Yesterday a report splattered across the news media that a teacher in Texas thought students should be taught an “alternative” view of the Holocaust. Aside from the instantaneous revolution brought on by this new angle at Holocaust denial, there is more to this than meets the eye. First, let’s remember the quote from Churchill to the House of Commons in 1948, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
The Holocaust was far from the only organized mass murder of human beings. Stalin killed many millions of his own people, Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge were savage in the outright destruction of anyone educated in that country. Also, Burundi, Rwanda and the United States destruction of 18 million or so indigenous natives of this continent—the list goes on and on. And lest we also forget, the enslavement of black people kidnapped from Africa to toil in bondage for centuries. Enslavement is a component of genocide. It certainly was under Hitler. But no one did it with more gusto than the United States, portions of which depended on it as the central part of their economy.
These are undeniable parts of human history on this planet. There is failing to learn from history and then there is denying it has happened. Looking at this squarely one sees the corollary: trying to get history to repeat itself.
The teaching of history has become a politicized issue of late. With the governors of Florida and Texas freaking out about Critical Race Theory—which explores institutional racism in society as a legal theory. These two understand it so poorly they have sought to ban teaching it in schools, in spite of the fact that it is not taught in schools.
The “Two Sides” Gambit
When the science documenting global climate change began to come to the fore, fossil fuel interests began a PR campaign through various channels and “think tanks” to undermine this science by claiming there was another “side” to it. There wasn’t. What they managed to do through the use of PR flacks, pseudo-scientific arguments, bribing political operatives (known as Members of Congress), was to create a “debate.” This gave an apparent legitimacy to the concept of “two sides” of the coin. “There must be another side to this, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this “debate.”
Returning to the teacher in Texas now, one can view this idiocy as yet another attempt to deny the Holocaust through a fake debate gambit.
The idea that denial of history is an attempt to repeat it is truly a scary concept. It is hard to confront because it is evil to its core. But as we learned in dealing with the German wacko with the weird mustache, it has to be confronted sooner than later. The four years of Trump brought white supremacy out from beneath the rock it had hidden itself under. White supremacy and Nazism are a one-sided coin. There is no difference between them other than spelling. Make no mistake in recognizing the evil “history” these folk want to return to.
So, when a teacher wants to teach “both sides” of the Holocaust, send his credentials to the shredder.
We must also recognize that those who are investing in the efforts to deny man’s bloody history want to profit from that ignorance. They expect a return on that investment and they don’t care if it is in our blood.