Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Trump’s Disparages Constitution with Attack on Education and Youth Movement

        It has been stated recently that the current social climate in America mirrors that of the late 1960s. That is, divisiveness, turmoil, and uncertainty about the future. However, in the 1960s, Lyndon B. Johnson did not encourage division or disparage the American education system, which was at the time leading the anti-war movement against Vietnam. Donald Trump’s recent attacks at the National Archives on education and the youth movement in the United States the reveals how deeply misunderstood his notion of what America represents and should strive to be. While Trump endeavors to dismantle school curriculums that promote diversity, teacher, such as myself, continue to teach with perspective and inclusion at the forefront of our lessons. 

The sections of curriculum that I teach involving the United States, such as the Cuban Missile are sure to provide students with a proper understanding of the event. John F. Kennedy is not portrayed as the savior of America just like Khrushchev is not depicted as the villain. Both leaders had their flaws and contributed to international tension. However, what would that lesson look like under Trump’s newly announced commission to propel “patriotic education?” Already Americans are seeing Cold War rhetoric from Trump with messages to fear progressivism and how parents should fear the indoctrination of their children. Trump is using the protests against systematic racism and frustrated rioting as excuses to push a nationalist agenda. Simultaneously, Trump is ignoring and downplaying the root of the issue on why Americans are upset and apposing diversity in education which would help alleviate part of the aforesaid problem. 

        Much of Trump’s disdain throughout his speech focused on the New York Time’s 1619 Project to which he called “toxic propaganda.” Trump’s avoidance to acknowledge the impact slavery had on America is dangerous and insulting to Americans who are still feeling the effects of the institution. The downplaying of diversity and inclusion in schools’ spats in the face of the millions of descendants of slaves who “built” America. Indeed, while Trump is appealing to his base by attempting to dispel that racism still exists, his damaging rhetoric and policies on young people growing up un-exposed to diversity and inclusion will have poor side-effects for their academic development. Additionally, students miss out on a well- rounded historical understanding of the United States. It is important for young people to understand fully what America’s history is to appreciate the progress that has been made and what still must be done. Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his last inaugural address “Our Constitution of 1787 was not a perfect instrument; it is not perfect yet” but that America must press onward towards progress. The United States’ most progressive moments in history have been when corruption and injustices are met with unity throughout all levels of society. Trump looks to avoid FDR’s words and divide the American people by dismissing the United States’ flaws.

        Trump proudly referenced his 4th of July speech at Mount Rushmore by continuing the argument that the left and educators are indoctrinating young people. His expressions must be addressed if Americans are to avoid another mis-guided generation like those who grew up during the Cold War and were taught to despise any country which was not capitalist and emulated un-American qualities. Ultimately, Trump’s fear mongering statements like "We must clear away the web of twisted lies in our schools and classrooms” and “the left-wing rioting and mayhem are the direct result of decades of left-wing indoctrination in our schools" pose questions such as what lies are being taught? However, with Trump’s own Attorney General William Barr comparing stay-at-home-orders to the horrors of slavery, it is clear where the indoctrination is coming from. That is, the United States president. 

Location: Maryland, USA


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