McCarthyism: “McCarthyism is the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism. . . During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. The primary targets of such suspicions were government employees, those in the entertainment industry, educators and union activists.” Wikipedia
Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 focused, “. . . on the historical role of book burning in suppressing dissenting ideas. . . Bradbury stated that he wrote Fahrenheit 451 because of his concerns at the time (during the McCarthy era) about the threat of book burning in the United States.” Wikipedia
The movie adaptation of Bradbury’s book was released in 1966. Bradbury and the producers saw a world without books as one where the citizens are controlled by television and pharmaceuticals to dehumanize and standardize thought and expression to the point of complete submission to authority.
In the sixties, the push back against banning books was considerable and effective. Instead of banning books, it became much easier to eliminate their necessity.
Television could replace books for entertainment and information. The computer replaced reference books and manuals.
Children began to hate to read due to the deluge of reading tests they were forced to take as soon as they entered the system of education.
Reading was no longer a joyful event but a timed and standardized test that told you if you were “smart” or not.
Children learned to hold books properly and pretend to read. They memorized the name of their favorite author and the answer to why they were their favorite, knowledge required by the reading test.
This is the mis-education that has controlled our system of education since the McCarthy era.
An excellent education, one that concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of all children will change the course of history and America towards the freedom and justice for all promised to every American.
Our children deserve to be free.
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