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jess @l1quidcryst4l
, 13 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
i've been wondering lately if the #1 enemy to the leftist movement in the US is the US public education system. it teaches such a fundamentally distorted view of history and politics that even the way most americans *think* about history and politics is broken, let alone talk.
the mythology of american politics that most american citizens exit the public school system with takes an incredible amount of effort and time to shake. and some of it is less about facts (which, too, are distorted) and more emotional. for example:
- the US education system teaches reverence for the founding fathers *despite* teaching the fact that they were perpetrators of genocide
- the US education system teaches that the US was a grand experiment in "democracy" *despite* teaching that most people couldn't participate
it's so hard to shake an american citizen's view of history because they know these people committed genocide, or know that america didn't actually offer democratic control to it's populace, they've just been trained by US education system to be able to still consider them "good"
the level of cognitive dissonance required to hold "literally committed genocide" and "good" in the same person is immense, but that's why the american education system trains you in it for thirteen years minimum. it is immersion in and an exercise in doublethink.
and this sets a precedent that we see acted out in the response to trump. people treat him as unusual rather symptomatic of our history because they have been taught to simply emotionally ignore the parts of US history that we would find objectionable in any other context.
i like this phrasing. US public education systematically trains US citizens to know that two different facts are true and yet be entirely unable to consider them in context to one another. and it damages our dialogue and organizing so thoroughly.
i made this a separate thread but it's not separate. this is absolutely shocking to me every time i think about it nowadays, but i took it for granted for the vast majority of my life.
also: shake this in every space that you are in. do not let people treat the "founding fathers" as anything other than genocidal tyrants. at the very least, any time these people come up in a positive life, we should remind people they committed genocide. make it uncomfortable.
discomfort is something i've been thinking about a lot lately. so many of us in america have been taught to be comfortable. taught to be comfortable with homelessness, poverty, with our country's history of genocide. find whatever you can to make people uncomfortable with these.
we will never change any of these systemic issues until we collectively shake off the ways that US culture and education have taught us to take homelessness, poverty, our history of genocide, etc. for granted. these things should feel viscerally wrong. make people feel that.
this applies to climate change too. it sucks to talk about the fact that billions of people are probably going to die, but if i meet anyone who doesn't seem already uncomfortable with that i try to talk about it till they're uncomfortable because they need to be for it to change.
this is a great point too. i was in history classes where we debated or discussed the relative merits of various decisions and choices. never once did we question whether america, the constitution, etc. were good ideas. that was taken as an assumption.
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