I have just finished skimming Bobbie’s take home paper called ‘The Disappearing Rainforests’ and I can honestly say that I have never read a worst case of liberal propaganda in my life. When did it become the job of our educators to give such unsubstantiated opinions as the ones delivered in this paper? When did it become standard policy to state a mere opinion as fact to the impressionable minds of thirteen year old’s? Allow me to give you but a few examples:
- “Rainforests are being destroyed because the value of rainforest land is perceived as only the value of its timber by short sighted governments, multinational logging companies, and land owners.
I would ask for some kind of legitimate proof for this outlandish statement, but I won’t bother as it is clearly written by a liberal propagandist and can not survive even the most cursory test for scholarly accuracy.
- “Every time a rainforest medicine man dies, it is as if a library has burned down.”
Is this just a small bit of exaggeration? Really? A library? What, then, if an American surgeon died?
- “Fewer rainforests mean less rain, less oxygen to breath, and increased threat from global warming.”
This one is so chock full of amazing assertions, I must demand the proof for them. Less rain? Really? Considering that Global warming is not a proven fact and merely a theory which weakens by the day, I would say the cause and effect must also be questioned. Further, I would like to see how oxygen will simply disappear from the earth because the rain forest is being cut down. Did ALL plant life disappear with the rainforest? To my knowledge, there is no notable lack of oxygen even though the paper claims that we have already cut down most of ALL forests, let alone the rain forest, from the earth’s surface! I’m still breathing. These are outrageous claims, completely lacking in any kind of scholarly science. And yet, they are taught as fact to all children?
- “Were we Americans any different with our own colonization, decimating the North American Indian tribes? Like Brazil, we sent out a call to the world that America had land for the landless in an effort to increase colonization of our country AT THE EXPENSE OF OUR INDIGENOUS TRIBES.”
Well, that is the most unusual rewriting of our Statue of Liberty’s call to the world I have ever read- I never knew it was a ‘call to colonize our land in order to destroy the American Indian’! Well, you learn something new everyday! I thought the ‘call’ we sent out to the world was:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free;
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless,
Tempest-tossed to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door
Gee, and here I used to be proud of that call! No more!
- “But who is really to blame? Consider what we industrialized AMERICANS have done to our own homeland. We converted 90 % of N. America’s virgin forests into firewood, furniture, railroad ties, and paper. ” This goes on to excuse the actual countries who are actually cutting down the rainforests and then says, “much of the pressures on their remaining rainforests comes from SERVICING the needs and markets for wood products in industrialized countries that have already depleted their own natural resources. Industrialized countries would not be buying rainforest hardwoods and timber had we not cut down our own trees long ago, nor would poachers in the Amazon jungle be SLAUGHTERING jaguar, ocelot, caiman, and otter if WE did not provide lucrative markets for their skins in Berlin, Paris and Tokyo.”
I’m sorry, but are creating a special voting group here? WE are to blame for those countries’ decisions? Really? Did we force them to cut them down? Is our military down there with our tanks and soldiers? I thought our governmental authority ended at our own borders. Call me naive! In addition, the assertion that America is only needing Amazon wood because we so lazily used up OUR wood is plain… stupid & not factual. We industrialized before the Amazon countries did. We have many more people than they have. Our needs came earlier and with more force then did theirs. If we had NOT used our resources, we could not have grown to be the industrial giant we have become. We would NOT be the America that now is the most powerful, rich nation in the world, now would we? So, it would be safe to conclude that had we never used those ‘virgin’ forests (I like that clever phrase- thus negating to the need to mention that we have NEW, carefully managed forests galore), we would not even BE in the situation where you, Ms. XXX, would have the nice school, the nice job and the nice country in which to brainwash my kids like this.
Never have I seen such one sided, overly emotional & exaggerated wording to evoke the most anger/hated at/of America as possible from our students! Not only is this a completely unproven set of opinions but it lacks all standards of scholarly rigor! This is emotional tripe- this is an opinion piece with some raw data barely sprinkled in. I am outraged, to say the least, at this content. But my favorite is yet to come:
- “Logging tropical hardwoods like teak, mahogany, rosewood, and other timber for furniture, building materials, charcoal, and other wood products is big business and big profits. Several species of tropical hardwoods are imported by developed countries, including the UNITED STATES, just to build coffins that are then buried or burned.”
Yes, that is my very favorite. Of course, this unmitigated b.s. continues right to the very end of this incredible paper- but we will stop here as I believe my point has been made. The overarching theme of this … paper… is to communicate the following to the students:
- America is deeply to blame for the loss of the rainforest.
- America is greedy and has wasted all of its natural resources
- America is now depleted of its own wood and resources and is now stealing it from these poor nations.
- America is forcing these nations to cut down their rain forests.
- America is responsible for less oxygen and global warming.
- America intentionally destroyed the American Indian.
- America is intentionally destroying the Amazon Indians.
- Being an indigenous Indian is superior to being a modern person who lives with technology and modern medicine.
- Modern man should be sacrificed so that indigenous Indians can remain the same as they were.
- Indigenous Indians should never modernize- that would be an evil thing.
- The reason to keep the rainforest around is for the potential medicinal value of its plants. However, the reason the rainforest is being destroyed is for stupid things like modern medicine.
- If American had never begun, we would never have used our resources and so would never have ruined the world.
- It would have been better if America had never become a great, powerful nation.
- If the rain forest goes away, the world will stop breathing. Global warming will kill us all.
The Amazon Rainforest debate is MUCH more complex than this idiotic paper would have it. It presents a decidedly liberal, democratic, progressive bent. Why? Where is the other side of the argument? I promise you that there is one!
Further, I have taken great umbrage over the book list you provided for Bobbie in the supposed pursuit of ‘multiculturalism’. Multiculturalism is the idea (with which I totally disagree) that various immigrant cultures in a country can remain distinct and separate from the main culture and/or other ‘mini’ cultures and still co-exist in peace and harmony. It is the antithesis of the ‘melting pot’ theory with which we all grew up. Whether or not I happen to agree with such an idea is irrelevant. Multiculturalism IS that cultures, races, languages, styles, etc, can and should coexist in harmony within a single national border. Why, then, is your book list 100% geared toward the teaching of white racism and class warfare? Every book is either about how the white race has done terrible evil to other races or about how the super rich have ‘stolen’ from the poor. You told the class that these books would, ‘Truly anger you… but that is what they SHOULD do!” Really? Really? You think your job is to anger the students in your class toward the white race and the rich in the world? Is THAT your job, Ms. XXX? I thought it was to present data to my child. And if you must put an opinion on that raw data, to present multiple sides EQUALLY.
What is going on at Evergreen Middle School? Are you knowingly and immorally brainwashing the next generation of children to be liberal voters? Because that is the only rational conclusion to which I can come. No child whose parents aren’t closely watching will come out of Mrs. XXX’s class with any sense of national pride- that’s for sure. And not one of them will come out a political conservative- of that, I am 100% sure. And if they are white, they will feel like they are evil and should be guilty. If they are any other race, they will believe that all whites hate them and will always hate them (how sad).
I think not. If you want to teach on cultures, then teach on cultures- positively, if you want to produce a generation with positive race attitudes. Otherwise, you had better change that class name to ‘White Racism and How the Rich Took Advantage of Everyone Else.”
Again. There are many sides to a story, Ms. XXX. Why is only the Liberal, Progressive, Democrat side being shoved mercilessly down the children’s throats? Do you have the nerve to tell me that you are also presenting the Conservative viewpoint on these subjects? Or do you dare to tell me that you have presented all the facts- or that the facts MUST equal the opinions presented in your class? Would you call half of America … lacking in any factual basis for their belief system? I would like to hear your response, Ms. XXX.
Where are the Black success stories in America? Where are the books that show that the American Black Person is the richest Black Person in the entire world? Do we not now have a Black president? Did we not come far from those days of the KKK? Where are the books showing how the Japanese, whom had originally been unjustly put into labor camps in WWII, have now become among the richest people in America- in the world- this is a testament to America, is it not??? Where are the books that show how beautifully our culture has become so racially intermixed that our children no longer look anything like they did in the 1950’s? I, personally, am a product of a White American and native Korean wedding. By now, the mixing of races is so common that no even notices. Where are the books that praise how our unique blend of races and cultures produced the most innovative people on earth- leading directly to its dominance in the world today? How about how many women we now have a CEO’s, millionaires, billionaires, politicians and world leaders? Isn’t that something to celebrate? Where are the books that show this progress?? Why are they ALL about negative race relations? Again, that is a political talking point for DEMOCRATS and liberals. Why are you only showing one side of the political spectrum, Ms. XXX?
And please do not play coy with me. If you would like, allow me to present my question this way, “Why is only one perspective so wholly presented to our children? So much so that I have to doubt how they could even become aware that there are other perspectives on these issues in America and the world?”
Enough. Suffice it to say that I am disgusted by your choice of books and papers for the children. Unless you were forced to use these materials by WA State or Washington D.C., I put the blame squarely upon your shoulders. Shame on you. And shame on Evergreen Middle School for having so little oversight, so little responsibility for scholarly standards and so little desire to represent the real world of opinions to our children.
Susan H. Shannon