Response: Oklahoma seeks to ban AP United States History

A few days ago, our AP U.S. History teacher showed us an article where Ben Carson (potential Presidential candidate) claimed that the current APUSH course “will make kids want to sign up for ISIS.”

Then this happens:

An Oklahoma House committee on Monday approved a bill taking aim at the new AP U.S. History framework, which conservatives have decried as unpatriotic and negative, the Tulsa World reported.

State Rep. Dan Fisher (R) introduced a bill at the beginning of the month that keeps the state from funding AP U.S. History unless the College Board changes the curriculum. The bill also orders the state Department of Education to establish a U.S. History program that would replace the AP course.

OK, guys. Let’s be honest here. The U.S. has committed some atrocious acts in the past, done some questionable deeds. But the thing is that an APUSH curriculum that doesn’t always paint the U.S. as flawless and always “the good guy” allows us to, and I’ll be cliché here, learn from our mistakes. Because of course we’ll condemn the actions of the United States regarding Native Americans and perhaps even the Philippines War. But then, why in the world would we want to join an organization that promotes the very beliefs and ideals that taint America’s own history? We’ve seen the results of the Trail of Tears, the aftermath of the concentration camps in the Batangas Province. And if we learn anything from APUSH, it’s that we never want these events to repeat. We don’t hate the United States; we want to make it better, and joining ISIS certainly is not the solution.

As for a curriculum that tries to be “patriotic” by glossing over our sometimes not-so-glorious past and focusing solely on our achievements? Well, then, we’ll never question our actions, because that America has no room for flaws, no room for improvement. Blind support should not be mistaken as patriotism. Every country has had its share of unfortunate events. But we should never hide them from ourselves. We want our children to walk a straight path, to avoid the pitfalls that we’ve taken. So we tell them our mistakes; we don’t hide them. We let them step above our shoulders, to be better than ourselves. We want them to know America has its flaws, just like every other country, but that they have the potential to help create a better America for the future.

And to me, that’s patriotism.

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4 thoughts on “Response: Oklahoma seeks to ban AP United States History

  1. M Russo says:

    YES!!!!

    Patriotism is too often defined simply as support of your country, when rather, it must also include the desire to improve your nation as whole, and that requires recognizing mistakes made in the past.

    US History is too often polarized as seeing the only the good, or the bad (Patriot’s v People’s), when to get a complete picture both sides must be explored. Also, in order to form modern opinions, this past, which has sets of patterns, must be recognized so that a greater and deeper understanding of modern issues may be gained, not only knowing how they have been handled in the past and what was good/bad, but the roots of the problem as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • aliz97 says:

      I totally agree! We should have done our definition essay over that word 🙂 And you’re also correct in that we have to study the roots of the problems. It’s quite like weeds; unless you uproot it, it’s only going to grow back, stronger and quicker.

      Like

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