An interesting (to say the least) fight is going on for the minds and hearts of our Texas Youth. The Neo/Ultra-conservative movement, which seems to get more and more wrapped up in it's own ever increasing hyperbole, wants to revise American history they think has been corrupted. What conclusion one draws is as important as knowing the facts, and currently, to their way of thinking, students are forced to listen to biased information leading them to conclude........what?
The 'what' is what I don't get. I got through public school and college without coming to the conclusion that America is bad. The conclusion I did come up with was that people do bad things and if you do not have checks and balances they will continue to do bad things. But the neocons, this new wave of "we are right-our God is awesome-America is the best!" thinking individuals that took up the call to run for public office, seem to believe their rhetoric and underestimate the harm they will cause as they try to rectify what they perceive is our history written by folks obsessed with oppression.
Right after Iran took the hostages my sisters and I went to a big patriotic rally at the L.A. Coliseum. It was about half full if I recall correctly. We heard rousing speeches, heard patriotic music, and got to buy a lot of stuff - which I still have - including a bumper sticker that I proudly displayed at my work space describing my very Christian sentiments: "Let's Bomb Iran."
You see back then I really loved America, loved it enough to want to turn every man woman and child in Iran into glass. I understood Iranians to be the folks that took my fellow Americans hostage. Nothing more and nothing less. If they had to die to preserve my country's honor and to pay for their misdeed, well so be it.
What I did not understand at the time was why this whole event took place. You see I had nothing to compare and contrast, no background, no understanding of what motivated my new enemy. All I knew was I loved America and they had just spat on the country I loved. Plus they were not Christians, so that made them even more evil.
When you see yourself as perfect, it's hard to understand why anyone would have a problem with you. My God, we are America, look at how many people want to move here - from Iran even! How could anyone have problems with us if we are good, God fearing, and stand on the side of justice for all?
Well we are all those things and we are not those things. When we do things for the right reason we should be proud and when we do it for the wrong reason, like keeping a Shaw in power the people did not want, then we deserve the criticism and yes, the outrage that leads to the taking of hostages. What is important here is to understand the dynamics in play so that we learn form them and - if we are smart - don't repeat them.
So how does McLeroy and his neocon cohorts think this point in history should be taught? Apparently if one discusses the anger of Iranians over the U.S.'s role it is seen as being apologetic. The thinking appears to be that we played no role in these malcontents behavior, and even if we did - it was done for purely sound reasons of National Security - the taking of hostages is clearly reprehensible and deserves no discussion as to why.
There is a danger in not wanting to evaluate equally all the pieces in play. It is hard to accept that - yes, you did start the fire. What is important is to understand the dynamics and move past and forward in a manner that is both aware of them and able to overcome or avoid them, lest history repeat itself.
I too love America for all it has provided me and I want to make sure that what it has to offer in the future is real and not based on a patriotic duty to ignore, forget, not mention, justify, mislead, condone, or avoid what has taken place in the past to get us to this point in time..
Iranians, I apologize for wanting you all to die. Now that I know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth it is much easier for me to realize that I was wrong. I'm still pissed as hell that you did it, but at least I understand why.