21 September 2008

Revisionist History, continued / White Privilege

First, on the white privilege bit: I found an email circulating through the US, and just posted to Democracy Cell Project, which details the white privilege enjoyed by the McCain-Palin ticket at the expense of Barack Obama.

Democracy Cell Project

Second, an update on the teaching of revisionist history here in South Korea. My apartment has a subscription to Chosun Ilbo, South Korea's leading daily newspaper (and a mouthpiece of Lee Myung-bak and George W. Bush governments), and today's (Monday, September 22nd) issue reports that the proposed changes, to cleanse the nation's history textbooks of years of "leftist bias," will go ahead starting in November, and will be completed in time for the new school year starting next March. It will take into consideration the McCarthyist suggestions of the Ministry of National Defence, as well as more moderate (but nevertheless decidedly right-wing) suggestions of other ministries, including the Ministry of Unification (in charge of North Korean relations), which Lee had tried to scrap and combine into Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It is, again, my fervent hope that factual history with the fairest possible information will be what ends up in South Korean textbooks. For example, President Park Chung-hee must be described as a man of mixed legacies, to be praised for his risky but successful industrialization plans yet to be criticized for his brutal suppression of civil rights. The Lee Myung-bak government must remember that it must put the interests of the nation's schoolchildren first, ahead of ideological considerations or political expediency (or even the interests of foreign powers, namely the Republican United States).