“Massive Resistance” Generation Responds to the Committee

Washington & LeeI have absolutely no problem with students and alumni at Washington & Lee University expressing disagreement with the school’s decision regarding the display of Confederate flags in Lee Chapel. After all, it’s their school. I expressed concerns about the Committee’s list of demands early on so I am certainly sympathetic to both sides. But there is something disturbing about the two alumni letters published in the most recent issue of the school’s magazine, both of who graduated during the civil rights era.

Both letters frame this dispute as if the black law students who made their concerns public don’t really belong at the school.

Only the Committee threatens students and the University should they not buckle down to embrace the Committee’s terms.

I am sorry but this group of students cannot threaten the student body because they are a part of it. It is their school. It is their right as students to voice their concerns when they perceive an injustice or other problem that deserves attention. And if “the concerns of these students should [not] be taken seriously” than whose should be taken seriously and under what conditions? Continue reading

Virginia Flaggers Interpret Image of Silas and Andrew Chandler

Update: Just so we are all on the same page regarding the stupidity of the poster as well as the ignorance of the page’s approving readers here is a link to Silas’s pension. HE DID NOT AND COULD NOT APPLY FOR A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER’S PENSION. All you need to understand this is a functioning pair of eyes and the ability to read.

[This posting was no doubt prompted by the news that the famous image of Andrew and Silas has been donated to the Library of Congress.]

And once again we are reminded that it’s about heritage, not history. You would think that “restoring the honor” would at least involve honoring what we now know about this image and the two individuals in it. Once again, for those of you interested in this image and the story of Silas and Andrew Chandler I recommend the History Detectives episode as well as the article I co-authored with Myra Chandler Sampson.

Chandler Brothers, Virginia FlaggersAnother reminder of why I teach as I begin the new school year. Thanks again, Virginia Flaggers.

The Leftist Take-Over of College Board

Conservatives such as Stanley Kurtz can’t seem to say enough about the recent revisions made to College Board’s AP US History Curriculum. These changes will go into effect for this school year. Kurtz and others believe that the new curriculum reflects a dangerous turn to the left, though in the entire article the author fails to address what the new standards actually say. In other words, Kurtz fails at one of the basic skills taught in an AP History class: claim and evidence. Instead we are treated to claims laced with conspiracy.

The origins of the new AP U.S. History framework are closely tied to a movement of left-leaning historians that aims to “internationalize” the teaching of American history. The goal is to “end American history as we have known it” by substituting a more “transnational” narrative for the traditional account.

It goes without saying that I didn’t find these quotes in any College Board documents. Sharing one’s belief that it was a set up from the beginning may tell us more about the author’s mindset, but it tells us nothing about what is in the curriculum. It does little more than feed people who have never taught the class and already harbor fears about public education generally.

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