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Updated: October 28, 2013 6:08AM



Teaching hatred

Would you want your child to learn American history from a book that highlights America’s flaws, or from a book showing how our country became the most powerful and successful civilization in history? That’s the heart of the controversy over Mitch Daniels’ email rant against Howard Zinn’s book, “A People’s History of the United States.”

I agree with others that removing the book simply is setting responsible standards.

Here’s why:

— Zinn’s writing encourages readers to hate America rather than love their country.

— Zinn’s motives are suspect. In 1998 he said his goal was to move the U.S. toward “democratic socialism by a quiet revolution.” He also has described himself as a Marxist and an anarchist. The Occupy Wall Street movement was inspired by his writings.

— Because of his left-wing bias and questionable scholarship his students may not become knowledgeable citizens. Is that what taxpayers want from their schools?

— Shouldn’t students of American history learn how people using their Constitutional rights and capitalist economy have lifted more people out of poverty than any civilization in history? Or, should they be taught that America will only become good by adopting a socialist system that has never worked?

The problem with American education and culture today is not right-wing censorship but left-wing political correctness permeating everything from books to movies and the media. Conservative speakers are not welcome on most campuses.

Philosophy is the “love of wisdom”, and in Job 11:5, Zophar says, “…true wisdom has two sides.” I did not attend PUC philosophy Professor David Detmer’s presentation on “Mitch Daniels and Howard Zinn.” (Post-Tribune, Sept. 22). If I had I would have asked him, “If you use Howard Zinn’s works in class do you also require students to read “Animal Farm” and “1984” by George Orwell, “The Road to Serfdom” by F.A. Hayek, the works of the black philosopher Thomas Sowell and the classic defense of capitalism by Milton Friedman?

By including this literature along with some of Howard Zinn’s writings students will enjoy a good education. If Zinn’s book is the basic text, then David Detmer is a propagandist, not a professor.

Martin Henrichs

Valparaiso



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