A Common Core-based writing assignment almost made Holocaust denial part of one California school district’s curriculum.
As an alleged exercise in critical thinking, eighth-graders in the Rialto Unified School District near San Bernardino were given an assignment last week to write a paper about whether they believe the Holocaust actually happened or was a “hoax” designed to “influence public emotion and gain wealth.”
Ah, those crafty Jews.
On Monday, after a story about the exercise was published by the San Bernardino Sun drew fire from groups like the Anti-Defamation League and at least one serious-sounding death threat, the school district agreed to “revise” the question.
The school district’s acting superintendent will make sure there’s no more talk of the Holocaust “not occurring” a school district spokeswoman said, according to The Associated Press.
“The Holocaust should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” Syedda Jafri said.
OK, there are still a couple of problems here.
First of all, giving middle school students an assignment asking them to decide whether the Holocaust happened is intellectually indefensible.
Sensitivity issues aside, it’s like asking kids to debate whether the American Revolution, the Vietnam War or the moon shot happened. It’s not critical thinking. It’s fantasy – and a fantasy with a blood-soaked history to boot.
Which brings us to the acting superintendent, and the unfortunate name of Mohammad Islam. It doesn’t help that the main purveyors of the lie that the Holocaust is a lie happen to have a great deal in common with Mr. Islam – starting with the first name and ending with his second.
It also doesn’t help that the language spokeswoman Jaffri used to clarify things doesn’t clarity much at all – just the opposite, in fact.
“The Holocaust should be taught … with profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed” is a weirdly roundabout way of saying 6 million Jews were deliberately murdered in a war of extermination.
As a writer on Infidel Blogger’s Alliance puts it, “Who are these ‘victims’, Mohammed? Why don’t you tell us who you believe the victims of the Holocaust are. And what exactly were ‘the atrocities committed?’” (The rest of that post is much blunter — be warned about the language.)
Finally, imagine the outcry if a school district assigned students a legitimate exercise in critical thinking that wasn’t in line with liberal orthodoxy, like proving global warming, white privilege or gay marriage are indeed hoaxes designed to “influence public emotion and gain wealth.”
As the San Bernardino Sun wrote:
“The Common Core state standards, which have been adopted by most states and the District of Columbia, emphasize critical thinking in students, which is what the assignment is intended to teach, according to school board member Joe Martinez.
“One of the most important responsibilities for educators is to develop critical thinking skills in students,” Martinez wrote in an email Friday morning. “This will allow a person to come to their own conclusion.”
Come to their own conclusions about historical facts?
If Common Core “critical thinking skills” means shoving liberal, Islamist propaganda down the throats of America’s school children, its backers should at least be honest enough to say so.