AP U.S. History (APUSH) has been a subject of debate for years. Conservative Republicans have opposed the subject since October 2012, when retired APUSH teacher Larry Krieger and the Republican National Congress deemed the APUSH curriculum “unpatriotic,” as it put America in a negative light both to students and in an international perspective. College Board, the makers of the APUSH framework and exam, conceded to conservative pressure and has since released a new curriculum for the 2015-16 school year, which would shed more light on the founding of American democracy, World War II victories and other “patriotic” events. Inversely, negative events such as the Native American holocaust, Japanese internment and slavery, to name a few, will be taking a backseat.
It is undeniable that America’s past is plagued by the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of African Americans and a countless number of tragedies due to racism and sexism — but who are Republicans to erase and sugarcoat history? History is defined as the study of past events, but when history is written to fit the preferences of a particular group of people (especially conservatives), it becomes mere fiction. Although College Board did not erase negative events altogether, diminishing their importance in textbooks and tests is surely censoring our past.
If our tainted past is concealed, we will never learn from our mistakes. Our past is taught not just to show the horrors our forefathers committed, but to remind us to not repeat them. If our history, all of our history, is not exposed to the next generation, citizens would grow to be uninformed individuals, living in a bubble of ignorance. College Board’s surrender to conservative pressure has done a great injustice not to only students, but to America as a whole.