Hannah-Jones: As Americans We Should Be Deeply Concerned About Anti-History Laws

‘If a patriotism has to be based on propaganda ... that is not a genuine patriotism’


HANNAH-JONES: “So, one, I think it’s quite revealing that the argument is, if we teach a truer history that actually reflects the fact of what happened, that that will raise children not to love their country. I think that says a great deal about what we actually think about how much this country has lived up to the idea of exceptionalism. If patriotism has to be based on propaganda, that really diminishes and tries to erase from memory the difficult parts of our past. It doesn’t seem like that is a genuine patriotism. But I think that we should all, as Americans, be deeply, deeply concerned about these anti-history laws, because what they are really attempting to do is control our memory and to control our understanding of our country. When Texas seceded in 1836, it seceded in order to form a slave-holding republic. I you don’t teach that, then children are not able to understand all of the inequality that they have today. You know, Timothy Snyder, the historian, is a historian who studies authoritarianism, and he talks about how these memory laws that we’re saying being passed all across the country, including in my home state of Iowa, where I am right now, where first they tried to pass an anti-1619 Project law, which failed, and then they came back an successfully passed an anti-Critical Race Theory law, which had educators in the state that launched my career, where I was educated, afraid to teach the work that I have done.“

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