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No Child Left Unbrainwashed By: Edgar B. Anderson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, July 01, 2004

As countless numbers of immigrants continue to pour into the United States, the Left has been trying to destroy any patriotic thoughts these new Americans might develop toward their adopted country.  One can see an example of this phenomenon by perusing the textbooks used in the nation’s English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) programs.  High Point, Success in Language-Literature-Content, Level B, is an ESL literature anthology textbook published by Hampton-Brown and intended for middle and high school students whose English vocabulary and reading ability is at the sixth grade level.  The book has been purchased with taxpayer funds and adopted in school districts across the country.

 High Point opens with a chapter on the theme “Messages That Matter,” which contains a subsection entitled  “Talking Walls” excerpting from a book of the same name.  The editors introduce children recently arrived from El Salvador, Thailand, Nigeria, Armenia, and Bangladesh to a great historical figure.  No, it is not an American hero such as Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, or Abraham Lincoln.  First up is a tribute to Mexican muralist and dedicated Communist Diego Rivera.  The lesson includes the indispensable reference to “the glorious and painful history of [Mexico]” and the assurance that Rivera’s wall paintings reflected his belief “that working people represented the real Mexico.”


Next -- as if to compensate for the hosannas to Rivera -- is a visit to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington.  After a brief description of the black granite monument, High Point offers its rendition of history:  “In 1954, Vietnam gained independence from France.  Two separate governments formed and fought a civil war that kept the country divided.  In the late 1950s the United States began supporting South Vietnam in its fight against North Vietnam.  In 1975, North Vietnam won the war.”  A review of casualties follows.  The textbook editors tell the teacher to stress, “The war in Vietnam began as a civil war between two parts of the same country – North Vietnam and South Vietnam.” 


Notice the absence of any explanation why the United States participated in the Vietnam conflict.  The children learn only that America involved itself in a war that resulted in great suffering.  The fact that the North tried to take over the South is not mentioned.  The word “Communist” is nowhere to be found.  The millions of deaths that ensued after the North was victorious are overlooked.  And there is no such thing as a Boat Person.


High Point editors go for the gold as they draw from a sequel, Talking Walls, The Stories Continue, to present a glowing profile of a second historical figure.  If you guessed Benjamin Franklin or Alexander Hamilton, Andrew Jackson or Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Sally Ride, or Christa McAuliffe, you would be on the wrong track.  No, the honor belongs to “one of the greatest poets in the world” and a spokesman for “human rights,” the 1970 Communist Party candidate for President of Chile and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize, Pablo Neruda.


Instructional materials accompanying the “Messages That Matter” chapter include a lesson about the graffiti-covered barracks at the U.S. facility at Angel Island in San Francisco Bay where from 1910 to 1940 “thousands of Chinese immigrants were held against their will….  Many were lonely because they missed their families in China.  They were angry because they were being treated unfairly.”  In other words, America abuses its newcomers.


As an aside, it should be noted that the most famous wall of our era, the Berlin Wall, covered in the source book Talking Walls, is not featured in High Point.  But this oversight is arguably a blessing since the Talking Walls author served up the following to her unknowing young readers: 


“The Berlin Wall, constructed in 1961 [By whom?], became a physical part of an invisible barrier that had divided Eastern and Western Europe since 1945. [Were the hundreds of miles of barbed wire fences, minefields, watchtowers, armed guards, and attack dogs invisible?]  At that time Winston Churchill, the leader of Great Britain, called this invisible barrier the ‘Iron Curtain’ because he believed the Soviet Union wanted to divide countries and take them over. [Only his opinion, of course.]  Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union at that time, thought this invisible wall would protect his country from further invasion.” [And not to prevent trapped Eastern Europeans from fleeing the Communist prison?  One can only gasp at the author’s distortion of the truth.]


A second noteworthy chapter in High Point is entitled “An Enduring Legacy,” based on the idea that certain historical events continue years later to impact our lives.  This section deals with World War II and focuses on the Holocaust and specifically the story of Anne Frank, which is presented in the form of a biographical narrative along with an excerpt from her diary. 


High Point editors immediately recommend to immigrant children three books as supplementary reading.  The first book concerns a group of prisoners who use spoons to make a menorah.  The second book is about a young girl who saves the life of her friend hunted by invading soldiers.  The last book recounts the tragedy of a grandfather’s death in an internment camp. 


The first two books are about the Nazis and their victims, European Jews.  And presented in the same category with Nazi barbarians are WWII-era Americans!  That’s right, the third book is about Japanese-Americans interned in the United States during the Second World War.


To drive home the message of moral equivalence, half-way through the detailed presentation on Anne Frank, the Holocaust, Hitler, and Nazism, High Point editors suggest to children that they write a report on the atomic bomb and answer several questions:  “When was the first atomic bomb developed?  Who invented it?  Where was the atomic bomb dropped during the war?  What were its effects?”  The teacher is asked to encourage advanced students “to add a human dimension to the report.  Tell them that many of the scientists who worked on nuclear weapons had strong personal feelings about whether the work they were doing was the right thing to do.”  There is no assignment to examine how many lives would have been lost if America had not dropped the bomb or to study, for instance, the Bataan Death March and the fate of U.S. servicemen captured by the Japanese.


As the unit concludes, students are directed to research the “important legacies” of “key figures from World War II” -- Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Einstein, Hirohito, labor leader A. Philip Randolph, and French resistance member Josephine Baker.  This is a laudable exercise.  However, Stalin is oddly missing from this list, as he is from the entire chapter.  Perhaps the editors wished to avoid an inquiry into the legacy of Uncle Joe because they did not want to take the risk that, God forbid, students might learn of the tens of millions who perished in the Gulag, a subject naturally excluded from the curriculum.


Although High Point is aimed at children from other lands who know nothing about the history and values of the United States, this textbook is only one of many similar volumes that are inflicted on native- and foreign-born students alike.  Such textbooks represent the calculated efforts of leftists and multiculturalists who brazenly use the schools to foist their political views on your children.  

Edgar B. Anderson is a graduate of Stanford Law School and works as a freelance journalist.

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