"Teaching Cleveland" Historical Revisionism and Negationism by Journalists and Amateurs has NO PLACE in Education Programming

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Mon, 02/21/2011 - 03:42.

I've been stunned to find there is a movement in Cleveland, much like "Creationism" and psycho-conservative mind-control programs of the Koch Tea Partiers, called "Teaching Cleveland", that proposes a group of journalists from the Cleveland Plain Dealer (mostly now out-of-the-profession) and other amateur-historians are qualified to develop education programming for our children.

From "Teaching Cleveland": "The Teaching Cleveland Foundation is a pending 501 (3) (c) organization with a stated mission to develop Cleveland-centered curricula in area schools that deepen an understanding of Greater Cleveland’s rich history, foster an appreciation of its varied resources, and equip participants with the skills and capacities to connect, collaborate, and commit.  The future of Greater Cleveland depends on inspiring enthusiasm and a stronger sense and love of place to grow another generation of civic leaders."

Wrong - the Future of Greater Cleveland depends on providing an authentic, safe, healthy, desirable place for people to live.... not brainwashing people to stay.

Change "Cleveland" to "Fatherland" and you will realize the definition and concept for "Teaching Cleveland" is stolen from your typical fascist handbook... and this type of make-believe "story-telling" is defined as "Historical Revisionism" or "Negationism".

The results of this propagandizing effort show the creators of this supposed educational material are not qualified to interact with our children.

For example, there is an article by an industrial public relations agent for Cleveland industrial coatings multi-national RPM - Randell McSheperd - titled "Economic Empowerment For Minority Participation in the New Economy", that analyzes the "wholesale criminalization of the African-American male", and many related factors reflecting urban crisis in Cleveland, without mentioning that these failings of the inner city community are largely the result of industrial pollution... especially lead poisoning from the industrial coatings sector in Cleveland. A public relations worker for a massive industrial coatings company is unlikely to expose his industry at the core of the failure of his people and the entire community. Without addressing lead poisoning, there may be no community empowerment. Industrial public relations agents should not be entrusted to educate the next generation of our children about the harms of industry or the victims... their job and role in life is industrial public relations and polluting, not brainwashing.

An apparent "intern" at the industrially funded Green City Blue Lake Institute - Richey Piiparinen - has been recruited to "Teaching Cleveland" to educate our children about "Sustainability" - "Finding Sustainability: Cleveland—from a Forest to a Fire to a Flight" - which intends to misinform our youth that "Before Cleveland, there was wilderness, and then came the settlers to begin the layering of a city on top of the wild. When Moses Cleaveland reached the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in 1796 he believed he found the perfect spot to do this", writing out of history the 100,000s of Native Americans living in natural harmony here LONG BEFORE Richey's white European settlers arrived, and exterminated them, along with the natural harmony here - this is ethnic cleansing at its worst... in a sentence.

He goes on to write: "Now, it becomes important to understand the context at the time which disallowed any real stop to the pollution. And again, it deals with the broad beliefs of a time equating progress as a matter of industrial output, regardless of the costs. This belief not only pervaded the business culture, but the culture at-large, particularly within the media and the policies of the federal government.

No, Richey, a small number of greedy industrialists conspired and colluded for over a century to violate the rights of citizens and break laws for excessive profit, and the public was outraged.... and is outraged in Cleveland, still. "Teaching Cleveland" is apparently the latest demonstration of this industrial collusion so harmful to our community.

There is no mention of who has paid for this misinformation campaign, but these two authors are certainly funded by industry.

Historical revisionism is either the legitimate scholastic re-examination of existing knowledge about an historical event, or the illegitimate distortion of the historical record such that certain events appear in a more or less favourable light. For the former, i.e. the academic pursuit, see historical revisionism.[1] This article deals solely with the latter, the distortion of history, which—if it constitutes the denial of historical crimes—is also sometimes (but not commonly) called negationism.[2][3]

In attempting to revise the past, illegitimate historical revisionism appeals to the intellect—via techniques illegitimate to historical discourse—to advance a given interpretive historical view, typically involving war crimes or crimes against humanity. The techniques include presenting known forged documents as genuine; inventing ingenious, but implausible, reasons for distrusting genuine documents; attributing his or her own conclusions to books and sources reporting the opposite; manipulating statistical series to support the given point of view; and deliberately mis-translating texts (in languages other than the revisionist's).[4] Practical examples of negationism (illegitimate historical revisionism) include Holocaust denial and some Soviet historiography.[5][6] Contemporarily, hate groups practice negationism on the Internet. In literature, the effects of historical revisionism are usually described in science fiction novels such as Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), by George Orwell. Moreover, some countries have criminalised the negationist revision of certain historical events.

Before any material from "Teaching Cleveland" is allowed inside any PUBLIC SCHOOLS, all material of this program should go through thorough review from qualified historians and writers competent to create educational programming, and by the Ohio Department of Education - this current batch of essays misses reality so thoroughly as to be a threat to the intelligent development of our youth and entire community in highly disturbing ways and means.

Or, just let the industrialists do as they please, as always, in which case our children will be taught by Richey that

Going forward often means coming back

The current face of sustainability in the Cleveland metro is an accumulation of past struggles and successes combined with the potential of tomorrow's solutions. And yes: the river burned, but the burning was less a black-eye on our city than it was a turning point in which our quiet battles for environmental justice helped create an open shout for what is today a growing environmental consciousness.

Still, every victory begets another fight, and issues such as car-oriented development will be a challenge for a long-time coming. In this struggle we must remember that a return to the core of a metro region is required for that region's economic, social, and environmental well-being. And just what will this “return” look like? It remains to be seen. But what cannot be denied is the fact that the epicenter was chosen hundreds of years ago where the river met the lake, and so any solution to the health of the regional body must eventually come through that point where we began as a city out of the forest. Because no body can survive without its heart. Just like no body can survive without the land from which it comes.

Whatever the hell that means.

I guess I'll be teaching my kids about Cleveland and the environment myself. My kids already know we shut down a coal power plant in University Circle because such pollution KILLS our PEOPLE and COMMUNITY (since 1932)... and that lead poisoning ruined our lives, Cleveland and much of America's heart, mind and soul... caused the "wholesale criminalization of the African-American male" and whites too, putting 1,000,000s of citizens in jail... and none of that is now related to the meeting of our lake and river, which remains a disgusting demonstration of our overall failure to address the economic and environmental crisis in this community in the slightest.

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