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Obama Repeats Iraqi Invasion Myth To West Point Graduates: Civil Rights Will Be Forgotten

During his speech to West Point graduates today, Obama repeated the myth that the pretext for invading Iraq was America’s War of Terror.  I knew soon after the Bush administration slyly shifted the war’s rationale from the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction to an extension of Afghanistan, that the administration would eventually be successful in re-writing popular understanding of the rationale.  Soon even my very own friends an acquaintances began to forget that the war was sold on an errant chase of WMDs.  Everyone just seemed to accept that the war’s original intention was to hunt terrorists.

Their change in perception was unintentional, but it made me aware of the power and efficacy of propaganda.  Admittedly, the speed with which this propaganda took root caught me off guard, as jaded as I am about the machinations of politics, conspiracy and media manipulation.  The original rationale for invading Iraq is important, to be sure, but more shocking is how quickly national media outlets can skew the public’s perception of what happened only a few years ago.  I have not seen any polls, but I am more than certain that the vast, vast majority of United Statesians now believe the original cause of the Iraq invasion to be the War of Terror. 

It made me think a little bit about the great shift if public perception that the Texas State Board of Education might be responsible for by changing the curriculum standards in the text books.  History is replete with forgotten movements and unnoticed heroes, especially our history and our heroes.  These movements and heroes are intentionally forgotten by curriculum writers and boards.  It is a shame that these handful of people might have the power to completely erase the Civil Rights movement from scholastic discourse within few years.

I remember looking up Chicano Movement once in my high school history book’s index.  There was only a “Chicago Movement,” listed.  When I looked up this “Chicago Movement,” I actually found what I was looking for, or at least a portion of it:  two paragraphs on the Chicano Movement existed in the book after all.  The index was mislabeled.

It will be a sad day, indeed, when I will wish that at least the Chicago Movement would still exist in the book’s index.

UPDATE: Stace Medellin from did a post on the specifics of how the board’s mandates will take its toll on our history.

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