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Arkansas Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Howard Zinn From Classrooms


Arkansas Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Ban Howard Zinn From Classrooms

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

It's not the first time in recent history the legendary historian's works are the target of suppression.


Better yet, let's burn all Zinn's works in the public square, while republicans dance and chant beneath a burning cross. Because they have nothing to offer that can stand the light of day, republicans endeavor to darken the universe.


I have absolutely no proof, but my gut feeling is that initiatives like these are written in the back rooms of some foundation and introduced introduced at the state level in some backwater southern state in order to test public opinion and (hopefully, for them) gain a foothold and desenstize the larger public. Then, if all looks good, it makes its way around the country, being enacted in other places, wherever and whenever its proponents can get away with it.

Face it, folks. We don't have the machinery. If we only fight this politically, we have no chance.


Hilarious when the righties invoke censorship, blasting any myth that may still exist that the support the First Amendment. Obviously, this Arkansas GOPer did not learn his American history very well. Maybe he needs to read Zinn.


Many of these sort of bills are coming from places like North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine. Are they "backwater southern states"?


What are these Republcons' afraid of the truth? Are they afraid they might be exposed!


OK, many come from those places. Some don't. My point is, I think that crap like this and so many other bills start at places like the Heritage Foundation and are then introduced at the state level (usually in a smaller one) as part of their strategy to enact their nefarious agenda. My larger point is, we've tried countering on a political level, and have failed-- massively and continuously. We've tried mass marches, uh, parties-- and those haven't worked. It's time for a change in strategy.


The R'Con nutter extremists would deliver us all to a new Dark Ages with their astonishing arrogance, ignorance, bigotry/racism and self-serving perversions of religion and religious teachings/knowledge, and history generally! - they know as much about religion, its history and where we come from as the cat..............

Professor Zinn is an American/world treasure who should be required reading by all students of any age!


Dark ages indeed !

If not for federal trucking and railroad deregulation that started in 1980, Arkansas would have continued to be the only state prohibiting transporting loads originating from farming cooperatives.

When I was a truck driver during the 70s I had to drive through neighboring states when hauling a "co-op load".

Its no coincidence that Arkansas is where the Waltons and Clintons launched their empires, it has always been one of the most backward states.


Excellent example of educational anecdotal bits of history very worth knowing about for context. Chances are the character who introduced the bill was raised with that as part of the environment that shaped his thinking and attitudes. Thanks for your miles!


My point was merely to point out the that anti-southern-US prejudice often seen among "progressives".


Mitch Daniels also sought to keep Zinn's important contributions out of Indiana's schools when he was Governor there. (though that was not done out in the open like the Arkansas legislature - it took a Freedom of Information request to unveil it).


Fair enough. For what it's worth, I grew up in the New York area, and have lived as an adult in Massachusettes, south Florida, Ohio, Calfornia, Oregon, and east Tennessee (for three years). Guess which one is very different from the others...?

The South is very different from the rest of the country. One only has to look at who it voted for in presidential elections over the course of the history of this nation to know this; the red state/blue state chasm is nothing new. In fact, f they were to secede as a block, I would applaud the move, and say without judgement that it really is a very different country and that we'd all be better off if it were recognized as such.


I do not know about the rest of the posters on this thread, but it feels more and more to me that Amerika is repeating the fascism of Nazi Germany in the 1930's.

I have read Howard Zinn's book and I would call it the hidden truth of American history.


Oh, and now we have to be politically correct about our "prejudice" against the southern states. Over and over again Southern states have earned the title "backwater." If the total history of the south was comprehended, the trees would cry. Yes, regressive policies are happening all over but the states of the confederate south has always been the leader in all of this. I think the other states are just following along. You are also very correct about organizations like the Heritage Foundation and Federalist Society using their resources to do these things. This has been a long term strategy.

Politics and the democratic party are two places where we progressives probably loose the fight. This is a spiritual - human rights - matter. Leaders like MLK and Malcolm X are needed. It troubles me to see other commentators belittling comments like yours. It really makes me wonder what their agenda is


One should almost thank the likes of Rep. Kim Hendren. The move is SO retrogressive that it stands apart as being emblematic of the conflation of economics into politics by 'externalizing' historical facts so that the extraction from those marginalized by the party line history books continue to be marginalized and serve as profit margin. Its called 'knowing your place'.

To dismiss a move like this is to do disservice to the entire point of the scope of what Zinn teaches.


I suspect the American Legislative Exchange Committee (ALEC). Founded by the Koch brothers. This entity (I don't know what exactly to call it) has designed "model legislation", templates so to speak, to be rewritten at the state level. Stand Your Ground laws are an example of this.


I think Zinn would be pleased. It indicates that his books are seen as a threat to the status quo. That's so much more satisfying than being ignored or forgotten.

When I read "A People's History" way back in the early 1980s it was a breath of fresh air. A truly important book. Later when I became a history teacher I would make copies of pages of APH to counter the dribble that was so common in most textbooks so that my students could see an alternative view of American history. I know I was not the only teacher to do this.


I hope the bill passes. There is no surer way to encourage a student to read a book than to ban that book. Hopefully, renegade teachers will have copies of "A People's History" available for any children interested in optional reading.


Yes. Let us shield our children from such harmful, left wing ideology, with an outright intent to brainwash our children with such thoughts as this:

“I wonder how the foreign policies of the United States would look if we wiped out the national boundaries of the world, at least in our minds, and thought of all children everywhere as our own.”
― Howard Zinn