At People For the American Way, the Right Wing Watch project reports on the radio ad in Maryland which was ‘apparently intended to boost the Senate candidacy of Michael Steele, [by urging] African Americans to stop voting for Democrats, because, among other things, “Democrats passed those black codes and Jim Crow laws” and “Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan.”’ [click here, or ‘the radio ad’ link above, to play the audio]
To his credit, Steele has denounced the ad; and folks in MD are confident that the state’s population knows better than to be taken in by this distortion of historical lineages that is obviously calculated to exploit what the ad’s sponsors apparently presume to be their target audience’s ignorance of history.
For Curriculum and Social Studies, it seems to me this provides an example of the importance of the state of social/historical understanding in the generally-educated population (i.e., folks not prepared as disciplinary specialists). It is in this context that I understand the purport of Lynne Cheney’s attempts to undermine the influence of historians like Howard Zinn by churning out soporific sing-song books and dry recitals of names and dates to take the place real history.
What do you think?