History Wars in Virginia; The Virginia School Board corrected their awful first draft of the Standards of Learning for History and Social Studies. The Democrats controlling the Virginia Senate rejected the Republican Governor’s appointments to the Virginia Board of Education for cleaning up the CRT and other errors in the first draft. The better, revised draft is out for public review and comment. Here are the comments I will provide in person and in writing on Monday, March 13th in Williamsburg, Virginia.
March 13, 2023
SUBJECT: Comments and Additions to 2023 Virginia History and Social Sciences SOLs
Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment on our Virginia SOLs.
- These SOLs are sufficient. They are a vast improvement to the awful draft in August.
- Some detailed comments are attached in writing. Please consider three comments and one question.
- Correctly Label Time. Since words have meaning, begin by changing the labels of years and centuries from the politically correct, silly secular B.C.E. and C.E. to traditional B.C. and A.D. If the U.S. Constitution is dated “in the Year of Our Lord”, then Virginia can use BC and AD.
- Add to Economics. Add the explanation of creating capital and understanding its importance. Economics is more than scarcity theory. Monetary theory is vital to understanding economics.
- Change Your Narrative. Congratulations on referring to ethnicities more than the discredited 19th Century social sciences false construct of race. However, your story of Virginia propagates, perhaps unwittingly, the fantasy of an amalgamation of co-equal European, Indian, and African cultures. Your standards continually address fixed group identities of Black, White, Indian, and Women. That is multiculturalism bunk.
Virginia from 1607 to the 1970s is the story of two dominant sub-cultures assimilating the people and contributions of other ethnicities and religions while evolving through time.
The founding Tidewater and Frontier sub-cultures absorbed the Indians, Africans, Germans, French Huguenots, Roman Catholics, Jews, and all others. While Blacks were separated by the evils of slavery, segregation, and racism into a parallel society, Blacks and Whites were two sides of the same coin in both dominant sub-cultures until the victory of the Civil Rights Movement. The role of women changed within the context of those sub-cultures through the feminist waves.
Since the 1970s, Virginia’s demographics changed significantly. American transplants from outside Virginia’s sub-cultures and foreign immigrants are dividing themselves today among our two evolved traditional sub-cultures, which still exist, and a competing worldview and sub-culture of Northeast-based Human Secularism.
Your SOLs’ fixed identity groups create a bias towards perpetual victimhood which can be twisted if the Curriculum Frameworks aren’t truly honest, open, scholarly exposition and inquiry.
- Finally, What is the process and timeline for developing your Curriculum Frameworks? Here is where the devil hides in the details. The frameworks easily can skew scholarly history and social science to absurdities like the Cultural Marxism of Critical Race Theory. How will your process be transparent to Virginians and open to citizen review? When will you publicize that information and how?
(This ends the 3 minutes timed presentation.)
- Identity Group Narrative. The constant division of Virginians by race, class, and gender fits the Human Secularist trinity of Cultural Marxism. White or European, Black, Indian, rich or poor, and Women is the wrong taxonomy for understanding Virginia’s history. The real differences are cultural – worldviews – of the two founding sub-cultures in Virginia. These sub-cultures are two of the original four at the time of the American Revolution
First was the Tidewater, English, Cavalier, Anglican sub-culture. Second was the Frontier, Scot-Irish, Warrior, Presbyterian sub-culture. These Virginia sub-cultures were long warring cultures in the British Isles. Since “culture commands” they had significant differences and still do. Consequently, a White and Black farmer living next to each other in Southside Virginia have far more in common with each other than the White has with a European Jew in Brooklyn and the Black has with an Afro-American from Harlem.
The facts and data show how bogus race, class, and gender are as a way of understanding history and social sciences abound.
- Virginia’s Indigenous People. The neolithic tribes formerly known as Indians are covered extensively. Yet, the failure to mention the Massacres of 1622 and 1644 by name, as well as the deadly attacks during the French and Indian War and our American Revolution excludes the perspective of those Virginians who suffered and survived.
If you understand the impact of one-fourth of all the English people being killed in one massacre and one in ten murdered in another massacre, as well as the provision in the Pamunkey treaty with the Governor of Virginia, which is celebrated every Thanksgiving with our citizens dressed in Western Plains Indian garb, where the Indians promised to return all the horses and children they stole, then the grievance in our Declaration of Independence makes more sense. The Declaration’s grievance about “the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare is the undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes, and Conditions” becomes something other than a racist rant.
Will the Curriculum Frameworks include historical references to Powhatan’s genocide of the Piankatank tribe in 1608? Will they include the perspective of my late wife’s family who lived in Greenbriar County when the Shawnee came in 1760? The Indians murdered one boy on the farm and carried another back across the Ohio River to burn him on a stake for their pagan gods. Will they include understanding the complete assimilation of Indians into Western Civilization, so that my wife’s blood line included Cherokee ancestors as well as ancestors murdered by the Indians.
My anecdotal accounts aren’t sufficient unto themselves to be the historical evidence, but are offered as supplements to vast supporting data.
- The Recent Unpleasantness and Reconstruction. America’s worst war from 1861 to 1865 is known by more names than the “Civil War.” Teach the different names, at least, to show perspectives. Add more facts to “The War”, where more Virginians died defending Virginia against the invading Union Armies than all of our wars put together, instead of obsessively focusing on slavery. That’s not good scholarship. And, a more nuanced understanding isn’t Lost Cause mythology.
Ask 10 Baby Boomers if there was one and only one reason why the US went to war in Vietnam. Ask what was the one thing that happened in the war and the one and only outcome? Will you get one answer from 10 Boomers? Obviously, no.
Don’t apply the sophistry of Presentism to the past. The complexity of the causes and conduct of the war is missing. Why Virginia voted to stay in the Union in the first plebiscite and voted to secede in the second plebiscite needs to be learned. And, why was West Virginia admitted to the Union as a slave state in 1863 if the war was all about slavery?
Much is missing about the War and Reconstruction. Virginia had over 2,000 combats on her soil – more than any other state. The devastation from fighting, the destruction of an economy, and looting of what was left can be taught by adding terms like “carpet-bagger and scalawag” to the SOLs.
The SOLs need to teach the facts about Union Army war crimes from the looting of Fredericksburg to the burning of Shenandoah Valley spreading starvation and death among all Virginians, the widespread rape of Black women, and impressment into service of Black men. The supporting facts and data are available and abundant.
The perspective of families like my Maley family, where my Great-Grandmother was 8 years old when the Yankees came looking for her brother who was a Partisan Ranger. They shot off a percussion cap pistol by her ear to scare her – making her deaf in that ear for the rest of her life. She didn’t talk. So, the Union Soldiers killed all their farm animals and burned the barn. Yet, she heartedly celebrated America’s victory in Leyte Gulf in World War II at the time of her death.
Or, why families like my Holland ancestors, who devoutly believed slavery was a sin against God, fought to defend their home state. Why one of them wrote just before he was killed at the Battle of Seven Pines, that “maybe if we give the Yankees one more good brushing out they will leave us alone.”
- Economics. Monetary theory is vital to understand empirically how capital growth creates individual wealth, how taxes explicitly reduce capital and kill jobs, and how other government interventions, like regulations, in a free market alter economic outcomes.
- Methodology. When is quantitative analysis added to history and the social sciences as part of the research and methodology?
- More Specific Comments and Additions. (Too many to add to this published piece. They’re referenced to the Board of Education’s 66 page final draft document.)
Truth Social: @AFNN_USA