The Great Connections Seminar

The Great Connections Seminar
Discussing ethics

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Text Book Bias

Fox News interviews Larry Schweikart from the University of Dayton on bias in textbooks, with some hairy examples! Enlightening info on the building of American railroads.

2 comments:

y-intercept said...

It would be fun to make a web site that takes popular textbooks, then reports on the biases in the book.

AmericasGuideToPuttingSexBackIntoPreMaritalSex said...

I would like to provide the below example of how bias
creeps into our textbooks and thus into the public general thinking:

American Civil War

The student textbook, America's Story, Hardcourt Brace & Company, 1997, page 370, states that ex-slave, Sojourner Truth, who spoke to crowds against slavery, believed that slavery could be ended peacefully. And that ex-slave, Frederick Douglas, argued in his speeches that only rebellion could end slavery. The textbook follows by saying,
"In the end, Douglas was proved right".
"The nation that grew large and strong would soon be divided by civil war."

Do you see how written history and perceptions and morality can be tainted by false statements like this?
Douglas was NOT proved right
All history shows is that militant radicals like: Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, William Lloyd Garrison, and John Brown, took matters into their own hands and forced history to turn out in their favor by starting a war before anti-slavery peace lovers had the necessary time to end slavery without violence.

Anti-slavery peace lovers like: Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe (of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" fame), and Harriet Tubman (called "Moses"), all women, could just as likely have had success with their methods given the time, and without the militant radical's interference. Perhaps the ladies' solution of changing American hearts and values was just around the corner within a few years. Or perhaps at least quicker than war and reconstruction. And just look at the partial cost of that war (600,000+ lives lost).
What if Moses had had militant radical competition while he attempted to lead the Children of Israel out of Egypt peacefully? We know Moses' way worked. But had radicals caused the Children of Israel to rise up against the Armies of Egypt at the same time Moses was doing things peacefully God's way, and had the radicals changed the course of history their way, history would once again be written that militant radicalism alone wins out, specifically, that the only way that the Children of Israel could have been freed from Egypt was by bloodshed and rebellion. In Modern time, that equates to, the only way to end global terrorism was to start a 9 year bloody war in Iraq (2003-2011).