11 thoughts on “Western Civilization

  1. Godzilla

    It should not be mandatory to have any sort of history course for college students in general. However I find it hard to believe it is not considered basic and mandatory subject matter for any history degree in the US.

  2. JJS

    More than any other source, all these failing institutions rely on alumni support to continue to grow. Please withhold you check and explain why. Once the administrations understand they are between a rock and a hard place they will quickly abandon the leftists and ignore their follow on protests. They will follow the money.

  3. Al

    It isn’t even the college courses that are a problem.

    High school ancient history courses that focus on ‘diversity’ mean spending a lot of time on China, India, and Egypt. To the point that Babylon, Greece and Rome are “just the source of the problems” and the only details learned are “Oh, they owned slaves and burned the Library of Alexandria.”

    You don’t need to be able to critically analyze Aristotle in high school. But you should know more than “Isn’t he Greek?”

    1. Al

      My daughter points out that they were also told he was a typical rich Greek – meaning a slave-owning gay pedophile.

  4. Karl Hallowell

    It looks like the Minnesota academics have finally achieved their goal. This Thursday, December 20, the Minnesota Department of Education will hold a public hearing before approving new standards that emphasize, among other things, “institutional racism.” For example History Standard 20 for the period 1870–1920 declares: “The student will understand that as the United States shifted from its agrarian roots into an industrial and global power, the rise of big business, urbanization, and immigration led to institutionalized racism, ethnic and class conflict, and new efforts at reform.” [italics added]

    If they’re going to discuss “institutional racism”, they should draw parallels to modern institutional racism, namely, all the programs and biases intended to help supposedly disadvantaged ethnic groups at the expense of the nominally most numerous group, the “white” ethnic group and anyone else who does too well. I’d suggest as particularly interesting examples, the discrimination against various Asian Americans by certain academic cultures mostly in California.

  5. Pro Libertate

    I minored in history in undergrad a couple of decades ago, and I think the only required course in the major was Historical Methodologies. That said, an American History course might have been required as part of the general curriculum. I had taken the AP American History exam and may have gotten out of it that way.

    I agree with the sentiment of the piece–politics in academia are well past absurd–but I do wonder whether American History is generally required at universities.

  6. Will McLean

    it seems to me that there is a complete disconnect between the idea that educational institutions should do a better job of teaching American History (they should!) and that recognizing that in the United States 1870-1920 institutionalized racism was real, and affected our country in important ways and should be part of any honest and comprehensive study of the era.

    The truth can be ugly. Teach the truth in spite of that.

    History’s duty is not to make you feel good.

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      Well, you know what? I was taught in American history in high school, four decades ago, that there was institutionalized racism in this country’s history, and that there were long struggles to overcome it, including the most bloody war in our history, so far. But somehow, I didn’t get the message that our country was the worst country in the world, ever. But my sense is that is what our youth are now being taught.

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