Shocker: Most College Students Think America Invented Slavery
In his interview with PJ Media, Pesta explained that the multicultural liberal mindset "is all throughout the schools, from kindergarten all the way to graduate school." He argued that "the monolithic control of universities and public schools by liberal progressives has shifted the curriculum," and replaced good history books with textbooks like Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States. Multiculturalism goes beyond these textbooks and their ideology, however.
"Multiculturalism is very different from pluralism," the professor told PJ Media. "It starts on the premise that all cultures are equal, which is demonstrably false. We can't judge cultures on what they do."
If all cultures are equal, however, "we have to account for why America and Western culture are so dominant," and since "it couldn't be because our culture's better," the only explanation is that "we raped and pillaged the rest of the world."
Progressives argue that "kids already know Western culture, already know Christianity, the founding of America, the Constitution. It's absolute B.S. — they don't."
Children never learn the Christian roots of Western culture, they never learn the ideals of the Constitution and the American founding, because teachers assume they already know such things. Instead, the teachers emphasize the ills of colonialism and slavery, to the exclusion of the good influences behind America and the West.
For example, "Thomas Jefferson is a bad guy now because he owned slaves," Pesta explained. "But he wanted to write slavery out of the Constitution," and those efforts are largely forgotten.
"It's easier to see our founding documents as wicked documents, not the progressive, liberating documents they really are," he said. "They really get the clear-cut idea that yes, American slavery is bad, and we should take responsibility."
This is true, and America should struggle with its historic failings, but America is not unique. "In the broader current of world culture, you will find that our sins are in some ways pretty moderate compared to much of what goes on in the world." But if students looked at non-Western cultures, they would find that their "history, in terms of the rights of women and minorities, is much worse than our history."
"Without historical context, history is just politics," Pesta concluded. "We've transformed the teaching of history into a political act, not a historical act. We want students to respect certain groups and condemn others. What we should be doing is teaching them how to understand history on its own terms."