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The Michigan GOP's War on 'A People's History'


The Michigan GOP's War on 'A People's History'

Matthew Kovac

Michigan State Senator Patrick Colbeck is at it again. Back in 2013, Colbeck sponsored a bill calling for schools to institute a Patriot Week that would indoctrinate students with nationalist and militarist “history” lessons.


I am assuming that Colbeck is also an advocate for Charter Schools where the GOP can pick and choose whatever curriculum that suits their agenda and history can be rewritten to serve their purpose. In the end the Truth will win, it always does.


I personally know quite a few republicans from Michigan. I no longer visit there because I have found them to be anti democracy and un american oligarchs who will do anything to get more money.


Colbeck and his ilk see the world ONLY through the prism of the victors who for the most part happen to be males of Anglo-European descent. By whitewashing history to exclude the voices, legitimate grievances, and experiences of everyone else... history--as witness ONLY to the white male dominator-victor's perspective--maintains in place the hegemonic controls held by this ilk for many centuries. So long as you can make OTHER invisible, no alternative to the narrative or alteration to the paradigm that allots authority to those who control the ongoing unfoldment of the same redundant history is allowed (or for the most part, made possible).

We see the same history in the making in the manner by which a uniform staff of media personnel obligingly follow their Talking Points/orders and seldom deviate from Official Narratives. The run-up to war against Iraq utilizing all sorts of false "evidence" repeated AS IF true across the MSM is one example. The case that Assad was gassing his own people, or that Edward Snowden was a traitor (this meme got a little more oppositional viewpoint tossed in), and that Putin is the chief aggressor in the Ukrainian debacle are some contemporary examples of how this manufacturing of story (from which to manage dissent and force consensus) occurs.

The protocol has never altered since the same group has been "in charge" for many generations.

And this history isn't just words on a page. Right now there are attacks on all of the following--to better preserve that white male boys' club along with its anti-Democratic privileges:

  1. Attacks on the Black community--Ferguson, etc.
  2. Attacks on public education which tends to be the ONLY way people in inner city impoverished communities can better their lives
  3. Attacks on women's reproductive tools for controlling fertility (not just abortion, the bastards are also aiming at access to birth control)
  4. Attacks on the Latino community through all the families torn apart in order to generate another arm of the Homeland Security State with its deportation camps and devices
  5. Attacks on Indigenous communities--by stealth--in the form of TAINTING their lands and waters (via oil pipelines, fracking, and "accidents" to toxic sites and their effluents)


Zinns book is not supposed to be objective, he says so in the preface.Most of the others arent objective either. I think banning it is idiotic, just as I think using it as the sole source for history class is idiotic. Let the kids read what they want, and get other points of view.


Why if this kind of thing goes on it won't be long before the kids start thinking that John Wayne was a draft dodger in WW2.


Patriot Week? Would indoctrinate students with nationalist and militarist history lessons.

That would be nothing new....they have been indoctrinating students with nationalist and militarist lessons for at least the last 100 years!


Better to see the world as it truly is than to assume that it is the way it is supposed to be.


I am always amazed that posters can see the obvious but shy away from tying it to its core causation: sexism.

All this language about being firm, hard and tough is macho sex talk.

Just about every weapon is a phallic extension and some comedians--like George Carlan--saw this (and spoke about it) clearly enough.

Conservatives identify with the male-privileged story of patriarchy as if God gave only ONE gender dominion and only saw god-like glory in one gender, or half the LIFE force.

Because men cannot make life--not in the way the woman does, as natural Creators of newborn babies--too many have come to identify with TAKING life. From that moment of potency that followed from the first bullet that so quickly and efficiently took out a rival, enemy or opponent... far too many males have invested their engineering know-how, collective financial resources, and propagandistic dialects in commandeering most of the public's treasure to put to use in designing weapons and then creating pretexts (war) to utilize them.

This identification with a brand of masculinity that is married to force and dynamic shows of would-be bravery through constant lethal peacock dances is favored by Conservatives. That they happen to be the ones who sign up for war, think their sons are courageous for doing so, and then turn around and defund planned parenthood and despise women for having rights over their own biological destinies are neither anomalous nor any coincidence.

Compassion is a feeling and feelings--apart from war fever--are totally taboo within all branches of the military. The capacity to feel empathy is precisely what is drilled out of young soldiers, often through humiliating means.

Perhaps one of those X-marines who occupies this forum can remind me of the EXACT wording... it goes along the lines that the soldier's bayonet is an extension of his dick.

From the time of grade school when boys are shamed for being sissies if they show compassion to their rites of passage into adulthood, within a Mars-ruled society (which is to say society centered around war and militarism), these practices are very deliberate.

So is the kind of porn that so degrades the female would-be love PARTNER as to make love impossible in those raised to experience sexual release through the dehumanization of their partner.

It is also part of the programing that has kids using simulated weapons to kill/obliterate game pieces; and vividly depicted in teen video games where bands of males collectively rape and then murder a beautiful female character.

These are all expressions of a fundamental sickness, and it's the product of centuries of spiritual mitosis: splitting the feminine component (and that includes its Divine counterpart as half of our collective Source) off from that of the masculine and only nourishing, validating, and financially supporting the masculine side of this "organism."

That women too often identify with the paradigm of the patriarchs is due to so many centuries of social conditioning, not to mention the types of carrots and sticks used to maintain the compliancy (often AT bayonet point) of women.

All over the world women are fighting for their lives... if not kidnapped by some African tribe, hundreds are casually murdered in NAFTA's Mexican border towns, others sold into sexual trafficking, still others, left as refugees of modern wars.

Any male who mentions the compassion-empathy deficit fails his own conscience when he refuses to tie this in with worldwide misogyny.

And for the female posters who typically show up to conform to the masculine frame by relating that they had a bitch for a boss once, this petty means of using token examples of women who showed corruption is hardly the same thing as deconstructing a paradigm of long duration that privileged males and had males making ALL of the rules that WE live by.

Just today this "new deal" occurred to me: When those who traffic in the WE frame can PROVE that they've taken wide referendums and can factually show evidence that lots of women, Blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans go along with THEIR program, THEN they can use their all-inclusive (wipes out dissent) WE meme.



It is reassuring to know that Michigan teachers from all over the state are teaching people’s history, outside the textbook. More than 1,000 Michigan teachers have signed up to access people’s history lessons from the Zinn Education Project website. And the numbers are growing.


If only Howard Zinn could be alive to day to see the vilification of his master work: A Peoples History. This campaign will boost sales and interest in this book better than any publishing house PR campaign. I expect sales to skyrocket as more and more people get curious about exactly what is in this book they are not supposed to see or read.
Another book for Michigan educators to consider "banning" is:
A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki. It is also available in a young peoples edition that is suitable for junior high school aged students (grades 6-8).
This book challenged the notion that the US was the creation chiefly of Europeans and shows the contribution of other peoples to US history (as well as the bigotry and discrimination they had to endure).


Please read my Huff blog on Mitch Daniels and Howard Zinn and we can discuss Sen Colbeck's "argument"

"Mitch Daniels, Howard Zinn, and the Politics of History" July 2013 The Huffington Post by Joseph A. Palermo


"Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings". ...
Heinrich Heine-


Although I am strongly against banning any books, given A choice, I would much sooner see Ayn Rand banished over Howard Zinn any old day-
"Slaughterhouse Five", "Johnny Get Your Gun" and "Catcher In The Rye" were also banned from school libraries in our National past- Critical thinking would demand the question: Cui Bono?


Why not leave A LINK if you seriously want people to read this? Jus sayin....


for some reason the site wouldn't allow me to give the link


Mitch Daniels, Howard Zinn, and the Politics of History
By: Joseph A. Palermo (Professor, historian, author)

"Mitch Daniels's attempt to erase Zinn from the Indiana curriculum unveils him as an anti-intellectual who is clueless about the discipline of History as well as the historical profession. If Daniels finds Zinn's work "truly execrable" he should at least be required to point out exactly where the objectionable material can be found, enter into a debate, and act like a college president. Daniels probably never read A People's History and his dance on Zinn's grave is a reflection of his own reactionary politics and authoritarian demeanor".

*There you go Joseph- A well written article, well worth reading IMO- If I had never heard of Zinn and read this article, I would be compelled to throw rotten eggs at Mitch Daniels-


Thank you - I owe you one


My pleasure, You owe me nothing- Your stellar article's tribute to this Great Man, Howard Zinn, is payment enough!


As a huge fan of Howard Zinn and his writings, I buy used copies of his "A Young People's History" and hand them out to young and old people alike. I don't know if they ever actually get read, but at least there are a few extra copies circulating around. Happy to hear about the teachers accessing his educational site.