Trump attacks the ‘unpatriotic’ teaching of American history


A replica of the Statue of Liberty covered in a protective mask against the coronavirus, at Alki Beach, Seattle, August 26.

The offensive took shape in early July under the stone gaze of four American presidents, on the emblematic site of Mount Rushmore (South Dakota).

On this national holiday, July 4, Donald Trump is unleashed against a culture that, according to him, “Erase our history, insult our heroes, destroy our values ​​and indoctrinate our children”. Worn by “Extreme left radicals”, the world of education would invite “Children to hate their country, to believe that the men and women who built it are ‘bad guys’”. And the American president to conclude, learnedly, “The radical approach to American history is a tissue of lies.”

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His attacks come as protests against police violence that have rocked the country for several weeks have reignited a debate over the systemic racism of American society and the legacy of a history steeped in slavery and racial segregation. They also echo the tensions of recent months around the monuments dedicated to Confederate personalities, symbols of the slave South during the Civil War (1861-1865).

Since then, the presidential campaign has regularly given the presidential candidate the opportunity to fuel the “cultural war” and to clarify his thinking: “We will restore a patriotic education in our schools. We are going to teach our children to love their homeland, to be proud of their history and to respect our flag ”, he said at a rally in Nevada on September 13.

“Politicization of American History”

After four years in power, the tenant of the White House has also included in his campaign program “The teaching of American exceptionalism” ; “Young people must know the truth: America is the greatest and the most exceptional country in the history of the world”, he assured in his nomination speech at the Republican convention at the end of August.

Carried away by his enthusiasm, the American president even threatened to cut federal funds to public schools which would include in their curriculum elements of the “1619 Project”, a multimedia research work published by the New York Times and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for political commentary in 2020. Not exempt from criticism from historians, these resources focus on showing the weight of slavery on American history since the arrival of the first slave on the East Coast in 1619 and the contributions of the population. African American in the country.

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