Okla. Legislators Try to Paint Rosy Picture of U.S. History

The Oklahoma state legislature feeds into the infamous ethnocentric reputation of America by attempting to nix the current Advanced Placement history curriculum, claiming that it makes the United States look bad.

Oklahoma lawmakers are planning to rewrite the bill on AP history funding. The proposal faces stiff criticism from parents and educators who feel that cutting funding will hurt the already suffering school system.

New framework for the course was introduced in 2012. The Republican National Committee passed a resolution calling on the College Board to revise the curriculum in 2014, stating that the work is a “radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history.”

The bill to drop the AP U.S. history curriculum’s funding passed through an Oklahoma House committee this week, with 11 Republicans voting for the measure and four Democrats opposing it.

Proponents of the anti-AP bill  said the revised guidelines for AP history courses “cast the United States in a harsh light by giving undue emphasis to topics such as slavery and the treatment of Native Americans, while distorting events such as the U.S. involvement in World War II,” according to Southwest Times Records.

I’m not sure if Oklahoma lawmakers are aware of this, but altering information in history books is equivalent to lying to students about our nation’s history.

The last time I checked, the unfair treatment of Native Americans and the African slave trade were aspects of American history that lasted for quite a while, perhaps so long that they can’t just be overlooked.

You may even say that America was founded on slavery. I’m positive that Oklahomans have heard the popular, “Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492.” What exactly do they think happened once the Spaniards arrived? Fun in the Caribbean sun? The real answer is enslavement of the natives.

Removing details about the Civil War, Japanese-American internment camps or the Trail of Tears (a piece of American history tied specifically to Oklahoma) can only further damage our nation by leaving students ignorant to the racism, classism and sexism so prevalent in U.S. history.

This bill would alter the way U.S. involvement in WWII is taught in high school classrooms. There are negative and positive effects to war and students should be fully aware of this.

I am proud to be an American and I respect the values of this country, but the U.S. has its faults. We should encourage students to understand the negative and positive impacts that U.S. involvement in foreign affairs has had and may have in the future.

Neglecting to educate the future leaders of America with an accurate history of this nation could do more harm than good. We create better futures by learning from our past.