Have you forgotten?

A veteran phoned into the Mark Levin radio show and said that the new recruits he talked to did not know what had happened on 9/11/2001 – the date when nineteen men, armed only with box cutters, killed about 3000 Americans by taking control of passenger jets and crashing them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. I thought about this, and it made sense.  Assuming these recruits are 18 years old today, in 2015, then they would have been four years old when the events happened. And assuming their schools and parents were not interested enough in the topic, they would not find about it.

The second plane about to hit the towers
The second plane about to hit the towers

Country singer Darryl Worley wrote a song about 9/11 that started with the words “Have You Forgotten”. Here is a fragment:

They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it’s too disturbing for you and me
It’ll just breed anger that’s what the experts say
If it was up to me I’d show it everyday
Some say this country’s just out looking for a fight
Well, after 9/11 man I’d have to say that’s right

There is a saying that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. A twist on that is that those who DO remember history are doomed to watch everyone else repeat it.
I am taken aback when I watch the Greeks vote for Syriza, a party whose emblem includes the hammer and sickle. Have they forgotten the many experiments with Communism that have occurred in the past century, and how awful they were? Have they visited North Korea recently?

Various groups with agendas see the youth as a prime target for persuasion, the younger the better.

There is the Muslim agenda:
Impressionable American children  have been told to memorize the five pillars of Islam.  In another school small kids have been lectured about the plight of the Palestinians without any counter-balancing point of view.

And then there is the Marxist agenda. One teacher says this:

Another student of mine, Sean, told me of the elite Christian private school he attended, where the newly hired teacher, fresh out of a major university, told the students he was a “Christian communist,” and that anyone who is a Christian should be a communist.

Another student told me of a teacher who “convinced the entire class” that Marxism was a “wonderful” but “misunderstood” idea that simply had not been tried correctly. “He absolutely brainwashed us,” she told me bitterly.

There is the “gay” agenda:
My little niece goes to a school in Manhattan. At age six, she is learning about the dilemma of a little boy who wants to be a little girl. Her class has even marched for social justice though the march was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. When my brother lodged a feeble protest, the teacher explained that she was “empowering” his daughter.
In 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed a bill that required public schools in the state to teach students about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. This might not seem so bad, but there is a limited amount of time to teach, and what we put and what we leave out do matter. I could teach a course on the contribution of dwarves to society too. Or of Vietnamese-Americans, or Jews, or old people or rednecks.

It’s interesting that in other countries children are taught illusory lessons about us. Palestinian schools teach not only that Israel is evil, but that we are too. I could not find out what is being taught in Russian schools, but that country has become very anti-American, their media is very hostile, and the schools have terminated their exchange programs with the U.S.

One more point:
Thomas Sowell, who is an economist and a black American, wrote a book on “Affirmative Action” – the idea that quotas for the disadvantaged can remedy past injustices. He investigated its actual consequences in the United States and in other countries where it has been in effect and concluded that race preference programs worldwide have not met expectations and have often produced the opposite of what was originally intended. This book was written in 2005, and as far as making any difference – the debate goes on almost as if the book was never written. And that raises the question – how much do ‘facts’ and ’empirical research’ matter?   Are we just carried away on the tide of intuition?

You can function in life without learning much about history, or economics. For instance, in my line of work, computer programming, you don’t need to know much of anything. However, by forgetting, you let the people with the agendas drive the few inputs that you do pay attention to, and eventually drive your beliefs as well.

In the case of 9/11, knowing what happened that day may be painful, and may lead to conclusions that you would rather not reach. But if the conclusions are accurate and true – wouldn’t you rather remember?  On an individual level, memories are how we know who we are.  If we have no anchor in experience, we are more likely to get swept away by the persuasive ideologues we run into in college.  If we have not learned that we can’t just wing-it through life on intuition alone, we will make the same mistakes that have often been made in the past, and we can look forward to a future where they will be made again and again.

Sources and Interesting twists:

http://nypost.com/2015/09/06/revisionist-history-of-911-being-taught-to-our-college-students/? (here students DO learn about 9/11 – but are taught it was the fault of the U.S.)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/09/10/lawmakers-fear-islamic-indoctrination-schools/72038416/
http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/27/communism-on-parade-what-high-school-marches-to-marx-and-lenin.html
http://akdart.com/edu32.html (on college indoctrination)
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/07/14/california.lgbt.education/

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