The N.C. Department of Public Instruction is continuing to move forward in their effort to infuse Social Justice into the state’s social studies curriculum and standards.
In December of 2019, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) began dangling the idea of gutting certain aspects of the state’s history curriculum and social studies standards. These changes to history and social studies were grouped into various sub-categories. Changes being suggested were overall anti-American in nature. As Dr. Terry Stoops of the John Locke Foundation noted at the time, “Overall, the standards reflect an interpretation of American history that is imbued with cynicism about the American experiment.”
In July of this year, NCDPI tabled voting on alterations to the state’s social studies standards that would have incorporated Social and Racial Justice themes into resources, training, and curriculum.
The most recent NDPI newsletter shows the department is making good on the promise to ‘revise’ how and what K-12 students learn about history. The newsletter is chock full of social studies related updates that include professional development “opportunities” and instructional resources.
At the bottom of the resources page is a section called “Resources for Teaching About Racism, Racial Injustice, and Human Rights.” This section comes with a disclaimer that “Any link you make to or from these 3rd Party Websites will be at your own risk” and that NCDPI has “no control” of those sites.
When one clicks the image associated with this section, it directs you to the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Once on the NCSS site, there are a number of links to explore:
NCSS Current Events Responses (2020)
Teaching about Race and Racism in the Classroom
The African American Struggle for Civil Rights
Slavery and Its Legacy
Racism and Discrimination against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color
Human Rights Education
Middle Level Lessons on Racial Injustice and the Struggle for Civil Rights
Elementary Lessons on Racial Injustice and the Struggle for Civil Rights
It should be noted that NCSS took great pains to align its materials to Common Core via what NCSS called the C-3 Framework. NCSS’ website and materials are dry and seemingly above-board but don’t forget their annual conferences often feature racial and social justice pushes.
What the hell is Howard Zinn doing in NC Social Studies Resources?
Upon deeper inspection of the social Studies resources provided by NCDPI, the “middle grades instructional resources” include links to Zinn Ed Project, a website dedicated to perpetuating Communist Howard Zinn’s revisionist history and anti-American propaganda.
The 8th Grade social studies resources include a link to a condensed version of Zinn’s political whitewash of the Wilmington Race Riots (also known as the Wilmington Massacre). The Zinn Ed Project’s oversimplified description does not mention once that both the events leading up to the riots and the riots themselves were orchestrated by Democratic Party leaders. There’s also no mention by Zinn Ed Project of the integral role News & Observer publisher Josephus Daniels played in stoking racial tensions through the vicious propaganda he printed in his newspaper warning of “Black beasts” who would attack white women.
Zinn, who died in Jan. of 2010, is best known for writing A People’s History of the United States. The book has been criticized as dishonest junk, bad history and is littered with misrepresentations. Zinn and his book have been given a thorough debunking by historian Mary Grabar in her book Debunking Howard Zinn. Grabar has pointed out that Zinn appears to plagiarize a number of passages from fellow radicals Gary Nash and Hans Koning.
Similar to the sloppy misinformation of Zinn, the “Terrorism in History” resource for 7th graders doesn’t distinguish between domestic terrorism and international terrorism. It compares the labor union-led Haymarket riots to 9/11. This resource, located on a website called “Digital History,” also takes an antisemitic swing at Jews implying they are the originators of terrorism.
In the high school resources under American History 1, there’s an entry for the language of the state of the union which is a link to an article at the left-leaning outlet The Atlantic. The article’s subheading describes the content as an “interactive chart” that “reveals how the words presidents use reflect the twists and turns of American history.” There are no links to actual speeches or scholarly reviews.
Another resource under the heading of “Media Literacy” has a link that goes to “Checkology” an offshoot of the News Literacy Project. Checkology is supported by the Facebook Journalism Project and is designed to help 6-12 students “easily identify misinformation.” No conservative sources appear to be involved with these two entities.
- NCDPI Social Studies Live Binder
- NCDPI Social Studies “Resources”
- NCDPI Elementary Resources
- NCDPI Middle Grade Resources
- NCDPI High School Resources
Near the end of the NCDPI newsletter is a section called “My NC A to Z” – A Conversation with Michelle Lanier About North Carolina’s Rich African American History, Heritage & Culture.” Lanier is the Director of State Historic Sites for the Department of Cultural Resources.
Following the initial George Floyd Black Lives Matter protests and riots, Lanier made a point of putting a blanket banner on all historic site websites that linked to a letter she wrote titled, “An Open Letter for These Times: Black Lives and Historic Sites.”
“As the first African American director of the Division of State Historic Sites and Properties, and a public humanities professional committed to dismantling racism, it is my daily call to seek more ways to achieve ‘True Inclusion,’” wrote Lanier. “We are far from where we need to be.”
Lanier’s letter includes four “lessons” which include “One of the greatest acts of racial violence is the erasure of a people through silence,” and “Progress is false comfort without the lifelong, daily vigilance against oppression in any and every form.”