Update #2: As a point of clarification, I have no issue whatsoever with the fact that Chris Wehner referred to me by my first name. What I take issue with is that he did not provide a link to my post. Unfortunately, he has still not provided a link, though one of his readers did include it in a comment. This is the same individual who deleted my site from his blogroll after I moved mine to a page on the navigation menu.
Update: You can read Chris Wehner’s comment below and his response on his own blog here. He says he never received my comment (it is possible), though according to my computer it is still cued up and awaiting moderation. The comment below as well as the response are incredibly confusing. I fail to see what it has to do with my comments about American Exceptionalism and the steps being taken by the Texas Board of Education to revise the curriculum. Still no link to the post in question.
I welcome responses to my posts from other bloggers and, for the most part, I usually learn a great deal. There is something strange, however, about Chris Wehner’s response to my recent post on American Exceptionalism. Strangely, he refers to me by using my first name, but fails to provide a link to the post in question. I left a comment on his post early this morning, but as of 7pm it has yet to be approved. Worse yet, Wehner completely misses the point of my post.
To many educators teaching something that is positive about American history is considered to be intellectually dishonest. Today Kevin suggest that to teach our history in any way that is “positive” is to teach in a vacuum free of “critical thinking.” Whatever. His idea of “critical thinking” is hard to imagine, but I can guess. To teach the American Revolution intellectually and to challenge students students to “think critically” Kevin probably thinks that the emphasis would be on Women, Blacks, and Indians. Are they to be left out? Of course not, but the spirit and heart of the Revolution was unique and dare I say… um, “Exceptional.” No few women, blacks or Indians participated (voting, taking part), true, but the fact that so many white males were at a time when Monarchies and Aristocracies dominated the globe, it was radical, revolutionary and “Exceptional.” I contend that Kevin and others simply cannot crawl out of that “Presentism: box they exist in.
I think this is a wonderful example of reading what you will into the text. The point I made was a simple one. I am not interested in presenting American history as divinely inspired/exceptional or as a cause of all that is wrong with the world. In short, my job as a teacher is not to impose my own moral/intellectual view on my students. I want my students to think for themselves and draw their own conclusions. To be honest, I have no idea how to respond to this since it has almost nothing to do with the point I was trying to make. I can only imagine how Chris ended up with this specific interpretation.
Most importantly, it seems dishonest, not to mention cowardly, to respond to and criticize another blogger and not provide a link so as the reader can judge for herself.