American Historical Revisionism

19 05 2010

New Text Books

Dallas, Texas – Texas State Board of Education is ready to enact a new Social Studies curriculum that will portray America as a nation rooted in Biblical values and the virtues of low taxes, limited regulation, and free enterprise.  In other words, capitalism is what makes this nation great but don’t forget that the bible is also rooted in our laws.

Remember during the times of slavery, we excused it by saying it is in the name of god.  Yes, free enterprise helped come up with the convenient excuse to use Christianity to further exploit a group of people.  Also, the conquering of the Native Americans was to civilize the pagans in the name of God.  The expansion of the American Empire was known as the “new frontier”.  It was considered new because Americans did not considered the Natives as people.  The endless massacres, displacement, wars, and breaking of treaties signed was to further the gains of this empire ruled by free enterprise in the name of god.

God is often used as a convenient excuse to expand wealth to land owners and commercial businesses.

Manifest Destiny – a term used by American Expansionist to conquer and expand in the name of god.  The Philippines, Haiti, Hawaii, and Somoa was to become America’s burden during the 19th century.  It was up to the Government to “civilize” the people so that they too will be close to god.  The Americans did this with a notion called “Benevolent colonization” through education.

Now, Texas Board of Education wants to make sure that children understands the “great” legacy of the American Empire by associating its terrible past with the biblical roots.  Instead of teaching about the appreciation of culture, the working class that helped build America including its legacy of Immigrants, many of who weren’t Christians, the Texas Board of Education will get last public comments in before submitting the new Social Studies curriculum.

More than 1200 Historians and college faculty members have signed a petition calling the academic curriculum “shoddy”


Filipinos: The OFW, the Modern Day Slave

12 05 2010

Filipinos are synonymously being referred to as Transnationals with 3,000 Filipinos leaving their homeland, the Philippines a year.  That’s equivalent to more than one million Filipinos leaving the country a year.

Why do they leave?

Majority of Filipinos who leave the Philippines are not tourists, rather they leave the country to seek opportunities.  Very few opportunities for employment exist in the Philippines.  7 out of 10 students who graduate are unemployed.  3 out of 10 generally compete with the rest of the labor market and previous unemployed out-of-school students.  Most do not get a job related to their field of study.  When the intellectuals and workers can’t find jobs in their homeland, they seek work outside.

Modern Day Heroes

The former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo says its a sacrifice that must be recognized as Modern Day Heroes.  The Filipino migrants are known as Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).  The Philippine economy is held together by the hard work of these migrants.  Yet, these very same migrants are taxed heavily for the application and testing process prior to leaving, they are taxed in the airport, and their remittances are taxed as well.    More often then naught, they have been modern day slaves.

Many migrant Filipinos also suffer from discrimination and violence from being abroad on top of being homesick.  Pinays get sexually molested.  The U.S. military is partially to blame for some of those incidents. Adam Corolla’s comments about the Philippines’ doesn’t exactly help.  In the Mid-East, some Filipinos are enslaved inside of their employers house.  Sometimes the Filipino gets executed without the help of the consulate general.

With the rise of Ethnic Tensions in the United States since 9/11 to current day Juan Crow laws (see Arizona’s recent anti-immigration, anti Ethnic Studies ban) should Filipinos really leave their country in midst of danger?

Indeed these Modern Day Heroes should be recognized as the former president mentioned, how can we protect them from the dangers of a foreign land?

What is Solution?

The Philippines owes it to their people to nationalize their job industries to provide quality jobs.  There are so many brilliant and hard working people forced to leave to provide for their families, this doesn’t have to be the case.  The newly elect, President Aquino should use his mandate to win the hearts of the people.

There are so many raw and natural resources that the Filipino people can enjoy.  The dams have enough power to power the whole Philippines so why charge ridiculous power rates.  At times, the power bill at the Philippines is more expensive then the ones here in the United States.  With so many poor people, who can afford it?  Drop the profits?  Profits only benefit the manager.  Spread the cost savings to the people or use that money to invest in better infrastructures and jobs instead of paying the executives.  Invest in solar clean power.  This one is a no brainer, when there are droughts, solar power should replace the energy lost from the energy garner from dams.

Roads needs to start from the farthest communities inward.  These are the most poverish areas that suffer the most.  Education needs to also be nationalize as well as the language.  The former president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, made english the national language.  Okay, this isn’t America and it shouldn’t be a colony of America.  The people have their right to speak their native dialect with a national language being developed (Filipino).

Last but not least, the majority of the Filipino Population are land tillers, Peasants, but they’re landless.  They work the land and pay land owner’s “rent”.  Sometimes rent can be as high as 50% of all your work.  Today, we know that as stealing.  The President elect, Noy Noy promised to go after thieves.  He’s going to have a tough time  bringing down his own family who are responsible for the Hacienda Lucieta Massacre in 1995.  Once land is redistributed out, the feudal practices of the past should fade away with time as culture starts changing.  Migrants won’t be forced to leave and society will progress

Philippine: Education in Shambles

22 04 2010

April 22nd 2010 – According to the Alliance of Concern Teachers (ACT), the President of the Philippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has failed to do her job as the primary teacher and role model to the nation despite her own claims of boosting more than 3,000 new classrooms.  She mentioned that new taxes were put into place for a better health care system and stronger education system. According to her State of the Nation Address (SONA) speech,

We will work to increase tax effort through improved collections and new sin taxes to further our capacity to reduce poverty and pursue growth. Revenue enhancement must come from the Department of Finance plugging leaks and catching tax and customs cheats. I call on tax-paying citizens and tax-paying businesses: help the BIR and Customs spot those cheats

A student protest the rising tuition as the State of Education has failed Families, students and teachers

These regressive taxes do not help the Filipino people as the majority indulge in “sin”ful activities because they are despaired and poverish from their current condition of low standards of livings.  Majority of those in the Provinces send their kids to cities to get an education only to find out that their children can not use the knowledge they acquired despite forking over their life-savings or going in debt from borrowing.  Many even end up leaving the country because of the lack of opportunities and face tough challenges and abuses because the Philippines can not even offer its own people a way out of poverty.

According to Ken Ramos, The chair of ANAKBAYAN and 5th nominee to the Kabataan Partylist, “In the national budget, only 14 percent is allotted for education. This means that only P6.80 is allotted for every student studying in SUCs per day. This is very small because international standards recommends at lest 20 percent of the composition of the national budget.”  Ramos said Kabataan Partylist and its member organizations are challenging all politicians running this May Elections to initiate reforms in the education system. He also blamed the present administration for the continuing deterioration of the education.  The PUP administration had earlier planned to increase the tuition in the state university from the present P12 per unit to P200, or nearly 1,700 percent increase.

The Alliance for Teacher’s Concerns Reportcard:

Access to Education: Fewer Children are enrolling in basic Education. Over 3 million students between the ages of 6- 15 are not enrolled. Enrollment growth in Elementary School and High School have remained Stagnant since 2003 – something not seen in previous administrations. Read the rest of this entry »

If Teachers are Boring, Why Not Sleep in Class?

23 09 2009

Reposted from Kasama

Since we are talking about early attempts at Maoist education in Nepal, it may be worth visiting what Mao Zedong himself wrote about schools and education. All his life Mao urged rebellion against official authority and the questioning of traditional teachings. Not surprisingly, that led him to have a very radical critique of the  educational system inherited from feudal, imperial China — with its worship of obediance, subservience, memorization of classic texts, divorce of theory and practice, and measuring merit by tests.

Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution

Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution

The following are excerpts from Mao’s remarks at the spring festival(February 13, 1964), given two years before the start of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (GPCR) and before the creation of the Red Guard movement of youth to revolutionize schools and society.

Along with the real and restless radicalism of his approach, what stands out how organically rooted Mao’s analysis is in Chinese conditions — in the actual conditions of education at that time, and in the historical development of intellectual training within that society. It also stands out how difficult the struggle for transformation was — Mao expressed strong and unmistakable views here, and very specific proposals for transformation, but it would take the great storms of the GPCR to even start to revolutionize Chinese education in these new ways.

This is the talk where Mao made his quip that “It’s no fun being a running dog. ” He makes an interesting passing reference to Cuba (which had only recently completed its revolution): “Revisionism is being rebuffed everywhere…. In Cuba they listen to half and reject half; they listen to half because they can’t do otherwise, since they don’t produce oil or weapons.”

But, below we are only excerpting those sections and exchanges that deal specifically with education.

* * * * * * * *

Mao Zedong: Today I want to talk to you about the problem of education. Progress has been made in industry, and I think that there should be same changes in education too. The present state of affairs won’t do. In my opinion the line and orientation [fanchen] in education are correct, but the methods are wrong, and must be changed. Present here today are comrades from the Central Committee, comrades from within the Party, comrades from outside the Party, comrades from the Academy of Sciences.

The period of schooling should be shortened somewhat…

At present, there is too much studying going on, and this is exceedingly harmful. There are too many subjects at present, and the burden is too heavy, it puts middle school and university students in a constant state of tension. Cases of short sight are constantly multiplying among primacy and middle-school students. This can’t be allowed to go on unchanged.

The syllabus should be chopped in half. The students should have time for recreation, swimming, playing ball, and reading freely outside their course work. Confucius only professed the six arts — rites, music, archery, chariot-driving, poetry and history — but he produced four sages: Yen Hui, Tseng-tzu, Tzu Lu and Mencius. It won’t do for students just to read books all day, and not to go in for cultural pursuits, physical education, and swimming, not to be able to run around, or to read things outside their courses, etc…. Read the rest of this entry »

Public Education and Trade Unionism

21 09 2009

Public Education

Free public school was still a new concept in the 1800s and was not widely available for all. By 1958, public education got a big boost from the Government with the Defense of Public Education Act which used government funds to help boost the accessibility and quality of public education. This Act did not come easily as a century of debates went on about whether the state should fund such a large social service. Imagine if we didn’t have Public Education today, how many of us would be able to afford private education? Would our parents be working somewhere else, say the sewing factory or warehouse? Do we take our education for granted? How do these structures, these institutions and everyday right get established?

The Working Man’s Party promoted free public education as a way out of poverty. They were established 1828 and were considered to be the first official union in the United States. They had demanded more just work hours of 10-12 hours however they had racist sentiments and gender biased demands.

The Chinese Must Go

The Chinese Must Go

“The Chinese Must Go!”

“We have made no secret of our intentions.  We make none.  Before you and before the world we declare that the Chinaman must leave our shores.  We declare that white men, and women, and boys, and girls, cannot live as the people of the great republic should and complete with the single Chinese coolie in the labor market.  We declare that we cannot hope to drive the Chinaman away by working cheaper than he does.  None but an enemy would expect it of us; none but an idiot could hope for success; none but a degraded coward and slave would make the effort.  To an American, death is preferable to life on par with the Chinaman.”

-Dennis Kearney (1847-1907):  An Irish immigrant, sailor, and founder of the Workingman’s Party of California (HQ: San Francisco) ; jailed several times for inciting riots against the Chinese in San Francisco; writer of the anti-Chinese Manifesto of the Workingman’s Party. Read the rest of this entry »