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Jim Beam column: Brumley likes propaganda videos – American Press

Jim Beam column: Brumley loves propaganda videos

Published at 6:45 AM on Saturday, June 1, 2024

Louisiana Education Superintendent Cade Brumley has backed what critics call a right-wing nonprofit — PragerU — that produces “pro-American” content for use in the state’s classrooms. These same critics call it ‘conservative propaganda’.

Brumley said the company’s videos align with the state’s new social studies standards, which he calls the “Freedom Framework.”

The Advocate reported that the Ministry of Education said teachers may use these videos, but are not required to.

In a statement from PragerU, Brumley said, “Louisiana was the first state to adopt new, rigorous social studies standards that teach students about American exceptionalism and our quest for a more perfect union.”

Britannica defines American exceptionalism as the idea that the United States is a unique and even morally superior country for historical, ideological, or religious reasons.

The indoctrination of students by teachers is why Republicans say they have passed so many bills banning any discussion of sexuality in the state’s public schools. For example, the Advocate has said that Governor Jeff Landry “is a Republican who claims without evidence that some teachers want to indoctrinate students with ‘radical’ ideas.”

What Brumley is trying to do is indoctrinate students with extremely conservative views. And Governor Landry said on X, formerly Twitter: “Thank you to the Louisiana Superintendent for keeping American values ​​in our classrooms.”

In its 2023 annual report, PragerU said its Kids program serves families, schools and young Americans with “pro-American content and undoes the damage done by left-wing teachers unions.”

That report also states that the nonprofit is committed to “biblical values, protecting the innocence of children, celebrating America’s extraordinary history, civic responsibility, rejecting woke culture, and defending the freedom of expression.”

The attorney said the company’s videos have faced backlash from historians and educators who say PragerU puts conservative values ​​above historical accuracy.

Brumley is not the first state education inspector to come up with a program aimed at indoctrinating students. The late Shelby Jackson, an elected superintendent, introduced an “Americanism versus Communism” program in 1961.

Jackson’s recommended textbook for that class was “Race and Reason,” by Carleton Putnam, who was described as “an American businessman and writer who advocated racial segregation.” Putnam actually viewed African Americans as an inferior race and said that if they attended schools with white children, it would do little to improve their intelligence.

American schools at the time were undergoing integration, which was controversial in most southern states. Jackson actually said that integration would destroy the public school system.

Jackson purchased 3,000 of Putnam’s books and said that “select adult students at certain schools would benefit from carefully reading and studying the book.”

I was a teacher at the all-white Marion High School at the time, and I was supposed to teach “Americanism vs. Communism” for six weeks since I taught American history.

Knowing about Putnam’s views and his book they gave me, I never opened it. I taught that class, but only after I had done my own research and come up with my own information. I think Jackson’s program was a total failure.

We can only hope the same happens with Brumley’s ill-advised decision to support the PragerU programs. Unfortunately, PragerU said in a press release that its collaboration with Louisiana is “more extensive” than in other states, adding that the Department of Education has approved an “extensive list” of PragerU social studies videos.

State Rep. Edmond Jordan, D-Baton Rouge, and chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, said, “Louisiana’s children deserve an unbiased, evidence-based education, free from political agendas. Instead, Chief Inspector Brumley betrayed his responsibilities to help rewrite history in the service of right-wing extremists.”

Jacob Newsom, a social studies teacher at St. Amant High School, a public school in Ascension Parish, said he watched several PragerU Kids videos and found them to be filled with “historical revisionism and slanted perspectives.”

“It is nothing more than propaganda disguised as educational content,” Newsom said, adding that he will not use the materials in his studies.

Bless him, and if we’re lucky, most teachers in this state will see Brumley’s support for the PragerU program for what it really is. It is an attempt to force students to accept the company’s misguided and deviant views on this country’s proud history.

Jim Beamthe retired editor of the American press, has been covering people and politics for more than sixty years. Contact him at 337-515-8871 or [email protected].

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