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Political Information Last Updated: Mar 21, 2019 - 1:16:51 AM


The Real Irish-American History Not Taught in Schools
By Bill Bigelow with comments by Ron
Mar 20, 2019 - 11:02:12 PM

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http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/51298.htm

Sadly, today's corporate textbook-producers are no more interested in feeding student curiosity about the poverty and inequality that drove the famine than were British landlords interested in feeding Irish peasants

March 19, 2019 "Information Clearing House" - "Wear green on St. Patrick's Day or get pinched." That pretty much sums up the Irish-American "curriculum" that I learned when I was in school. Yes, I recall a nod to the so-called Potato Famine, but it was mentioned only in passing.

Sadly, today's high school textbooks continue to largely ignore the famine, despite the fact that it was responsible for unimaginable suffering and the deaths of more than a million Irish peasants, and that it triggered the greatest wave of Irish immigration in U.S. history. Nor do textbooks make any attempt to help students link famines past and present.

Yet there is no shortage of material that can bring these dramatic events to life in the classroom. In my own high school social studies classes, I begin with Sinead O'Connor's haunting rendition of "Skibbereen," which includes the verse:

... Oh it's well I do remember, that bleak
December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came, to drive
Us all away
They set my roof on fire, with their cursed
English spleen
And that's another reason why I left old
Skibbereen.

By contrast, Holt McDougal's U.S. history textbook The Americans, devotes a flat two sentences to "The Great Potato Famine." Prentice Hall's America: Pathways to the Present fails to offer a single quote from the time. The text calls the famine a "horrible disaster," as if it were a natural calamity like an earthquake. And in an awful single paragraph, Houghton Mifflin's The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People blames the "ravages of famine" simply on "a blight," and the only contemporaneous quote comes, inappropriately, from a landlord, who describes the surviving tenants as "famished and ghastly skeletons." Uniformly, social studies textbooks fail to allow the Irish to speak for themselves, to narrate their own horror.

These timid slivers of knowledge not only deprive students of rich lessons in Irish-American history, they exemplify much of what is wrong with today's curricular reliance on [Ron: Jew controlled] corporate-produced textbooks.

First, does anyone really think that students will remember anything from the books' dull and lifeless paragraphs? Today's textbooks contain no stories of actual people. We meet no one, learn nothing of anyone's life, encounter no injustice, no resistance. This is a curriculum bound for boredom. As someone who spent almost 30 years teaching high school social studies, I can testify that students will be unlikely to seek to learn more about events so emptied of drama, emotion, and humanity.

[Ron: Not to mention 'truth' or at least specific objective facts.].

Nor do these texts raise any critical questions for students to consider. For example, it's important for students to learn that the crop failure in Ireland affected only the potato - during the worst famine years, other food production was robust. Michael Pollan notes in The Botany of Desire, "Ireland's was surely the biggest experiment in monoculture ever attempted and surely the most convincing proof of its folly." But if only this one variety of potato, the Lumper, failed, and other crops thrived, why did people starve?

Thomas Gallagher points out in Paddy's Lament, that during the first winter of famine, 1846-47, as perhaps 400,000 Irish peasants starved, landlords exported 17 million pounds sterling worth of grain, cattle, pigs, flour, eggs, and poultry - food that could have prevented those deaths. Throughout the famine, as Gallagher notes, there was an abundance of food produced in Ireland, yet the landlords exported it to markets abroad.

The school curriculum could and should ask students to reflect on the contradiction of starvation amidst plenty, on the ethics of food exports amidst famine. And it should ask why these patterns persist into our own time.

[Ron: True. BUT the prior question is WHY doesn't the school curriculum ask these questions AND why doesn't it provide for at least some historically verifiable answers to them.].

More than a century and a half after the "Great Famine," we live with similar, perhaps even more glaring contradictions. Raj Patel opens his book, Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World's Food System: "Today, when we produce more food than ever before, more than one in ten people on Earth are hungry. The hunger of 800 million happens at the same time as another historical first: that they are outnumbered by the one billion people on this planet who are overweight."

Patel's book sets out to account for "the rot at the core of the modern food system." This is a curricular journey that our students should also be on - reflecting on patterns of poverty, power, and inequality that stretch from 19th century Ireland to 21st century Africa, India, Appalachia, and Oakland; that explore what happens when food and land are regarded purely as commodities in a global system of profit.

But today's  [Ron: Jew controlled] corporate textbook-producers are no more interested in feeding student curiosity about this inequality than were British landlords interested in feeding Irish peasants. Take Pearson, the global publishing giant. At its website, the corporation announces (redundantly) that "we measure our progress against three key measures: earnings, cash and return on invested capital." The Pearson empire had 2017 worldwide profits of $801 million. Multinationals like Pearson have no interest in promoting critical thinking about an economic system whose profit-first premises they embrace with gusto.

As mentioned, there is no absence of teaching materials on the Irish famine that can touch head and heart. In a role play, "Hunger on Trial," that I wrote and taught to my own students in Portland, Oregon - included at the Zinn Education Project website - students investigate who or what was responsible for the famine. The British landlords, who demanded rent from the starving poor and exported other food crops? The British government, which allowed these food exports and offered scant aid to Irish peasants? The Anglican Church, which failed to denounce selfish landlords or to act on behalf of the poor? The [Ron: Jew banksyer controlled] economic system, which sacrificed Irish peasants to the logic of colonialism and the capitalist market?

These are rich and troubling [Ron: political and ideological as well as] ethical questions. They are exactly the kind of issues that fire students to life and allow them to see that history is not simply a chronology of dead facts stretching through time.

So go ahead: Have a Guinness, wear a bit of green, and put on the Chieftains. But let's honor the Irish with our curiosity. Let's make sure that our schools show some respect, by studying the social forces [Ron: without of course specifically NAMING them] that starved and uprooted over a million Irish - and that are starving and uprooting people today.

[Ron: Typically, this 'hard hitting' analysis fails to mention the JOOS who were responsible for the rise of Capitalism and its domination of British thought and governance at the time. Nor is mention is made of the underlying causes of the dominant socio-political Talmudic CAPITALISM that precipitated the Irish Potato Famine AND virtually ALL famines in India and throughout the British Empire and globally since then. The genocidal 'Potato Famine' in Ireland was 'small beer' compared to the Talmudic British empire did elsewhere. See eg: Genocide, the British don’t want you to know about – They systematically starved to death over 60 millions of Eastern Indians! - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Genocide-the-British-don-t-want-you-to-know-about-They-systematically-starved-to-death-over-60-millions-of-Eastern-Indians.shtml And: The British Empire - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Human_Animal_Rights_104/Crimes-Against-Humanity-The-British-Empire.shtml And: Genocide, the British don’t want you to know about – They systematically starved to death over 60 millions of Eastern Indians! See: http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Genocide-the-British-don-t-want-you-to-know-about-They-systematically-starved-to-death-over-60-millions-of-Eastern-Indians.shtml And: Irish "Potato Famine" Was Deliberate Genocide. - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/Irish-Potato-Famine-Was-Deliberate-Genocide.shtml And: 5 of the worst atrocities carried out by the British Empire. See: http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/5-of-the-worst-atrocities-carried-out-by-the-British-Empire.shtml And: 10 Evil Crimes Of The British Empire. See: http://abundanthope.net/pages/Political_Information_43/10-Evil-Crimes-Of-The-British-Empire.shtml

Suggesting, in effect, that teachers should play "ain't it awful" and," weren't the NAMELESS "landlords" who made profits while starving a million Irish men, women and children, awful," won't explain WHY the Jew controlled British government and its colonial landlords and military forces genocided the Irish people. Of course such an analysis would be antisemitic and hence beyond the Pale so we get a vagely moralsitic, virtue signalling spiel of 'safe' half truths that makes no effort to explain WHY the Rockefeller created US education system and the producers of educational history text books DO NOT TELL THE TRUTH. As regards the US education system see eg:Dumbing Down US Education: Part II – Wundtian Psychology & Rockefeller Finance - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Ron_71/Dumbing_Down_US_Education_Part_II_Wundtian_Psychol_3877.shtml

General Education Board, Occasional Papers, Issues 1-9, New York, 1913, 6, http://books.google.com/books?id=QzhDAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

Charlotte Iserbyt: The Miseducation of America Part 1-Full. See: http://abundanthope.net/pages/True_US_History_108/Charlotte-Iserbyt-The-Miseducation-of-America-Part-1-Full.shtml

FOLLOW THE MONEY: Public School | a reallygraceful documentary - http://abundanthope.net/pages/Education/FOLLOW-THE-MONEY-Public-School-a-reallygraceful-documentary.shtml

George Carlin Education Sucks, Owners of America, Social Security and Mass Media - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dpcd0woY2KY].

 

Note: This piece, which originally appeared on the Zinn Education Project website here, is an updated version of a piece that ZEP and Common Dreams have run in years past.

[Colour fonts, bolding, underlining and comments in square brackets added.].

This article was originally published by "Common Dreams" -

 




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