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Will We Move Forward?

This letter was submitted to the Citrus County Chronicle on October 31, 2020.

The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does, and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does; the first attitude creates a feeling of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance that leads to war. -Syndey Harris

Patriotic Education is a misnomer – this approach to changing the curriculum is thinly veiled nationalism – a grotesque perversion of what it means to be a patriot. Revisionist history seeks to downplay the atrocities committed by those in authority as a tool to retain power and to classify citizens as “other”. This textbook tactic by authoritarian regimes allows for the dehumanization of a group based on race, creed, sexual orientation and religion.

In Germany in 1937, the Nazi Party introduced a brand new curriculum in public schools. The curriculum promoted German greatness, by glossing over or omitting historical events that detracted from that idea. This indoctrination, based on a mythology created by the Nazi Party, downplayed the atrocities of the past and was couched in terms of patriotism. This false patriotism eventually led to the deaths of 85 million people during World War 2. Eleven million of those died during the Holocaust, including 6 milion Jewish people.

The introduction of “Patriotic Education” in this country is the latest tactic by the administration to indoctrinate our children – a dirty trick to advance Whites as the master race in this country. It centers around 1776 Project which blatantly seeks erasure of the atrocities committed during slavery and the legacy of that time that still haunts this country centuries later. This isn’t exactly a new tactic. Brochures at state parks glorify white settlers and soldiers who fought in battle for land they were stealing from the Seminoles. Holocaust deniers seek to erase the genocide from history books to promote anti-semitism.

The United States of America stands at a precipice – will we move forward celebrating the diversity that has made this a great nation, striving to correct our mistakes and work towards a better future or will it slink into the history books riding this wave of nationalism? The first path continues to strive towards the democratic principles this great nation was built upon; the other leads us down the path of authoritarian rule where we end up listed next to Nazi Germany and Putin’s Russia.

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