By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 18 January 2021 08:14 PM
A commission formed by President Donald Trump to promote “patriotic education” issued its final report, criticizing how American students are taught about the country’s formation, as well as the history of slavery and racial discrimination.
The 1776 Commission released a 45-page report Monday that offered “a definitive chronicle of the American founding,” according to the White House.
“States and school districts should reject any curriculum that promotes one-sided partisan opinions, activist propaganda, or factional ideologies that demean America’s heritage, dishonor our heroes, or deny our principles,” the report said per the New York Post.
Trump established the commission last year partly in response to a national movement in which statues of slaveholders or colonial figures were removed or defaced. The statues involved Founding Fathers and people long admired for their accomplishments.
In its report, the commission said students should not be taught that slavery is a haunting sin of the founders.
“The most common charge leveled against the founders, and hence against our country itself, is that they were hypocrites who didn’t believe in their stated principles, and therefore the country they built rests on a lie,” the report said. “This charge is untrue, and has done enormous damage, especially in recent years, with a devastating effect on our civic unity and social fabric.”
In fact, the “foundation of our Republic planted the seeds of the death of slavery in America,” the report said.
The commission said the creation of the U.S. could not have happened without compromise on the issue of slavery.
“Is it reasonable to believe that slavery could have been abolished sooner had the slave states not been in a union with the free? Perhaps,” the report said. “But what is momentous is that a people that included slaveholders founded their nation on the proposition that ‘all men are created equal.'”
The report further explained the Founding Fathers did not abolish slavery at the birth of the nation so that the principle of consent would become a basis of “all political legitimacy.”
“Patriotic education must have at its center a respect for the rule of law, including the Declaration and the Constitution, so that we have what John Adams called ‘a government of laws, and not of men,'” the report said.
The report blamed the education system for adversely affecting society.
“Deliberately destructive scholarship shatters the civic bonds that unite all Americans,” the report said. “It silences the discourse essential to a free society by breeding division, distrust, and hatred among citizens.
“And it is the intellectual force behind so much of the violence in our cities, suppression of free speech in our universities, and defamation of our treasured national statues and symbols.”