion as “fact,” all funded by taxpayers.
The Louisiana voucher schools under GOP Governor Bobby Jindal had already gotten into trouble last year for using a variety of religious right schoolbooks that teach a number of crazy, and racist, theories, including:
The Ku Klux Klan was a force for good
“[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001
Majority of slaves in the old south were treated well
“A few slave holders were undeniably cruel. Examples of slaves beaten to death were not common, neither were they unknown. The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 2nd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 1991
Dinosaurs and humans lived side by side
“Bible-believing Christians cannot accept any evolutionary interpretation. Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007
Fire-breathing dragons may actually have existed
“[Is] it possible that a fire-breathing animal really existed? Today some scientists are saying yes. They have found large chambers in certain dinosaur skulls…The large skull chambers could have contained special chemical-producing glands. When the animal forced the chemicals out of its mouth or nose, these substances may have combined and produced fire and smoke.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007
Now for the hippies
This comes from a book called “America: Land I Love.” It’s an eighth-grade history book that’s used in Louisiana voucher schools (the Mother Jones link above confirms that this book is being used). And it has a section on “The Hippies.” Here’s what Louisiana is teaching its school kids about the hippies:
Hmm, now I know they’re missing something… Oh yeah, that’s right – the hippies were pacifists. It was primarily a movement about peace. Funny how they forgot that small little point.
Good luck with those dinosaur books when your kids try to get into a real college.
Of course there’s a more serious side to this. This is part of the larger GOP strategy to not just brainwash kids into being Republicans, but to rewrite American history in a way that’s more favorable to Republicans with an intent towards influencing the present.
Alfred Kinsey must be destroyed
Fringe and Star Trek were not lost on the GOP – they love a good effort to go back in time and change history. Look at what the religious right attempted with Alfred Kinsey. They were convinced that Kinsey was one of the fundamental building blocks of the modern “sexual revolution,” so they attempted for nearly two decades to undermine Kinsey by labeling him a pedophile. They felt that if they could discredit Kinsey, they would somehow discredit the sexual revolution of the 60s and beyond, and that would somehow help their political battles on gay rights, abortion, women’s issues, and more.
Here’s how the men at the Concerned Women for America, a lead religious right activist group, described Kinsey:
For more than 55 years, pioneer sex researcher Alfred C. Kinsey’s work has had a profound effect on American culture. Once a household name, Kinsey is not known to most people under 40. Yet his studies in the late 1940s and early 1950s, heralded as the first “scientific” look at sex, became the foundation of the sexual revolution that has rocked not only America but the world.
The concerned men at the Concerned Women go on to claim that Kinsey’s ultimate goal was to “normalize pedophilia.”
And here’s Alan Keyes’ organization going after Kinsey as a pedophile, WorldNetDaily weighed in (which is pretty much prima facie proof that it’s a lie) and top religious right “doctor” Judith Reisman went so far as to suggest that Kinsey had a “top German Nazi pedophile aide.” You get the picture.
GOP has been trying to rewrite history of McCarthyism too
Republicans have been trying the same rewriting of history with anti-communist nut Senator Joe McCarthy of the 1950s. Ann Coulter has been trying to rehabilitate McCarthy, as has WorldNetDaily, among others. Here’s a bit of Coulter:
John Hawkins: Now I heard that you wrote an impassioned defense of tailgunner Joe in the book. Is that the case? If so, why do you think Joe McCarthy has gotten a bad rap?
Ann Coulter: I know he got a bad rap because there are no monuments to Joe McCarthy. Liberals had to destroy McCarthy because he exposed the entire liberal establishment as having sheltered Soviet spies.
Yes, that’s the tragedy of the McCarthy years, that poor Senator Joe was destroyed.
While the Republicans’ attack on the hippies is downright laughable, their strategy of rewriting history in order to rewrite our present is anything but funny.