Skip to comments.Teens seek debate vs. Limbaugh
Posted on 05/13/2005 6:13:11 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
Rush Limbaugh said on his nationally syndicated radio show that Evanston Township High School students "don't know anything about World War II" and "they've probably never heard the name Adolf Hitler" because they're so focused on a multicultural curriculum.
Some Evanston kids want to show Limbaugh what they know. They want to debate him on American history.
"I think [a debate] would be great because then we'd prove him wrong and open up his opinion a little bit," Sarah Loeb, an ETHS sophomore, said Thursday.
'Balkanizing this country'
Limbaugh's comments came after he read a Christian Science Monitor article Tuesday that profiled global studies courses required at ETHS. Limbaugh railed against multicultural education generally and singled out the North Shore school.
"What multiculturalists is, is balkanizing this country," Limbaugh said Tuesday. "People are coming here from various parts of the world and they're bringing their cultures with them and the multiculturalists are saying 'your culture is better than the American culture. The American culture is discriminatory, it's racist, sexist, bigot, homophobic.' "
Limbaugh's producer did not return a call on whether Limbaugh would agree to a debate.
"Maybe he might be a little intimidated because I don't know his basis for saying we don't know anything," Sarah said. "But I think he might be interested if he wants to live up to his reputation and back up his ideas so he doesn't look stupid."
All ETHS sophomores choose among several "global perspectives" courses covering the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, Asia and Russia. In the Middle East class, for example, students adopt a new identity for the semester -- a Syrian baker or a medical student in Qatar -- and try to view what's transpiring in the region from that perspective.
In 2003, ETHS won an excellence in international education award from the Asia Society and the Goldman Sachs Foundation. ETHS offers seven languages, including Japanese and Hebrew, and has several clubs with an international flavor, including Model United Nations and Amnesty International. Students and staff also point out that the school requires yearlong courses in U.S. history and Western civilization.
"It's funny to me that someone would say we don't know about World War II -- we live in a large Jewish community," said Jane Biliter, a senior. Each year, the school hosts activities for Holocaust Remembrance Week. "Until 10th grade, all we did was U.S. and European history. It's just so false that what he says is funny."
School officials haven't decided how -- or if -- they intend to respond to Limbaugh.
Tests show he's wrong
"It struck me as incomprehensible that somebody would think multiculturalism antithetical to American values," Supt. Allan Alson said. "I was stunned that he had such certainty that our kids were not knowledgeable about basic American history when in fact our student do extremely well" on standardized tests in that area. "It's a shame he lets his conclusions determine his evidence."
Aaron Becker, who teaches the Middle East class, said his students also are considering sending Limbaugh essays they've written on American history.
"This is a perfect teachable moment," Becker said. "Kids are angry and want to respond by showing they know a lot, that it's not a zero-sum game, that you can learn about more than one history."
Becker said the kids will decide how best to respond.
"It's not even worth responding to," said Aaron Hamilton, a senior. "He has nothing to say about my education and my future. He's just a guy talking on the radio."
"I think [a debate] would be great because then we'd prove him wrong and open up his opinion a little bit," Sarah Loeb, an ETHS sophomore, said Thursday."
Skulls full of mush.
When US History textbooks have longer sections on Madonna (the singer) than George Washington, I think Limbaugh is safe in his comments.
This would be a laugh.
Then the speeches begin. Iraqi National Congress representatives plead for a democratic Iraq, a speech by el-Dawa is peppered with Islamic references, and the Iraqi Democratic Party explains why delaying the election six months would allow all Iraqi citizens to participate.
Here at Evanston Township High School, it's a surprisingly typical scene.
Ever since the school instituted a global studies requirement in 1988, international history, culture, and foreign policy have infused the curriculum to an unusual degree. Even the after-school program - with Model United Nations, Islamic Awareness, and Japanese Tea Ceremony - has a global flair.
But that global flair makes the Evanston school somewhat of an anomaly in the United States. The scope of most of the nation's schools remains largely limited to the US - or at least Western civilization...........................***
When kids offer to 'debate' history they only demonstrate their ignorance. 'Debate' what of history? Inflated self-esteem run amok.
It places other cultures above American culture. I've seen nothing in the little twerp's comments that suggest otherwise.
My money's on Rush.
>>>UN, NYTIMES and the BBC world news... all the markings of blame America first mentality.
At Evanston, students tend to come from affluent backgrounds, and some are accustomed to discussing current events at home. Even so, many students say the global perspectives classes are having a profound effect on how they see the world.
In Mr. Becker's Middle East class - one of the more popular offerings - students take on a new identity when they begin the semester.
A teen can "become" a Kuwaiti oil magnate, a Lebanese student, or an Israeli settler - complete with a name and a profession. The student maintains that identity for a whole quarter.
"It pushes them to think outside themselves," says Becker, whose classroom is decorated with Middle Eastern pillows, rugs, and art. Most students sit on the floor during class; girls will sometimes borrow a head scarf to wear for a few days.
Rob Fiffer, a junior who took the Middle East course last year, had the role of a Palestinian militant. "I was pro-Israeli settlements," he says of his own political stance. "Now I realize things aren't so black and white."
"It's not surprising that the school has strong participation in Model United Nations, or that, long after their sophomore "global perspectives" year, some students talk about getting daily updates from The New York Times and BBC World News."
which history books?
Once upon a time, I didn't like the taste of Kool-aid -- but now I love it! Please sir, may I have another?
"In 2003, ETHS won an excellence in international education award from the Asia Society and the Goldman Sachs Foundation. ETHS offers seven languages, including Japanese and Hebrew, and has several clubs with an international flavor, including Model United Nations and Amnesty International. Students and staff also point out that the school requires yearlong courses in U.S. history and Western civilization.
Remember, while the vast majority of teens spend their time watching TV and flirting, there is a small minority that does nothing but study hard all the time. They may be liberals due to lack of life experience, but they're by no means dummies.
That's the ticket Jane. WW11 was fought over the Jews.
The kids best set the ground rules on this "debate".
Well, there's one spokeskid, Sarah Anonymous (great work, SunTimes), who has proved she can't debate.
When President Reagan died I asked my daughter what they discussed about it in school. She said her Social Studies teacher said that he didn't like Reagan so they weren't going to talk about it. According to the math. This teacher was 13 years old when Reagan left office. Great bleepin' history teacher eh?
In other words, this is not a typical school at all and in no way representative of public school students in general, but rather a community with a rare cultural focus on education.
I'd still like to find out how much they know about WW2 besides the Holocaust, though.
Incorrect. That's what mush minds do.
I think Rush should take the kids up...why not...
might serve to get kids all over more interested in learning more of their history.
my 2 cents.
As Carl Marx and the Hildebeest say "The village will indoctrinate the kids early. The parents won't know or won't care".
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