In a Sunday op-ed, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote that schools should promote patriotism by teaching children a rosy version of U.S. history, leaving out the role of slavery and racism throughout. By doing this, he says schools will be making “an investment in love.”
“Let’s make it together ― and now,” the Missouri Republican said of this “love” in a New York Post piece. “Let’s teach our children to know and love America.”
Hawley, who is perhaps best known as the U.S. senator who raised his fist in solidarity before a mob of white supremacists and Donald Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 to try to stop Joe Biden from being certified as president, wrote his op-ed as he promotes a bill he recently introduced to teach children a whitewashed version of American history.
His bill, which is going nowhere, would bar federal money from going to public schools that teach students about white supremacy and racism’s roles in the country’s founding. It would also require schools that get federal money to ensure that students can read and recite portions of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Pledge of Allegiance at specific grade levels.
Hawley’s new op-ed gives specific examples of looking at U.S. history through a purely positive lens.
“This isn’t a nation of oppressors. This is a nation of liberators,” Hawley wrote of a history that includes white colonizers slaughtering Native Americans in the name of civilization and President Andrew Jackson forcibly removing 100,000 Native Americans from their ancestral homelands, resulting in 15,000 deaths from exposure, disease, and starvation.
“This is the country founded on the worth and dignity of every individual,” Hawley wrote, despite the founders’ Constitution not giving women the right to vote and categorizing enslaved people as “three-fifths of a free individual” in determining a region’s congressional representation.