In America when a text book is written it must be approved in Texas, California, Florida, and New York in order to be used all over the country because in order for the book to be profitable they must be used in the largest school systems. This gives Texas, California, Florida and New York a disproportionate amount of power to reject textbooks that don’t meet their political criteria. For example, one textbook was rejected in Texas solely because there was a larger paragraph on Harriet Tubman than President Andrew Jackson. Since Texas didn't buy it , essentially it killed the book. Texas argued against the credibility of the history book because it was obvious that Andrew Jackson a former president of the United States deserved more space than Harriet Tubman. Also another book was rejected in Texas because it called Tubman a Hero. Well, if she is a hero, who is the enemy or the bad guy? Coincidence? I don’t think so. Maybe they just don’t like Harriet.
You see the acceptance or rejection of history books isn’t a battle over facts. Facts mean nothing without interpretation and that interpretation is what is going to indoctrinate our children about what our country is about and what it stands for at a very young age. The lines are drawn.
You see if free slaves like Harriet Tubman were helping Americans out of the evil clutches of oppressive, warmongering, Satan worshipping, communist, pagan Canada then she would be all over our children’s history books as the most heroic Negro ever to walk the earth. But in the case of the African Slave trade we are the bad guys. When you think about it, the stories of African slaves embody everything that America is supposed to be about. All of the themes are there plain as fucking day. Fighting for freedom from oppression. Struggling to make a better life for their children. Fighting for the right to represent themselves in government. To make a better life for themselves thru hard work. To worship their own religion in their own way. Everything is right there. However, praising these free slaves as hero’s villianizes our American founding fathers. And so unfortunately, conservatives often down play everything they can just coming short of denying that it or anything fucked up ever happened that was their fault.
And don’t give me shit about “when can people let something go”, and “can’t you just move on” because conservatives will tell the fucking story of how the evil king in England fucked over the founding fathers until their balls turn blue. It is all about who is the bad guy. They will harp on and on about how George Washington fought for his freedom. Failing to mention that wooden toothed bastard along with his other buddies were the 1700’s equivalent of the Bill Gates, Rockefellers, and Kennedy’s. They weren’t starving by any stretch of the imagination regardless of how much the king rose taxes on their tea. I am bringing this up to illustrate a point.
In Tokyo Japan a Japanese junior high school history textbook when dealing with World War Two invasion of Asia has taken the same approach to history as America often takes towards the fucked up shit that we have condoned and done over the years.
Quoting ministry sources, the Kyodo news agency said the draft of the text book in question barely touches on Japan's 1910-1945 colonization of Korea and fails to mention thousands of people, mostly Chinese and Korean, who were brought to Japan as forced laborers before and during the war.
“War is a tragedy,'' Kyodo quoted the textbook as saying. ``But it is hard to judge good or evil. It is not about which (side) is right and which is wrong. War is the last resort when countries clash over national interests and political solutions have failed.''
I wonder if they have a hard time judging right and wrong when they get to the part about having an atomic bomb dropped on their ass? Most likely the philosophical debate over what is right and wrong only extends to their actions.
According to Kyodo, the current draft of the textbook says that Japan's victories over Western powers in Asia helped colonized nations their gain independence by giving them courage and dreams.
This is no different than when conservatives in this country argued in the 1950s that slavery helped civilize the continent of Africa. African slaves benefited from slavery because now they have Jesus. Slavery saved them from an eternity in hell for not knowing Jesus. That is like Mike Tyson saying that by kicking your ass he helped make your immune system stronger by making it work over time to pull you out of a coma. Or by raping a woman on a date I am actually helping her be more discriminating in the future of her choice in men.
Current Japanese textbooks give fuller accounts of Japanese actions in the war but have been slammed by the right for going too far in depicting the past.
In the view of conservatives and nationalists, Japan has become a country where patriotism is a dirty word. Wow, where have I heard that one before? Is there a Republican everywhere in the world?
Liberals and leftists counter that without a forthright examination of its history, Japan – yeah yeah yeah you have heard that before as well.
The draft also says the term ``war of aggression'' has come to be used emotionally and without being defined. How about I define it for you. “War of aggression: Let me see…how about this, an unprovoked ass-kicking of one country on another.” How is that?
The books would go into use from April 2002. The Japanese school year begins in April.