Scrapbookpages Blog

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.