Biases in History Text

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Introduction

For a long time, textbooks used in high schools in the United States have shown many differences in the contented which is as a result of political pressure and influences. The detectives in the information have thus affected learning in middle or high schools because at time it is very hard for learners to utilize contents of the textbooks. This paper will in different perceptions assess the information contained America middle and high school history textbooks and more precisely those used in the state of Georgia. The paper will entirely aim to dispose to the textbook users any probable instances of biasness in the books in matters of marginalizing certain groups, racism and social political issues. Analysis of fairness portrayed in the texts is the critical tool used in assessing levels of biasness in these history textbooks. Hence, there should be a manner in which the information in the texts has to be covered.

History books used in Georgia have failed to use the approach where there is consistence of covering content. Middle and high school textbooks in America have portrayed some forms of racial discrimination. Furthermore, they have demonstrated to the learners that the history of black people is of less significance compared to that of whites’ people. Africa-Americans’ bias in history textbooks in America is evident in by omissions of black people culture in those texts. In fact, the history textbooks train students that Africans and all black people can only be used to give examples in specific topics including slave trade. Students in the state of Georgia disrespect black Americans because they have the perception from the history textbooks they read that blacks in America did not contribute anything significant in building the history of America.

This paper highlights the biasness in the history textbooks in Georgia. To get more elaborate explanation this paper, a book titled a panorama of Georgia can be used as the main reference point. Additionally, the paper utilizes a variety of both history and economics textbook used in the states of Georgia and also different collections of sources are used to make the analysis.

Literature review

The books and sources used in this paper have reveled facts of racial biasness. It is evident that the history textbooks in the states of Georgia not only omit the content of black Americans but also the information about the American Indians who had significant contribution in the developments of the history in the state of Georgia. The history textbooks in America portray black Americans and Africans has contributors of slavery especially throughout the twentieth century (Mitchell, 2013). The textbooks have portrayed the whites as superior to the blacks by highlighting the unity by the Americans which makes them firm hence superiority.

History textbooks which are believed to originate from the states of Georgia suggest that the American culture is exclusively based on the white culture. Thus, exempting those does not have any affiliation to white culture. Prejudice towards other races who are not whites in the states of Georgia is done in an uncharacteristic way which needs keen observation and caution to figure out. For example, biasness towards America Indians is done indirectly although there are consistent patters evident in the bias. The texts discussing the Indians America culture is biased because the whites are considered victors in conquests against Indians Americans (Woyshner & Bohan, 2012).

These textbooks also portray American inhabitants as of unsound mind. They emphasize on brutal actions that saw the removal of the Indians Americans from the states of Georgia. The terms used in the textbooks to describe the whites clearly show bias where Americans are considered superior and minority are demeaned. The terms used to refer to whites in most of textbooks rooted to Georgia include explorers, conquerors, scholars and wealthy (Romanowski, 2009). The use of such words was made to make it known that the whites dominate in America and also show the contrast in the way of life of whites, the American Indians and black Americans.

The history textbooks of America also subject other minority groups such as the native America who were confronted with the same impediment. The texts show that the way of life of America natives was unintelligent and could not be admired by anyone (Woyshner & Bohan, 2012). Both the Native Americans and Africans Americans are exemplified to have less concern to learning while the white are portrayed to be intelligent. Likewise, they are considered to have motives and drive to seek knowledge, learn more and generate new ideas and innovations.

The book has been pointed out the best in provision of American history on marginalization of African Americans and American Indians. For example, it clearly describes the way America Indians were assimilated to Americans in that they had to consider banning their cultural believes and ideologies. They then had to consider adopting the American way of life so as to be allowed to continue living as American citizens and enjoy their full rights (Davidson & Lytle, 1981). The book gives a clear description of the forceful eviction of those American Indians who did not comply. It goes ahead to give a similar story regarding American Africans. Some pictures of individuals who remained rigid with their ideologies, both the African American and Indian Americans have been preserved in this book. The book also displays the photos of people from these tow origins who had fully accepted assimilation and were allowed to remain American citizens.

The book Georgia in American Society has also been pointed out biased by Woyshner and Bohan (2012) who in their discussion show pictures of individuals from these three diverse origins. They also give exactly three pictures of chiefs in which one of the chiefs had been fully incorporated to the American way appears posing in the manner of the other Americans (Mitchell, 2013). All these books, however, do not seem to educate that the American native culture still exist but seem against the notion. The authors seem to impart to the students the superiority or the notion that American native culture still exist is no longer necessary.

Across all schools in the United States, the various economic textbooks have also played a very significant role in the shaping the curricular. An example is the Modern Secondary Economics Textbooks And Ideological Bias, by Bruce Romanish which is believed to have played a very significant role in the modification of the curriculum for all American secondary schools. It is save among the various secondary school teachers on its relevance to provide the teacher other best to impart to the students the knowledge on the biasness ideology contained in high school (Paxton, 1999). It is, however, very significant to note that the content of the text is biased in that it presents a single perspective from the topic can be approached.

As it is usually wholly true, economics normally comprise certain ideologies which are almost presenting a steep competition with some significant contradictions that instigates divergent perceptions amongst individuals since they can never be perceived similarly. The books seem to dominate some particular biased ideology to high school economic learning centrally to the ideologies of the other origins other than the United States (Woyshner & Bohan, 2012). This affiliation to economic theories is explicitly biased towards the other cultures and races as portrayed by the various other economic books. This is contrary to the economic learning assertion that the relating theories should not be socially or politically biased but embraces the prevailing interaction of the social cultures in the specified society. It is therefore significant for the learners and the writers to exemplify impartiality of other ideologies apart from those that they are bone with or have adopted.

It is significant in the study of economics to concisely consider that the students should be provided with the relevant knowledge which is objective and does not seek to instill cultural, social, political or religious oriented ideologies to the readers (Davidson & Lytle, 1981). The textbooks should explicitly explain all the concepts and theories in a non-biased and objective business like language which is applicable in curbing the impending global economics.

This book again gives an evidence of culture and social bias in a rude manner “where economics education predisposes pupils to accept one set of values or doctrines in preference to another set” (Theory and Research in Social Education 1983, p.5). According to Jean Anyon, texts based on economics may be subject to criticism for bias if they leave out certain facts or alternatively, because some of their emphasis are hard to comprehend.

Over the years in the American middle school and high schools, history textbooks were used in teaching. After research analysis conducted it was proved that most of the history text books were biased. The different ideologies and theories contained in the books are written based on the Americans thoughts and opinions ignoring other parties’ ideologies. The biasness involved is well displayed in Michael romanowski’s book. EXCLUDING ETHICAL ISSUES FROM U.S HISTORY TEXTBOOK: 911 AND THE WAR ON TERROR. According to Romanowski, most of the textbooks he analyzed based on the attack dated September 11th in the United States did not address the attackers’ motive (Romanowski, 2009). Most of the textbooks emphasized on Osama bin laden and were trying to conclude that the attack had been predetermined. In addition, the books defined Osama bin laden as an extremist Muslim leader under the Al-Qaida group.

In most of the books, he analyzed the overall terrorist issue was not discussed as a global problem (Paxton, 1999). Most of the literature contained in the books was linking terrorism with Muslims. In addition the textbooks used in the middle and high classes were attributed to hatred since the associated the Islamic faith with terrorism. After further analysis Romanowaski found out that some of the literature contained in the books was focused on the theory that Osama bin laden came from a wealthy Saudi Arabian family. The books further claimed that bin laden went to Afghanistan to fight the soviet invasion (Romanowski, 2009). Osama bin laden is also accused of forming the Islamic revolution by claiming that for the revolution to be a success America had to be destroyed. All the history books analyzed were not distinguishing the Islamic faith from terrorism (Billington, 2016). The articles further elaborates Osama bin laden’s perspective on what entails the Islamic faith. The analysis by Romanowaski proved that the books outlined that Osama’s views of the outside world were centered on his Islamic ideologies. Generally if the aforementioned articles are read by middle school or high school students, they are likely to influence their way of thinking. In addition they will generally portray Islamic religion as a terrorist religion to the readers. Other texts analyzed include articles by Nash in the book American Odyssey which according to Romanowaski can be very influential if read by students. The literature in the book argues that most of the Middle East nations were not happy with the United States support to Israel. In addition, Nash argues that the Islamic nations were opposed to the western culture since to them it was contradicting with the Islamic values (FitzGerald, 1980). After fighting the war in Afghanistan, the Middle East nations gained confidence according to Nash. This confidence led to the ideology that it was also possible to eradicate the western culture. Since the United States was one of the super powers it became the ideal target. According to Nash these were the reasons which led to the attack dated September 11th in America. Generally, Romanowaski defines the above sentiments as a case of bias (Lovorn, 2017). The content in the textbooks truly undermines the Islamic faith. In addition, the ideologies imposed on the readers of the text books are that Islamic faith is linked to the terrorism during that historical time. The information Nash’s literature basically outlines how America views the Middle East countries. The conflicting ideologies in the books are most likely to cause hatred between the nations.

Another case of bias is disclosed in the reporting of the Taliban war in Afghanistan. Many history books used by middle and high school students define the war as a defeat of the Taliban by Americans. In addition the literature in the textbooks defines the defeat as the end of the Taliban five year rule (Romanowski, 1996). The article further praises the Americans for defeating the Taliban. This is a true case of political bias since the articles ignore the role of soldiers and civilians during the war who were injured. In addition the articles major on the American defeat but ignore the state of the Afghanistan nation after the war. Hence the authors generally mislead the historic textbook readers by trying to outline that the Taliban war was an easy task for Americans. The great depression: A textbook case of problems with based on American history written by Steven l. miller and Stephen A. Rose displays another case of bias in history texts. The articles in the book basically major on the great depressing on Americas economy (Miller & Rose, 1983). The economic challenges as defined by the book ranged from income inequality to excess production. The history text involves bias since it majors on one element out of sixteen. According to the books, the economic challenge was caused by the failure on part of the Federal Reserve. In addition, the book also creates to readers the ideology that the economic challenge was also as a result of government failure. Most of the American banks according to miller and rose had confidence in the Federal Reserve as a strong financial institution.

Notably, only a few of the numerous expectations on the part of Federal Reserve System were realized. Consequently, the failure had far-reaching implications including joblessness, misery just to mention but a few. The year 1931 came along with some hope of a picking economy clearly signaling a comeback and possibly restoring Americans’ economic lives. Unfortunately, another wave of shocks and panics resurfaced across the economy (Davidson & Lytle, 1981). Since it is only the Federal Reserve System that was tasked to counter their effects, the previously noted defaults again culminated into another failure in rectifying the situation. Due to the repeated shrink, Brownlee 1979 as cited by Miller and Rose (1983) noted that Britain chose to pull out of the gold standard. Arguably, this escalated the already worsened situation of the banking institutions. In an effort to find a solution, the Federal Reserve System was once again tasked to chart a way forward for the banking industry. In this regard, the system initiated a policy framework restricting open market buying and shooting the discount rates upwards; this was termed the absolute opposite of the expectations of many and led to another failure (FitzGerald, 1980).

These repeated failures by the Federal Reserve System attracted heavy criticism from economic experts of the time. Brownlee 1979 noted a concluding statement adopted by a majority of them that ‘certainly money policy was not the only cause of the severity and persistence of depressed conditions between 1929 and 1933, but just as certainly, it was a sufficient cause’ (FitzGerald, 1980). Miller and Rose’s admission that according to their own review of at least sixteen of the history books on this matter, the actions of FRS were hardly highlighted by such books was a clear bias on their part. The statement was fundamentally insensitive of the numerous economic challenges bestowed upon the ordinary citizens by the ignorant actions of the Federal Reserve System at the time. In the entirety of their work, Miller and Rose purportedly identified only one incidence they could link the Federal Reserve System to the economic recession of the time as noted by Davidson and Lytle’s (1981).

In her article on the Washington Post, Valerie Strauss (2014) illustrated how critical investigations are done by the human rights activist groups in the united states laid bare blatant inconsistencies on the parts of U.S and History textbooks, American government books, Religion in World textbooks and the infamous World Geography books. In her work, she sought to prove why these institutional textbooks did not meet the threshold capacity to outdo the application of the then newly imposed set of American social studies textbooks (Blumberg, 2015). The social studies textbooks were compiled from original articles that had a varied academic orientation. Some of these textbooks were clearly racist; advancing mischievous agendas against the black race in the United States, a further section of the books was evidently a critic of the Christian religion (Strauss, 2014).

Failure of the Economic and the Geography textbooks to notice the serious flaws of the American Capitalism Ideology by pointing at its faults topped up on the challenges of these American history textbooks. The textbooks were notably unable to commit some level of attention to a substantive section of the American people primarily the Natives. Additionally, the books were used to teach biased knowledge regarding the culture of the Native American population to the Middle and High school students. Most of these history textbooks as well were to blame for failing to acknowledge the existence and originality of the LGBT American community and their groups (Tobin & Ybarra, 2008). Arguably, a majority of these books dedicated negligible efforts towards tracing the circumstances that led to the formation of the LGBT groups and ensuring an extension of equal civic rights to this section of the American people.

David Sadker (n.d) acknowledges that in spite of the ban and continued criticism directed to the U.S history books on grounds of race and religious biases, they to date form an important section of the teaching materials in the country among the Middle and High School levels and even at college levels of education (Sadker, 2017).