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March 4, 2010

Teaching hate in American schools

Whom are American school kids taught to hate?  According to a Fox News report, in the Muslim schools in America, they are taught to hate American Christians and Jews.

In regular public schools in America, the children are not taught to hate Muslims, nor Christians nor Jews, but Holocaust education is mandatory.  It is called “Teaching Tolerance.”  Kids are taught that they should not be like the Nazis, who were the worst people in all of human history because they were racist, anti-Semitic, and bigoted.  The Nazis were German, so this amounts to teaching hatred of the German people.

Holocaust education sometimes begins in American schools with the reading of The Diary of Anne Frank, the story of a Jewish girl who hid from the Nazis for 25 months.  My grandson was assigned to read this book when he was in the 5th grade.  I found out much later that he didn’t read a word of it, but just pretended that he had — like Jake, the little boy in the TV show “Two and a Half Men,” who just pretended that he had read The Lord of the Flies.  A 10-year-old boy cannot be expected to appreciate a book like the Diary of Anne Frank.

The problem with Holocaust education in American schools is that the Holocaust is introduced before the children study any history at all, except Black History in the month of February.  I asked my grandson if he knew that there was a war going on while Anne Frank was in hiding.  When he answered “Yes,” I asked him which war it was and he said,  “The Crusades.”  He had been told, by way of introduction to the Holocaust, that Jews had been killed during the Crusades, so for a boy who had not read the book, this was a good guess.

In my day (the 1940s), school children were taught to hate the “Japs.”  We were at war with Japan, and we learned about Japanese atrocities every single day.  Every school child in America knew about the Baatan Death March which happened in 1942, the same year that Anne went into hiding.  World War II actually started in Europe in 1939, when I was in the first grade, but I don’t recall that this was even mentioned.   In fact, I don’t remember ever hearing the word Nazi until World War II was over. To this day, I don’t even know if there were any Japanese war crimes trials.  All I ever heard about, then and now, were the Nuremberg trials which were shown in the news reels every week.

What I do remember very vividly is going to school on Monday, December 8, 1941, and learning about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  The only thing that I knew then about Japan was that Japan was the country that made most of the cheap toys that American children played with.  After the  bombing of Pearl Harbor, all the kids in my school threw out everything they owned that was stamped “Made in Japan.”

We were finally able to rest easy when we were told that the “Japs” in America had been put into internment camps; I remember seeing this in a news reel at the local movie theater.  I don’t think that there were any Japanese people at all in Missouri where I lived, but we were still deathly afraid that the “Japs” might come after us.

At that time, American school children knew nothing about the Nazi concentration camps, at least not in my school, but we knew that the “Japs” had been locked up where they couldn’t hurt us.

Here’s how Wikipedia describes the atrocities committed by the Japanese on the Baatan Death March:

“Beheadings, cutting of throats and casual shootings were the more common actions—compared to instances of bayonet stabbing, rape, disembowelment, rifle butt beating and a deliberate refusal to allow the prisoners food or water while keeping them continually marching for nearly a week in tropical heat. Falling down or inability to continue moving was tantamount to a death sentence, as was any degree of protest or expression of displeasure.”

The Baatan Death March was a really big deal.  I remember that we were told that American POWs with red hair were particularly singled out for beheading.  My classmates and I never heard anything at all about any German atrocities during World War II; as far as we were concerned, it was only the Japanese who were the bad guys during World War II.  It was only after the war that we learned anything about the Holocaust, which was not even a word back then.

In today’s schools, the kids do not learn anything about Japanese atrocities during World War II, but they do learn all about the German war criminals and the Nazis.  As a result, there is no hatred of the Japanese people at all now among American kids.  All of my grandchildren have been to Japan for a week long visit; they worked and saved their money so they could pay for their trips themselves.  They love everything Japanese.  One of my grandchildren had sushi for his birthday party one year.  Every year, the grandchildren look forward to hosting a Japanese exchange student for a few weeks during the Summer. Of course, I never tell the grandkids about what we learned about the Japanese when I was in school.

4 Comments

  1. I have to respond to Shen, who says that people who study the Qu’ran learn violence and practice it. This is such an obvious generalization as to be laughable. Shen, please open your mind and your Christian-biased eyes, and read a site that takes the Qu’ran In Context.

    You will find that it teaches the exact opposite– that raising one’s hand to the fruit tree of your enemy guarantees you will have no place in Paradise.

    Do some open-minded, unbiased research and try to learn the Truth, for doesn’t the Bible teach that Truth is sacred above all pursuits?

    “I am the way, the TRUTH and the light…”

    “But make no mistake, Islam stands for violence…”?? WTF??? You know NOT of that which you speak.

    Islam is NOT a violent religion.
    Practice what you preach, Shen. If you are going to be a righteous Christian, you will bother to learn about all religions before you comment on them.
    Tens of millions of people have been slaughtered in the name of Christianity.

    Here’s a quiz: Who is the richest man on the planet?
    I’ll give you the answer: The Pope.
    He also says he is the most powerful.

    What an infallible, pious “man”.

    Comment by saturnx311 — December 9, 2010 @ 6:14 pm

  2. When I was in school in the 50’s, we did not learn hate of any people, any country. What we did learn was that there were ‘some’ who we fought against because they had bombed us. Others we fought against because they were torturing and killing a particular race of people. We weren’t taught to hate Japenese or Germans, but we didn’t like what ‘some’ of them were doing and it was only right that we helped put these war crimes to a stop!
    I can tell you today that Jewish people do not hate Christians or visa/versa. In fact, there is a great relationship through the Old Testament between Christians and Jews. There are also many Christian Jews today and Christians are helping Jews in many countries including Russia.
    But, in Dearborn Michigan Christians have been arrested for speaking of their faith on public sidewalks because Muslims are in the area and it is not allowed. Muslims in Dearborn marched and hailed the man who shot and killed others on a military base not long ago. I’ve not heard of any Jews trying to blow up our planes, subways or anything else in the U.S. I am Christian so I am taught to love everyone, even our enemies while at the same time, hate sin. We are all sinners yet some sin by killing people they don’t know, have no idea what they believe, how they live, what they do. They just kill because their faith tells them to do so to those who are not of that same faith. It’s not God Himself declaring a flood or telling a people to wipe out another group of people. It’s not God telling people to blow themselves up in order to kill women and children. It’s a faith gone wrong that has people running around killing anyone and everyone they can. I’ve read some of the Qu’ran and I can tell you that the word ‘Islam’ doesn’t mean peace. It means, ‘Submission’. Anyone who doesn’t submit to Allah is to be done away with and Mohammad’s orders are to Islamatize the whole world. Yes, Christians are to spread the Word of God through out the world, but not by violence. Funny thing, those who are truly close to Jesus, are the ones who will show the most love, gentleness and mercy. Those who only call themselves Christian but have no idea who Christ really is, what He’s done or the promises He’s made, are those who will use the name Christian to do all sorts of crimes in that name. With Islam, it’s opposite. Those who study the Qu’ran are the most likely to be violent and those who do not, are more likely to be silent, nice neighbors, seemingly harmless people. But make no mistake, Islam stands for violence and the more we are politically tollerant of this violent belief, the faster we will be taken over by it. Once Sharia law becomes world law, we’ll sure wish we’d payed closer attention to what was REALLY going on while we had the chance. We should still love our enemies but that doesn’t mean we should trust them! There are many Arab Christians. Ask any one of them that still live in a Muslim country, how safe it is to be there as a Christian. Now ask Muslims if they’re in fear for their lives living in Dearborn, U.S.A. I think the answers you’ll get will be far different for Christians in Muslim countries than for Muslims in our own country. Also, ask a Christian or a Jew what would happen if they turned away from their faith, to another. Then, ask a Muslim what would happen if they turn from Islam to anothe faith? I believe you’ll find great fear in the Muslim who turns away than in any other faith. Why do you think this is so? Read the Qu’ran for yourself, ‘they do have English versions’, and then tell me their religion is one of peace. God help us all!

    Comment by Sheri — December 5, 2010 @ 6:54 pm

  3. Google “fukuoka pow camp 1” and click on the link about Camp #1. It’ll give you an idea of what the Death March was like, the hellships, and POW camp life & death in general. Lots there, so take your time.

    Comment by Wes — March 4, 2010 @ 8:20 am

  4. I want to point out that the Fox News article is an “opinion piece”, not news, and it is the opinion of a pro-Israel Jew so I would say it comes from a biased source.

    It’s written by Kenneth Adelman, a neo-con who was an assistant to former Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld and also an arms-control director in the Reagan administation. So I don’t think he’s an expert on schools. Why, then, is he writing on the subject and why does Fox News publish his opinion on schools? (a rhetorical question)

    I don’t think Muslim schools teach hate against Christians, but I know that Jewish religious schools do teach hate against Christians. But an article saying that would never be published at Fox News or in any other major media outlet.

    Thanks for this thought-provoking article. Your honest descriptions of your childhood and school days in middle-America bring up feelings of nostalgia — you have got it right.

    Do you think Wikipedia’s description of the Baatan Death March is accurate? I went to the page and saw that that paragraph was either unsourced or part of a large segment of the page that was from a WGBH Public Television production! Public Television “specials” on history are notoriously propagandistic. When you check the sources on Wikipedia pages, it’s often shocking to discover what is used. Even so, it’s still the best source for quick information, because other generic sites are even worse!

    Comment by sceptic — March 4, 2010 @ 3:43 am


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