Josh Marshall Profile picture
Jul 22 18 tweets 4 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
Lots of discussion of Floridas new African-American history curriculum, especially that line about slavery helping slaves develop skills which they might be able to use for their own benefit. Is that like representative? How is the curriculum as a whole? Well, I’ve read …
2/ the entire updated AAH curriculum just updated. By way of background, I have a PhD in American history w a focus on the colonial period but covering all of Am history. I havent been professionally engaged in the literature as a working historian for abt 25 years. But I …
3/ do generally keep up to date. Overall the text isn’t as clownish as that one sentence might suggest. But there still major problems. They tend to be ones of emphasis and omission rather than outright fabrication. I’ll focus on three points. First that line about …
4/ developing skills isn’t on its own. There’s definitely a focus on discussing the variety of work and trades slaves did. And it’s true. Slaves were engaged in a lot of skilled trades, especially in urban areas. And that may surprise some people. But the overall picture …
5/ certainly seems geared to deemphasize the backbreaking agricultural labor which was the lot of the vast majority of slaves during the 200 plus years of slavery. Then next two are more significant. A significant part of the curriculum is focused on talking about all the …
6/ other societies that practiced slavery and other places where slavery was arguably worse. So for instance we learn that Europeans found slavery already in existence in Africa. There is a major part of the curriculum focused on how slavery was arguably worse in …
7/ the Caribbean islands and in parts of Latin America. These are not false claims in the broadest sense. I’ll note one example. The slave populations in the Caribbean sugar islands were never able to sustain themselves. They required constant importation of new …
8/ slaves because mortality was so high. This was true for many reasons, especially the brutal and deadly nature of sugar production. But the upshot of this whole part of the curriculum is definitely to soften the image of North American slavery. Everybody had slavery, the …
9/ argument goes, and slaves in North America had it better than slaves in other places. To put it in contemporary terms there’s a lot of whataboutism and blame shifting. Finally, the third point is when we get to reconstruction and the return of what was called …
10/ “home rule” in the South, which we’d call the Jim Crow system. Or rather we never quite get to them. If you do word searches you’ll find some of the words. But this whole part of the story is pretty radically DE-emphasized. The curriculum notes the first ‘Civil Rights Era’…
11/ and then the second Civil Rights Era. But if you’re new to the topic you might be scratching your head wondering why the second one was necessary. Needless to say this is a pretty big part of the story, the violent reimposition of white rule in the South and how it was …
12/ sustained by a system of discriminatory laws and organized violence for between 70 and 90 years depending on one’s definitions and precisely which parts of the country you’re talking about. Again, these topics aren’t totally ignored. The curriculum’s defenders will be able …
13/ to pull out quotes referencing them to try to refute what I’m saying. But read the curriculum yourself and I don’t think any fair minded reader would be able to dispute these points. These are by no means the only problems with this curriculum. They are just …
14/ the ones that jumped out to me on my reading. They struck me as the most foundational. So while the public conversation is focused on that one sentence I flagged above the overall picture is also distorted and incomplete just in ways that aren’t as easy to …
15/ capture in a single reference or quote.
16/ For those asking, here's the curriculum…
17/ As I noted, the points I noted are the ones that struck me as the big picture problems. But when you read through it there are lots of choice nuggests like this lesson abt major figures in the modern civil rights era. I mean, Steele and Sowell? C'mon. Image
18/ These are obviously very big people to movement conservatives. And they may be significant in their own way. But really come the fuck on.

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More from @joshtpm

Jun 18
It’s helpful Bill telling us who he is with this taunt. This isn’t an effort to fund a debate. It’s simply an attack. Below this tweet Mark Cuban post a video take down of RFK jr junior that’s actually fairly glorious.
2/ Just one RFK jr bullshit line after another shot to smithereens. Watch it. It’s hilarious. I don’t know who broke RFK jr. I do remember all the way back in 2004 he led a lot of desperate people down the garden path with his supposed numerical analysis showing …
3/ John Kerry actually beat George Bush. That was a super close election fought with a lot of dirty tactics by the Bush team and a lot of voter suppression tactics by the GOP. So there was a very receptive audience for those claims. Back then he wasn’t known as a crank &
Read 5 tweets
Jun 17
A friend asked me my take on this thread. So I’m seeing it a bit late. As someone who knows A LOT about Democratic politics, this is all true. If you were asking my own take I’d probably focus less on the anger abt getting exiled, though that is definitely part of it.
2/ In Star Wars terms, these two were on the dark side before they got the boot. Many on the left say yeah they were always triangulators and centrists and all that. They suck. And they may suck because of that. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean, the dark side.
3/ The best way to illustrate this is that there are a number of groups which come out of that world, you know, more centrist politics, a third way and all that. Those folks are all united abs frankly on fire saying these folks are dangerous liars. Rick refers to them.
Read 10 tweets
Jun 15
I’m not that familiar with this particular degenerate. But two thoughts. One, every founder of the country wld hear this and say their version of fuck you, gimbus. Second it wld be hilarious to acquaint this freak with how things worked in 1220.
One of the fun “socially conservative”things that could happen in much of Europe was that the local manor lord could stop by & fuck your daughter. And also you weren’t allowed to move. You might take lord to court. Unfortunately the lord had his own private court you had to use.
3/ And that’s just the start of the gun really. It was awesome.
Read 4 tweets
Jun 2
I’ve only read the lead of the CNN Alberta piece, going to dive in shortly. But the gist is pretty clear. Also seeing people asking why did they agree to the access? I think the answer to that question is clear. PR folks literally and figuratively work for their boss. And the …
2/ boss thought his plan would and was working. I’ve seldom seen a plan for a major media property so fundamentally misunderstand the environment in which the brand operates. It’s not that anyone botched anything. The whole theory of what cnn is and what cable news is …
3/ was fundamentally, catastrophically wrong. I’ve seen some people saying it’s not licht. It’s john Malone, the real power behind the discovery/Time Warner. That must be true to a significant extent. But Licht clearly bought into the idea and thought it would work.
Read 7 tweets
Jun 1
"The stage was decorated with a swastika and a picture of Adolf Hitler. The speakers started ranting. There were only fifteen of us, but we went into action. We threw some of them out the windows. Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out ...
2/ We chased them and beat them up. We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults." - Meyer Lansky, recalling breaking up Nazi German-American Bund rallies in the 1930s, this one in Yorkville on the Upper Eastside.
3/ in some ways the backstory to this is even more interesting. This was happening around the country in a number of cities. Local Jewish communities wanted to stop it or fight back but they couldn’t figure out a way to do it within the law. They were also wary …
Read 6 tweets
May 28
The deal seems broadly as billed. Can Mccarthy sell it and keep the speakership. Broadly they got jack. This is abt the agreement you’d expect if there were just a normal budget negotiation - i.e., the non parliamentary terrorism approach. What they hope for is Freedom Caucus …
2/ votes no but majority of GOPs yes and Biden can bring along a few dozen Dems to make up the difference. Even though no Dem like the details there are plenty who will see that Biden cut a much better deal than expected. So he can get those votes. But here’s where the …
3/ problem is. Trump, HFC, other right influencers are going to quickly make this into the RINO bill of rights. The question is whether there’s a rush for exits among House gop. If they whining about it on Fox 24/7 are you really gonna want to be left holding the …
Read 4 tweets

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