Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/25/why-we-should-all-be-reading-howard-zinn-right-now
The U.S. Constitution is a racist document designed to protect the rights of slave owners.
Patriotism is a manufactured form of racism to help reinforce a narrow group of special interests to retain power.
This is how all U.S. history books should begin if we’re serious about giving our children the truth. A careful and unbiased examination of the history of the U.S. will quickly confirm these statements if any critical thinking skills are applied. This is why the U.S. educational system is in such a mess as misinformation and propaganda trump facts and the ugly truth about our past.
How can we possibly expect to produce a government by and for the people if we can’t even start with the truth? Instead we’re all subjected to the same ole rhetoric about U.S. exceptionalism simply because the truth could bring down this delicate house of cards that previous, current and aspiring future slave owners (Make America Great Again) fight so hard to preserve. This is why BLM’s poses such an immediate threat to the status quo and not because of the protests or violence or the damage to private property, but because it may spark a serious conversation about the actual state of our society. The last thing that the Establishment wants us to do, is to remove our emerald tinted glasses thereby exposing the fantasy world that our MSM and its corporate puppet master’s have been feeding us for centuries.
Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States,” is the book I always recommend, as a “start,” to anyone I have come across in my life who has shown a desire to become enlightened about the U.S.
Sadly, that hasn’t been a lot of people.
I wonder if ‘A People’s History’ is the most important book ever written. I’m glad Trump is spending millions in Minnesota because it won’t do him any damn good.
I recently found a copy of Zinn’s “Declarations of Independence” at a Little Free Library, and came upon a quote from Daniel Berrigan, spoken while he burned draft cards taken from the draft board in Cantonsville, Maryland during the Vietnam War. Substitute a few words and Berrigan could just as well be speaking of the BLM protests:
“Our apologies, good friends, for the fracture of good order, the burning of paper instead of children …We could not, so help us God, do otherwise…We say: killing is disorder, life and gentleness and community and unselfishness is the only order we recognize. For the sake of that order we risk our liberty, our good name. The time is past when good men can remain silent, when obedience can segregate men from public risk, when the poor can die without defense.”
And, yes, Berrigan should have said “people” instead of “men.”
Because most murkins read NO history at ANY point in their life they are easily manipulated by revisionist history packaged as hyperbole by corporations, their politicians and media.
Even most college educated murkins included as few history classes as possible in pursuit of their respective degrees.
While I agree that “we should all be reading Zinn”, how do we get the people who need to read Zinn to do so ?
That is so sad-the lack of curiosity about our past and how we arrived at the present. I’ve been an avid reader of history books from a variety of sources from a very young age. To present the whole truth, I’ve been an avid reader of books on every subject from a very young age. One book led to another and then another…
But my fellow classmates were locked in the 50’s and 60’s matrix of cars, the other sex, church functions, and empty conversations using empty words. When asked to do book reports in English class, there was a mass groan, while I eagerly looked forward to writing mine because invariably it was a book I’d already read. Learning another language…this was AMERICA and we all were supposed to speak English. I learned quite a few other languages on the down low.
A culture that has no past has no future. The US of Automobiles certainly proves that adage.
Meanwhile, forgive me. I have lots of books to read as the days grow shorter. Television? Puleeze. Give me a good book with a CD of great classical music and a cat to cuddle, and I’m happy.
I am encouraged by the fact that my granddaughter studied A Peoples History in her social studies class as a junior in high school here in Oregon. I was pleasantly surprised when I recommended she read it, she said she already had! (At least some of it) She gives me some hope for the future.
Why yes… Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky.
For a lot of people, just the heft of Zinn’s masterpiece would be a hard place to start. I started with “You Can’t be Neutral on a Moving Train”. and was amazed with what I didn’t know about history even though I was well educated and lived during the period that he writes about.
I also highly recommend the Zinn Ed Project. There is SO Much enlightening info, speeches, videos, etc. out there.
Women didn’t have draft cards as they were not eligible to be drafted then. So “men” is probably the right use in this instance.
Here the thing. The real “good Americans” and the truth tellers are marginalized and ridiculed and thier message misinterpreted .
Read some of Thomas Paine who was a true “revolutionary” and contrast him with the ones that stole his message for their own self gain. Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman, MLK and Malcolm X were all the genuine deal even as people that are self serving and wish to preserve the status quo try and ride their coat tails. Barack Obama lauding the legacy of Martin Luther King was a farce.
Howard Zinn is another of those who told the truth and there a lot of people that do not like that. Threats to the 1 percent are either eliminated or see revisionists marginalize or hijack their legacy. Another more current example of this is of course Jullian Assange.
I agree most Americans have not been taught critical thinking just mostly facts from a narrow dominant God fearing cultural perspective.
Howard Zinn was trying to change that and gift Americans with some knowledge and wisdom.
He knew what you memorize you memorialise.
He was a brilliant Historian and humanitarian.
Historians would make better politicians at least they try and uncover the truth.
We must all be stewards of the truth.
Didn’t Howard Zinn say something like not knowing history makes you a gullible target, because it’s like you were born yesterday?