r/AskReddit May 15 '22 Silver 1

[Serious]Americans,What is the biggest piece of propaganda taught in your schools that you didn't realize was propaganda till you got older? Serious Replies Only

96 Upvotes

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150

u/KnarlyApplesauce May 15 '22

Permanent records.

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u/luarne May 16 '22

LMAO right? Like I go for a job application and they say "oo that B- you got in grade 2 doesn't look great"

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u/ActionFilmsFan1995 May 16 '22

What’s weird is I have my permanent record, they gave it to us after HS graduation. It has stuff in it from Elementary school. I guess some schools do it and others just threaten it.

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u/flyingdren May 16 '22

Not America, but I went to 12 different schools by the time I graduated. Good luck tracking me!

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u/Davis_King78 May 16 '22

The Dare program

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u/Moots_point May 16 '22

Oh boy, forgot all about this. Did you also have cops come to your school and teach it? I think ours was sent there as a punishment because he was a huge prick - which likely didn't help the cause lol

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u/japaneseloch May 16 '22

The cop who did ours was a royal cunt. I think you’re on to something here. Doing DARE shit was a punishment for bad cops lol

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u/Morvack May 16 '22

At my school we had a designated officer and he taught it. He was also a prick, oddly enough

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u/uncanny_justice May 16 '22

What is that?

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u/TangerineBand May 16 '22

Stands for "drug abuse resistance education". One of the biggest laughable failures to come out of the war on drugs. It was supposed to be an educational program on the dangers of taking drugs and the effects it has on communities.

You'd think this might include something about what to do if you witness an overdose or how to look out for addiction. In practice it basically did nothing besides tell us all "don't". They showed us literal children's cartoon PSAs. I am not joking it is that bad. The kicker? It actually increased drug use.

https://alcoholfacts.org/DARE.html

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u/HenryHakamichi May 16 '22

That's genuinely hilarious, that explains why so many kids are just easily exposed to drugs these days or at least know about what the drug does.

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u/t8ertotTHOTdish May 16 '22

PLZ 🤣 I won the essay competition and I’m an A1 addict now.

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u/Salt_Angle_9909 May 16 '22

i got into a DARE camp and let’s just say it did not help at all

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u/sbenzanzenwan May 16 '22

DARE was the best advertising campaign ever.

After I saw their promotional shorts in junior high school, I couldn't wait to get my hands on uppers, downers, PCP, LSD, cocaine, marijuana... a whole new exciting world awaited. And I was lucky enough to live in a big city where all that stuff and more was readily available.

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u/NATTY-LIFTER_420 May 15 '22

Being forced to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance and stand silently for no reason after it is over every day at 9 am. I started sleeping through it and everyone acted like it was an act of domestic terrorism

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u/pastnastification56 May 16 '22

My school made us say the USA pledge AND the Texas pledge.

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u/Upnorth4 May 16 '22

Wtf is the Texas pledge? In California we just slept through the US pledge

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u/pastnastification56 May 16 '22

It's something like, "Honor the Texas flag, I pledge allegiance to thee. Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible."

A lot of Texans really do think of the state as its own country.

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u/Texxsuperstar May 16 '22

no bc fr. My friend straight up got grabbed in the hall the other day by a teacher for not stopping when the pledge played on the speakers. They were walking (5 minutes late) to class and the dude gave them a full on panic attack 🙁

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u/Ok-Alternative-4418 May 16 '22

bruh thy make us do this before we know what a pledge is

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u/RoamingArchitect May 16 '22

That's a heavy one. They should have known something was wrong when they had to alter the pledge because it looked to much like a Nazi thing during WW2. If that wasn't a wake-up call the fact that it was considered a step too far to have a compulsory flag salute/pledge every morning inside German schools at the time also serves as a stark reminder how indoctrinating and extremely nationalistic that is. Literal fascists considered that behaviour a step too far. Those guys made race theory compulsory in school and used almost every single subject to indoctrinate the youth. And even then they did not make a pledge mandatory to be held or participated in during class. It should be noted here that various organisations had pledges and that schools were free to conduct them, but there was no law requiring them to hold them and at least in that regard the social pressure was minimised. As a consequence pledging was an outlying case conducted in only the most extreme school environments.

I personally always find that sort of ritual behaviour (also for instance present in the unusual reverence for the American flag) extremely reminiscent of fascism. No-one should have a duty to their country or is indebted to it. While many countries have done and are doing something for their citizens this is not a gracious service to be earned, but the duty and in a way the paramount object of a government to its subjects. Of course one can be thankful to his government, but that sort of respect and reverence is earned and not an inherent right any government can demand. I find it paradoxical looking at how much more some governments esp. in Europe and Asia do for their citizens and how little they are given praise for it by them, while the US consistently is behind on welfare and equality yet has the gall to demand a level of reverence that is otherwise exclusive to dictatorships. The worst thing is how many come out of school really believing they live in one of the best countries on earth and owe it all to their government. A great many of the positive social reforms in the US did not even originate with the government but rather with protest movements and the occasional association pushing for something by lobbying for it.

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u/ap1msch May 16 '22

This. I saw someone sitting once and was shocked. "Are they allowed to do that?" I then realized that I didn't know why I was actually doing it. I then was wondering, "under God? I'm not religious." It became very...weird. It was like waking up in slow motion because I felt like I was in a Norman Rockwell painting as a little kid doing something that I was told to do, with no real commitment behind my words.

Seriously...I was participating in a routine. I wasn't declaring my fealty to the flag and the country. In fact, I felt like a kid in a video on the History Channel when they're showing brainwashed youth.

My wife is former Air Force. My family has a Marine background. I didn't join the military, but I have tremendous respect. I didn't give a rats behind about the pledge and it didn't make me love the country more. When I stopped saying it and just stood there, I didn't feel less of a citizen. When I stopped standing, I felt like I was being a rebel, but it was a rejection of nonsense more than anything.

These days, I view it as antiquated pandering and bullshit. The same mentality that says, "If you don't talk about sex in school, kids won't have sex" is the one that thinks participating in a common chant, every morning, we will create a more committed and loyal citizenry. It's nonsense. If they were to present a 30 second fact about accomplishments made by US citizens, rather than the pledge, we'd generate just as much pride, while actually sharing something useful.

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u/cringelord69420666 May 16 '22 edited May 16 '22

It's literal brainwashing. I don't want my kid pledging his allegiance to anything or anyone. What the fuck kind of fucked up shit is that?

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u/theradomeaser May 16 '22

I'm quite young and can say I think most stopped doing it at least at my school we did it for the first week then just used and stop

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u/slukbunwalla May 15 '22

The entire history of our relationship with Native Americans.

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u/OP_ByAnyOtherName May 16 '22

Yeah, my blood boils on this subject in particular, given my native roots. I never got a chance to learn more about my heritage outside of snippets of information from my mother. No stories, no cultural traditions, just "Oh, you're related to [this tribe] and [that tribe]" and that was about it.

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u/Socalrdb May 16 '22

Especially Pocohantas

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u/emueller5251 May 15 '22

The Civil War wasn't about slavery, it was about states' rights. No, dude, it was slavery. Yes, there were other proximate causes, but the ultimate cause was slavery.

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u/billhorsley May 15 '22

The states' "rights" to own slaves.

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u/emueller5251 May 15 '22

It must've been coincidence that they all decided to secede right when a presidential candidate who opposed the creation of slave states was elected over a candidate who thought that white men should be able to vote on the legality of slavery no matter where they lived.

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u/deesta May 16 '22

It also must’ve been a coincidence that they all literally cited slavery as the top reason for their secession, in the articles of secession they published when they seceded.

Literally could have been a Family Feud clue. “Why did the southern states secede from the union in 1861? Slavery. Slavery was the number 1 answer.”

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u/ExplosiveDisassembly May 16 '22

farm equipment

/s. But also, that's an actual point.

In 90% of the world a cow is a cow. In India, a cow is a god. Points of view change a person's entire world view to the point of being unrecognizable to someone with a differing world view.

You can draw this comparison to just about anything. Abortion, war, death penalty, death etc etc. Some concepts are simply incomparable with someone who doesn't share the same view.

This doesn't mean that they're right...but nothing productive will come of anything if you ignore it and single them out for their views. That generally just makes things worse.

Edit: This is why most AP highschool history classes make you write Point of View papers. My teachers made us try to justify from the point of view of a Nazi, southerner, Communist, French revolutionaries etc.

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u/DeafByDawn May 16 '22

"Hindus do not consider the cow to be a god and they do not worship it. Hindus, however, are vegetarians and they consider the cow to be a sacred symbol of life that should be protected and revered."

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u/billhorsley May 16 '22

According to Madhur Jaffrey (sp?), Indian chef and cookbook author, most Indians will eat meat if they can afford it. Jains are an exception to this. I'm not Indian, so I have no personal observation or knowledge, but she is, and she has written cookbooks with recipes that contain meat. Around 80 million Indians eat beef, including more than 12 million Hindus, according to government data published by the Indian business newspaper Mint after the Akhlaq murder. Trade in cattle and water buffaloes (a related bovine species) provides livelihoods to millions of others.

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u/ExplosiveDisassembly May 16 '22

Yes. Cows and beef are treated 1:1 in India, and outside India.

That's what's going on here.

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u/SolderonSenoz May 17 '22

Hindus aren't necessarily vegetarians, never were.

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u/No-Introduction-1492 May 15 '22

What school was this... mine taught slavery every damn year, and never held back...

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u/bachmanis May 16 '22

Schools in some parts of the south. I had a friend who lived in northern Florida during his junior high years and he didn't just get the whole "it wasn't about slavery" song and dance but the full "War of Northern Aggression" treatment. Certainly not what I was getting taught in seacoast New Hampshire at the same time.

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u/emueller5251 May 16 '22

I'm from the solid north, but I went to a pretty conservative private school. They weren't "war of northern aggression"-level denial, but they did push the narrative that there were many factors contributing to the war, and slavery was a relatively minor one compared to the economic factors.

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u/jc456981 May 16 '22

Slavery = cheap labor. So yes it was about slavery which was the economic backbone of the south. Like all wars, it comes down to finances mostly. Or just pure greed.

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u/NewGuile May 16 '22

Teaching it's about slavery = will get called CRT nowadays.

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u/FluffusMaximus May 16 '22

This should be the number one answer.

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u/PoorPDOP86 May 16 '22

Slavery, state's rights, the South feeling like it wasn't represented well enough in Congress, trade imbalance, and regional cultural difference. A Civil War almost never starts over just one subject.

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u/No_Manufacturer5641 May 16 '22

To say it wasn't about slavery is plain ignorant, to say it was only about slavery is ignorant. No war is over a single topic ever and the whole debate is beyond stupid. Thousands of people fighting a war never do it for the same reasons

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u/emueller5251 May 16 '22

It was like 99.9% about slavery. If you could go back in time and Thanos snap slavery out of existence, then the Civil War doesn't happen.

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u/No_Manufacturer5641 May 16 '22

No it doesn't happen you are right. However a lot of support from the citizens of southern states was after fort Sumter and how it was painted in their media of the day as an attack on the states sovereignty. That's not to say these people weren't racists. They supported slavery because it supported their economy even if they didn't own slaves. I mean in no way to diminish that fact. However, I think it's important to acknowledge a lot of the common folk were in favor of what happened because of fort Sumter and it shows how a strong media campaign and misdirection to a public can really spur a war up. (Such as a falsehood about wmd) you get a lot of people who don't oppose the cause but are still on the fence to hop over to your side. To then say the civil war only happened because of slavery ignores the very important context of how the Confederate leaders got people who didn't take much of a loss with the end of slavery to support the war. For the people in charge there is little to no evidence it was about anything else than slavery but you really do need the public to support a declaration of war and I think ignoring that means we are less likely to learn from that ourselves.

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u/[deleted] May 15 '22

[deleted]

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u/PlentyOfChoices May 15 '22

We learned it was like 90% about slavery, with everything else being a direct result of the issue of slavery.

Perhaps in former Confederate states, the curriculum is different? I’m not sure.

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u/[deleted] May 15 '22

[deleted]

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u/EmmeryAnn May 15 '22

Same, but in Utah.

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u/rhen_var May 16 '22

Howell? There’s a lot of Conferedates out there. I went to a suburban school in MI and they hammered home that it was 100% about slavery. Anyone who doesn’t believe that needs to read the declarations of secession from the Confederate states, some of them explicitly name slavery as their reason for doing so.

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u/[deleted] May 16 '22

[deleted]

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u/Famous-Example-8332 May 16 '22

Right, and if you look at the other major topics of concern listed, they’re all closely related to slavery. For instance they weren’t fans of Lincoln being elected… because of his abolitionist leanings. They were concerned about economic prosperity… in the event of a lack of free labor. They even, in some of the documents, say that there is a toxic current of prejudice in the north against the institution of slavery, and that the northern states seem to have something against the southern states, that the public mindset has been poisoned against the south by abolitionists, who go against both the natural order and the common experience of mankind which say that slavery is good and right.

Anyone trying to say it wasn’t about slavery is ignorant.

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u/TerribleAttitude May 16 '22

Yes, it really depends on where you live.

While all schools are full of propaganda at some level, in the US, you can start to guess the quantity based on how they teach the Civil War.

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u/FunFail5910 May 15 '22

They definitely taught us about slavery during it, what era were you in the school system?

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u/Bargeinthelane May 15 '22

I got my history degree and teaching credential (social science) in California.

My cohort had a guy from Alabama that moved out west after his BA.

Designing a civil war unit was a real eye opener as to how different things are taught in different regions. He was absolutely stunned how slavery-centric our approach was. He liked like the real live version of a guy trapped in a twilight zone episode.

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u/i_have_seen_ur_death May 15 '22

I teach American history. Our textbook says the CW was about states' rights and Southern patriotism. I don't even assign that section and just have students read the secession statements

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u/Old-Refrigerator6170 May 16 '22

We read about the articles, but the majority of the chapter was on slavery for sure

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u/Swampwolf42 May 15 '22

“One nation, under god, with liberty and justice for all.”

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u/PoorPDOP86 May 16 '22

As heartfelt in the fiction department as "Rule Britannia" but since it's American it's not a cultural quirk it's propaganda.

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u/hawkeyepitts May 15 '22

Almost anything regarding Native American genocide.

Propaganda by omission if you want to call it that, but they completely leave out WW1, and never talk about the Ottoman Empire. If they did, it would change the way people view WW2 as well as the situation in the Middle East.

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u/PoorPDOP86 May 16 '22

None of that is true. Native Americans are talked about at length and every text book mentions that Ottoman Empire. None go in to depth too much about it because these are general education classes.

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u/OP_ByAnyOtherName May 16 '22

Perhaps they discussed those in your schools. They didn't discuss them in mine. You have to understand that not every school curriculum is made equal, or even competently.

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u/Here4TheEveryclear May 16 '22

Native Americans are talked about but the full extent is never covered. Yeah sometimes smallpox blankets come up but the full extent of how awful Europeans and Americans are is never taught

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u/bigbluecollar640 May 16 '22

My school taught me that they just gave their land away and were always really helpful. What a load of shit

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u/youfailedthiscity May 16 '22

I was in high school when 9/11 happened. The amount of flag waving, anti-Muslim, George W Bush worshipping, jingoism going on in the months/years right after the attacks was insane.

There was definitely some banding together to heal after the attacks but there was also a LOT of propaganda to support the invasion of Afghanistan and then Iraq. It was framed as "fighting for freedom" but a lot of it was complete bullshit.

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u/EmmeryAnn May 15 '22

The pledge of allegiance.

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u/AMeatPopsicleIAm May 15 '22

At least when I went through public school, we very rarely learned about anything negative that the US did, and when we did go over something it was very brief and felt like they tried to justify it or downplay it somehow.

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u/PlentyOfChoices May 15 '22

Really? Not my experience at all. Perhaps in elementary school and maybe even middle school? Not in high school (and certainly not in college).

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u/Any-Paramedic-6126 May 16 '22

My education also was nothing like this. It seemed like every history class from middle school up focused on the terrible things America did. Even my elementary school taught some level of kid friendly tragedies by our own.

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u/Upnorth4 May 16 '22

Same here. My k-12 was all in California

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u/Any-Paramedic-6126 May 16 '22

Michigan for me!

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u/AMeatPopsicleIAm May 15 '22

All the way through high school. College was better, but I don't really consider it as part of the public school system, at least not in the same way, and the courses that go over these things aren't necessarily required. For reference though, I graduated high school in 2009, so maybe things are better now or just were better wherever you were.

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u/Johnwickwascool May 15 '22

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands.

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u/WatchTheBoom May 15 '22

You mean like how the War of Northern Aggression, I mean the Civil War, is taught in the South? STAYTS RITES! /s

But seriously, I think the US role in WWII is taught in schools pairs with how it's portrayed in media to give people an incorrect sense of the American contribution. I think your average American is fairly certain that Europe was fucked until the US got involved and that of all possible parties, the US is primarily responsible for defeating the Nazis.

Editing to say that it might be a form of propaganda to not teach certain things like the US role in regime change throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. It's just not taught whatsoever.

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u/lordTigas May 15 '22

About the regimes in Latin America, I'm from Brazil and we had a terrible fascist dictatorship funded by the US. Talking to Americans here on reddit I always felt like they feel like the saviors of the world, that all the wars they joined was to save someone from a greater evil. Nazism, communism, terrorism. But I was really impressed how practically none of the Americans I mentioned about the fascists regimes in Latin America knew about it. I always knew American education was pretty American-centered, but I never thought they'd straight up omit terrible parts of their history. Basically every developed country has done some pretty terrible shit in their past (and that's probably why they're 'developed'), but imo the healthy attitude towards it should be like Germany's towards Nazism: "remember to not repeat".

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u/WatchTheBoom May 15 '22

Exactly. It's the same for SE Asia and the Pacific- most Americans are entirely unaware of our impact there outside of the Pacific campaign of WWII and the Vietnam War.

Aside from finishing the Panama Canal and graciously giving it to Panama (/s), most Americans never learn anything at all about American interventionalism in South America.

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u/Miramarr May 15 '22

My 5th grade history class taught that ww2 started with pearl harbor

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u/CylonsInAPolicebox May 16 '22

I think your average American is fairly certain that Europe was fucked until the US got involved and that of all possible parties, the US is primarily responsible for defeating the Nazis

Not sure if it is taught like that in all American schools, but my 9th grade history teacher made it sound like, Americans swooped into Germany on bald eagles and punched Hitler in the face, then single handedly saved the world.

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u/Difficult-Positive35 May 15 '22

Columbus "discovered" America

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u/nadabagel May 16 '22

In elementary school I learned about Columbus being a fun little explorer man... Boy was I in for a shocker when I learned about the genocide and stuff

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u/beachsunsets1972 May 15 '22

You must go to a four year college to have any chance of success in the world. My parents and teachers pushed this hard on my brothers and I. Half of us are using our degree, the other half went into the trades and make more than me. I am pushing all of my teen children to pursue the trades.

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u/xshakes May 15 '22

That it was the majority of the population of the colonies wanted freedom from England. except it was probably maybe 40% that wanted it.

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u/coloradoconvict May 16 '22

That the US won WWII single-handedly.

We made major contributions, but most of the hardest fighting was done by the Russians and most of the desperate fighting was done by the British. And most of the losingest fighting was done by the Germans, suck it Krauts.

Ironically, while we didn't win WWI single-handedly either, our entry into that war WAS immediately decisive and saying "the US won WWI" would be much more accurate than "the US won WWII", but nobody cares about WWI.

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u/No_Manufacturer5641 May 16 '22

We did majorly fund Russia for a good chunk of the war. And gave a lot of support to Britain too. the us enabled victory more than they secured it. But I do firmly believe the us was key in victory

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u/braveginger1 May 16 '22

I was in Catholic School in 9th grade, and they had to reference indulgences in World History, but they told us they were voluntary donations made by Catholics. I was in public school my senior year, and learned the practice was basically spiritual extortion.

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u/igottathinkofaname May 16 '22

I remember a possibly apocryphal story about a man asking of he could pay for indulgences of sins yet to be committed and the pardoner saying of course. The man paid for the indulgence and then beat and robbed the pardoner, the sin he had indulged in.

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u/Academic_Stick_4242 May 15 '22

That I need to learn how to do math without a calculator because I will not always have one with me. This turned out to be utterly false.

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u/PlentyOfChoices May 15 '22

This isn’t propaganda, schools are doing the right thing. The argument isn’t that you need to learn how to do math without a calculator because you won’t always have one; that’s just dumb, you pretty much will always have one.

You learn to do math first though basic calculations without calculators to develop number sense, intuition, and exercise several different methods of performing said calculations, note patterns in numbers, and develop good arithmetic foundations which are needed for higher level maths/just understanding math in general.

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u/Rare-Outside-8105 May 15 '22

How about that I will use the Pythagorean theorem in everyday life or that I needed to know the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell more than I needed to learn how to do taxes or apply for a job.

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u/PlentyOfChoices May 15 '22 Wholesome

The point of school isn’t to teach you how to do taxes or how to cook or how to survive in the real world. That’s for your parents and your community to do, not school. School isn’t the only place where you learn.

School is a way to pass down the collective societal knowledge to new generations and help them carry on and continue to advance. It gives us what we know up until this point in various subjects, math, sciences, arts, literature, etc. and hopes you will take that knowledge and apply it to do whatever you want to do. You may not need to use algebra or calculus in your everyday life, but it allows you to explore a whole realm of possibilities you would have never known before. Do you need to be able to quote Shakespeare or the Declaration of Independence to be able to function everyday? No, but understanding those works lead us to develop better context to many other things that help us navigate our world. Sciences help us be more informed about the natural world and how that relates to us to better improve our lives, helps us make better decisions, etc. All of this comes together in a learned individual to greatly increase the chance of them achieving success.

TL;DR: School is supposed to give you the building blocks of society’s collective knowledge and hope that from their, they specialize their knowledge. It is not there to teach you how to survive. Most people who think school is useless aren’t looking at it from this perspective and are often narrow-minded.

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u/Extreme_Reference May 16 '22

I really appreciate this well-thought out response. This is coming from someone who used to really hate school (although that was more because of social circumstances).

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u/PlentyOfChoices May 16 '22

Thanks. We all come from different high school experiences. Yeah oddly enough, all that you just read is coming from somebody who would probably get stereotyped as a “jock” in high school, given that I played 3 sports a year and won Athlete of the Year twice in those 4 years and so was seen as that “really athletic kid”.

I’m a collegiate athlete now but I still recognize the value and purpose of education and school. My parents really stressed it.

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u/CoolingOreos May 16 '22

meanwhile, my school actually DID teach me how to cook , how to sew , how to do taxes, why wouldnt it?

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u/Trail_Snail_ May 15 '22

Pythagorean theorem is very useful in real life. For example, when we were putting floor tiles (the room corners were noat all at a 90 degree angle)

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u/LyNx01978 May 15 '22

That the goverment is there for the people.

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u/Johnwickwascool May 15 '22

And by the people

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u/theradomeaser May 16 '22

You guys are the ones who refuse to vote for third-party

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u/zemplis May 16 '22

Third parties are not efficient political strategy in a first-past-the-post voting system. If you want better candidates then vote in the main parties' primaries.

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u/Adambe_The_Gorilla May 16 '22

I’m in deep love with my country, but am absolutely appalled by my government.

The 8 scariest words in the English language are “i’m from the government and I’m here to help”

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u/Equivalent_Carry6683 May 15 '22

The pledge of allegiance

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u/snarlyelder May 15 '22

Puzzling how a Pledge recited has its powers expire by tomorrow morning. The swearing in of a police officer, Congresscritter, or a judge somehow lasts their whole career. Maybe there is a design error in the Pledge.

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u/usernamesarehard1979 May 16 '22

Well my bottle of pledge stopped spraying when it was 1/2 full. Maybe 1/2 empty depending on your point of view.

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u/scrubjays May 15 '22

"I pledge allegiance, to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands. . . " - I am turning 55 tomorrow, that is still burned into my memory. Years later I realized I DON'T pledge allegiance to the flag. It is a piece of cloth.

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u/Spoolerdoing May 15 '22

From the outside looking in, it's actually a pretty smart shortcut to patriotism. You don't have a monarchy to kowtow to, and there's roughly a 50% chance you are going to dislike the lad in charge. But you can be stockholm'd into pledging for your own personal interpretation of what the country is to you.

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u/scrubjays May 15 '22

It is brain washing. The children saying it have no idea they are pledging allegiance to a flag, or even what that means. I would prefer a country that had the self confidence to NOT brainwash all it's kids.

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u/PurpleDreamer28 May 15 '22

So surreal to think we had to memorize that, and most (if not all) of us didn't even know what it meant. Some of those now adults probably still wouldn't know what it means if asked.

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u/Equivalent_Carry6683 May 15 '22

I didn’t realize how odd it was until about 5 years ago. I was so shocked that we just uttered 5 days a week without much thought. Like America is literally a cult

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u/PurpleDreamer28 May 15 '22

Exactly, it felt so cultish! By the time I got to high school, all my classmates just didn't stand up and recite it. I remember feeling weird for not doing it, but I didn't want to be the only one to stand and recite. Now I realize I felt weird because I had practically been indoctrinated into saying it.

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u/Frequent-Seaweed4 May 15 '22

Just Canadian and American history in general. Fucking all of it.

Ever read in a textbook about how the Indians just happily moved away for settlers? Or that some settlers (the English) were just better for the colonized than others (the French, the Dutch)

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u/Sizzlean18 May 15 '22

We were taught about the trail of tears

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u/Frequent-Seaweed4 May 15 '22

I was taught about residential schools, too.

I never learned in school that residential schools were implemented by the Canadian government in a concerted effort to beat the native out of them. Residential schools were taught like an unfortunate misgiving of colonialism and not as the very specific and targetted intention that they were. I was not taught about the series of failed negotiations, and I only learned about Poundmaker and Sitting Bull, and what they stood for, when I independently researched them.

You heard what the Trail of Tears was and nothing more. Do some digging, find out just how horrific and racist the American Indian Wars were for yourself. Manifest that destiny.

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u/ke_co May 15 '22

We were taught that Manifest Destiny was a good thing. Public school, multiple grades.

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u/bdbdbokbuck May 15 '22

Old white dude here: Throw out everything you learned in history and social studies, and go learn it on your own. While you’re at it, study up on black history. Had I not performed in a play at an African American community center as a young man, there are people I never would have known existed who accomplished wonderful things.

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u/spidermom4 May 15 '22

Reading through these replies, it's crazy how I went to school in the same country at the same time and had a very different history taught to me. Our civil war lessons were mostly about slavery and it's role. We learned about Japanese internment camps in WWII and Hiroshima ect when learning about the Holocaust/that side of WWII. We learned about the trail of tears and colonization of native Americans, and the way they were forced into reservations. I guess that's what happens when you go to school in a blue state.

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u/Joetrus May 16 '22

"I guess that's what happens when you go to school in a blue state"

I live in MS and we were taught these things as well. So it's not just blue or red.

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u/GThayendanegea May 16 '22

same in flawda

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u/DesperateAd8982 May 16 '22

Can I ask what state?

I went to public school in Texas :(

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u/Empty_Insight May 16 '22

I did too lol, I learned about all this stuff. My hometown was hard red as well.

I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that the town was dead-center of the Comanchero and the history was a cultural attraction for the town. They did not shy away from talking about what was done to the Natives. They didn't shy away from talking about how big of a mistake the Civil War was, but that's easy to say when your state wasn't fucked up beyond recognition by Sherman.

One thing I did notice they glossed over was why Texas declared independence from Mexico... surprise, it was for slavery too. Apparently that's where they drew the line lol. All the other stuff was mainly pointing the finger at other states.

When I look back, the craziest thing I can recall is that they taught us is how lobbying works. Like, we were taught in schools how to legally bribe a politician and it was presented as totally normal and legitimate rather than barely sanitized, rampant corruption.

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u/SuchLovelyLilacs May 16 '22

Same here - and I even went to Catholic school and learned about all this.

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u/Pure-Yogurtcloset684 May 15 '22

My elementary school taught that Christofer Columbus discovered America and said that Manifest Destiny was good and not mercillesly killing the natives. I went to a different, more democrat elementary school very soon after.

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u/Whatevermynameis66 May 15 '22

I feel like the way my elementary school portrayed George Washington was propaganda. Like saying that he never told a lie ever. I remember watching this cartoon of George going like, “I love my country, I love it!” which was just weird. Just they generally portrayed him as kind, caring and perfect. In highschool they taught him more objectively tho

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u/DesperateAd8982 May 16 '22

Yep. Told us his teeth were wooden when they were actually slave teeth, ivory, metal and gold.

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u/OrangeTree81 May 16 '22

Why did they even bother telling us he had wooden teeth? If they’re going to lie about what his teeth were made out of why even mention he had fake teeth at all?

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u/BlueRFR3100 May 15 '22

That America is the land of equality and justice.

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u/theradomeaser May 16 '22 edited May 16 '22

This is less propaganda and more of a naive perspective on the US. The USA is better than western Europe in many ways and it's also worse than western Europe, which I'm assuming we're going to be basing the USA off because most other continents aren't better then the u.s. saying the US isn't a land of equality and justice is wrong but saying it's that naive perspective is also wrong

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u/PoorPDOP86 May 16 '22

Compared to the rest of the world it is. Especially in the time of our founding when justice and equality was determined by the favor you had with the local monarch. Since then the rest of the world and our critics have done their damnedest to try to make sure we never seem to be more equal and just than the other, older nations of the world. From global trade exploiting European empires who use our continuation of slavery as an institution to authoritarian regimes today that claim that their increased social benefits means they are a freer more equal nation despite the active use of prison camps for political dissidents.

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u/billhorsley May 15 '22

The Civil War was a "lost cause" for the South; Robert E Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson were heroes. Was taught nothing about them being traitors to their country.

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u/Fruitdispenser May 16 '22

It was a lost cause because they lost.

Also, the confederacy flag. This is the real confederate flag

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u/DoomGoober May 15 '22

The Alamo as I was taught it in Texas public school.

Star Spangled Banner is a fun second place though it's propaganda as the result of misunderstanding as much as actual intentional propaganda.

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u/Tarot_Gecko May 15 '22

That Native American rituals are creepy. No, they're not. It's their culture.

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u/zugabdu May 15 '22

I'm assuming you're talking about propaganda in terms of history and cultural education.

For me, the big one was the mythologized story of the First Thanksgiving. The propaganda was in what they didn't tell us, specifically, what happened after that nice feast...

The War of 1812 used to be treated as a war the US "won"; that seems to be less the case now.

The idea that slavery didn't cause the Civil War may or may not have been taught in schools depending on where in the country you lived; very often it was an idea people picked up outside of school. More and more though, that idea is being called out by name as the "Lost Cause" mythology and is getting active pushback to a degree that wasn't the case decades ago.

I would say that I stopped being fed "propaganda" after elementary school.

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u/Mr_Metrazol May 15 '22

"If you don't go to college you'll never be successful."

Bullshit.

I've met plenty of people who were bringing in six figure incomes with a high school diploma (or less). I've met plenty of college and post-grad graduates who can't pay their bills too.

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u/Archersinthedark12 May 15 '22

When the heat in the middle east started up in the late 90s and everyone was talking about Saddam Hussein. I remember watching the news, and my mom and grandparents read the paper and I would try to follow what I could as I was still a kid. We had a teacher that would let us watch the news and such and I started to realise that nothing was really consistent. And one channel would say one thing and another would say something else but they vaguely said similar things. I remember this one girl named Katie she was really smart and is in fact an MD now tried telling us that Saddam was trying get kids hooked on drugs. That's when I knew this was all nonsense and remember thinking she was too smart to fall for this stuff.

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u/No_Manufacturer5641 May 16 '22

Tbf (it's a stretch) but iirc Saddam made most of his money to control through the sale of poppy/opium and I know in business they say get your customers while they are young keep them for life. So I'm sure he wanted kids on drugs, right?

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u/TerribleAttitude May 16 '22

That in fourth grade/junior high/high school/college/your job, “they” aren’t going to let you do “that.” “That” being whatever it is you’re doing now. In reality, with every step of your life, you get fewer people micromanaging you and breathing down your neck over bullshit minutiae.

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u/Upstairs_Cow May 16 '22

Oh god so much, I went to a rural school in Iowa. The myth of Northern Aggression, Black Panthers being a terrorist organization, slavery being downplayed so hard that I thought only like 1% of white southern families owned someone, war on drugs propaganda like crazy, 9/11 posters everywhere. My town was one of the most prototypical 1980s Ronald Reagan wet dream type of town, it’s insane to look back on

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u/Kitkatt1959 May 15 '22

That the constitution gave equal rights to everybody in the promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness which is pure BS

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u/Iian8787 May 15 '22

“I pledge allegiance to the flag”

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u/ego41 May 15 '22

I think you could easily classify at least half of our public school history as propaganda, especially as it relates to the history of native Americans and African blacks.

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u/grubbooba May 15 '22

Apparently other countries don't have the pledge of allegiance like America does. (or so I've been told)

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u/Goflyakitescammers May 15 '22

That America is a Democracy. It’s not, it’s a democratic republic. Big difference.

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u/awfulcrowded117 May 15 '22

... you went to a really crappy school if they didn't teach you that.

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u/Goflyakitescammers May 15 '22

I didn’t say it was the best of schools, however, it was in the statewide curriculum and taught at all the schools in the state.

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u/[deleted] May 16 '22

Plenty of people in congress who don’t even understand that one.

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u/honeybunchesofdotes May 15 '22

"The middle east is full of savage suicide bombers and criminals that force women to cover up and serve them since they have no rights!"

I moved from America to UAE and I feel safer walking down the streets here, then I ever did at home. I grew up in a very small farm town in a red state that brainwashed all of us into believing anyone that wasn't white was bad, but middle east and not white were the worst.

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u/NorthwestSupercycle May 16 '22

UAE is an oligarchical police state. Of course it seems "nice", but that's because they repress everything to keep control. It's the model of what authoritarians in the South and elsewhere want for USA. These states are built on a pile of skulls from migrant workers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Arab_Emirates#Government_and_politics

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u/wivzack May 15 '22

i know this have to be serious but, do they teach propaganda or something?

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u/Wonderer23 May 15 '22

That the Supreme Court is an impartial body.

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u/PoorPDOP86 May 16 '22

It is, impartial doesn't mean "agrees with me all the time."

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u/JMW007 May 16 '22

It is not remotely impartial, the Supreme Court is filled by political appointments based on the party and preferences of the sitting President and make-up of Congress. It should act in an impartial manner but everyone knows a 'conservative' and 'liberal' justice when they see them, and knows what way they'll vote in any given case, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. They're fake, with zero moral authority, just saying the stuff that suits them and their ideology time and time again.

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u/Leona_Faye May 15 '22

“There’s no such thing as a locked door.” -The County Undersheriff, when he came to the school to discourage house parties in town

(Nobody mentioned a warrant)

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u/BigPlaya420 May 15 '22

Ugh, law enforcement does not need a warrant to enter a private domicile if there is a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed on the premises.

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u/Rabid_Unicorns May 15 '22

The pledge of allegiance. It took me so long to realize other countries don’t do this shit

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u/Brackto May 16 '22

That we won the war of 1812.

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u/Triborg501 May 16 '22

How my school taught about the crusades. My school taught it as European barbarians destroying a peaceful Muslim society.

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u/insomniaceve May 16 '22

Everything about the USA was perfect. Just perfect.

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u/PolGray69 May 16 '22

That this country is safe when in reality walking into a grocery store could mean a mass shooting and potentially dying

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u/Proud-Economics1594 May 16 '22

States' Rights and the Northern Aggression. Smh.

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u/fardandshidded May 16 '22

The Vietnam War.

they teach us about it but they literally don’t even teach us what it was about or why we were involved. I graduated like five years ago btw.

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u/Auraveils May 16 '22

"Lewis and Clark brought Sacagawea with them to show her the world." "Christopher Colombus proved the world was round and discovered America."

And then, of course, the suggestion that native Americans were just happily assimilated into "modern" culture.

Turns out America isn't too fond of making itself look bad.

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u/LaniusCruiser May 16 '22

It's less about what was taught, and more about what wasn't taught.

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u/OP_ByAnyOtherName May 16 '22

I believe the biggest takeaway we should all be having from this ask thread is that the American educational system is wildly inconsistent and riddled with falsehoods that most teachers don't even realize they're teaching falsehoods.

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u/Moots_point May 16 '22

Go to college (and not some cheap Community College neither!) or forever be a loser for the rest of your life. So many of my friends are jobless, underpaid, and/or in massive debt for following this advice that our teachers shoved down our throats since middle school.

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u/MaylynnHughes May 16 '22

The story of George Washington and chopping down the cherry tree, and not lying about it.

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u/Chemical-External748 May 16 '22

Edison being the inventor of the lightbulb and filmografy.

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u/DragonBooty666 May 16 '22

The only one I didn't realize by 13 was nutrition. That's the one killing the most people (now, not in the past obviously)

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u/Tathanor May 16 '22

Columbus Day

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u/Caseated_Omentum May 15 '22

That the US didn't have much of a choice but to nuke Japan, and that the nukes were the reason why Japan surrendered.

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u/GodEmperorOfHell May 15 '22

Ugh, it's always the same, this topic is brought up every so often, and the answer by brainwashed Americans is always the same: "We bombed the crap out of innocent civilian families because that is what the math said was more efficient"

The real reason also includes giving a show of strength to Uncle Joe (Stalin) because the USSR was the force to be reckoned with next.

Americans, you will not become less American by saying that your government has commited unspeakable atrocities.

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u/PoorPDOP86 May 16 '22

The real reason also includes giving a show of strength to Uncle Joe (Stalin) because the USSR was the force to be reckoned with next.

Ummm no. That's literally Soviet propaganda from Joesph "Take my good hand" Stalin. Apparently people are so in to Soviet propaganda that they think we Americans, who had just won battles in...you know what, let's do this in order..The North Atlantic Ocean, Morocco, Algeria, Sicily, Italy, France, Low Countries, and Germany. No wait, I forgot the Pacific Theater. That's the Coral Sea, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Midway, Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Marshall and Gilbert Islands, Mariana and Palau Islands, Phillipines, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.....There, think l I got some and oh my god I forgot about the air campaigns over Europe and Japan, what was I thinking!?! All that and we had to show off to the Mustachioed Mass Murderer, no the gimpy one from the nation of Georgia, our power with the Atomic Bomb?!?

What we will become less American for is parroting old Soviet propaganda because those big headed idiots couldn't figure out that the world doesn't revolve around them. I mean you do know what real brainwashing is, since you claimed we were the victims of it, right?

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u/BigPlaya420 May 15 '22

If you're from the UK, of which I suspect, then understand that you guys wrote the book on unspeakable atrocities. That's why you had the largest empire at one point.

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u/soldforaspaceship May 15 '22

Both things can be true though. You can acknowledge that the British were pretty shitty and did a lot of harm in the name of colonization (and the British Museum is basically a monument to everything stolen by the Brits) while still acknowledging that the US also made some poor decisions and committed atrocities.

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u/GodEmperorOfHell May 15 '22

Not British, but thank you very much for that, I am not even a Native English speaker.

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u/turtle0turtle May 15 '22

It's crazy how many Americans still think that nuking cities full of civilians was ever justified.

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u/No_Manufacturer5641 May 16 '22

Honestly because it was. Bombing civilians was 100% par for the course back then. It's just how it was. Japan was working on bombs too and a large chunk of the material used was uranium taken from a captured u boat on its way to Japan. By our modern standards it's horrendous but for fucks sake do you think all the carpet bombing in Europe only hit factories? With zero guidance beyond a little sight?

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u/BigPlaya420 May 15 '22

This is not propaganda. Best estimates showed that a land force invasion of Japan would result in significant allied loss of life outnumbering the Japanese death toll from the bombs. It's aweful, but justified in the context of the geopolitical war strategy we had at the time.

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u/Caseated_Omentum May 15 '22

It is propaganda. The Japanese were impacted much more by Russia's entering of Manchuria. The US and Russia had agreed to invade together and the US decided to nuke instead. Most of the top military officials at the time didn't think it was effective. We had also already firebombed major cities and killed hundreds of thousands prior to dropping the nukes. It was an excessive show of force to other countries that was later justified as necessary.

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u/BigPlaya420 May 15 '22

Monty and Eisenhower DID NOT want to work with the Russians. Yes, there was a coalition to invade Japan. But we didn't want to execute that plan.

You are failing to explain how this is propaganda.

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u/NealR2000 May 15 '22

Where did you get this version of history from? Michael Moore?

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u/emueller5251 May 15 '22

They were preparing to surrender anyway. The Emperor wanted to surrender, he was just being pressured by a couple of hard line generals not to. Dropping the bombs were entirely about demonstrating military strength to Russia.

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u/Ranos131 May 15 '22

This isn’t propaganda. Dropping the nukes only caused a couple hundred thousand deaths. Invading would have caused millions of deaths on both sides. Do the math.

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u/BootuInc May 15 '22

^^^^^^ Here's the propaganda at work!

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u/Fruitdispenser May 16 '22

The nukes is a real world example of the trolley problem. Either you kill a shit ton of innocent people or kill an even greater amount of people.

What chances did the Allies have? Starve the Japanese? They were already doing that, via a sea blockade. Invade? Ketsu-go would have guaranteed millions of Japanese lives lost.

All this, while the Japanese were ravaging Indochina, Korea, China, the Philippines and all south east Asia.

Burning with radioactive fire thousands of kids and maiming whole generations is not a choice I would want to have to take, but of all the shitty alternatives, it was the less shitty. The guilt falls in Hiroito for starting a war of annihilation across Asia

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u/hfhdhdh6363 May 15 '22

Am british but that Thomas eddison invented the light bulb has to be it

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u/Old-Refrigerator6170 May 15 '22

Not sure if it counts as propaganda per se but the clear political shadiness. Voting fraud probably isn’t really a thing, not referring to the trump election or presidency at all, back in the primaries for 2016 election, it was clear the democratic population was in support of Bernie sanders and it was pretty overwhelming, smashing polls, garnering an astounding level of support, generally going further than the rest and gapping them. The shady fuckery became clear when Hillary Clinton still won and received the nomination to run for president after losing support and voting all over the country to sanders. Sanders doesn’t support the democrat narrative, can’t be bought by the elite to fund his campaigns etc. wasn’t surprised at all when Hillary was announced as the winner. Note: not a conspiracy type of person, nor do I lean any specific way politically, just noticing the obvious

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u/EconArch May 16 '22

Pledge of allegiance. Didn't realize how propagandist it was until I saw films of Nazi and Soviet Union propaganda doing something similar.

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u/Jarf_17 May 16 '22

Not explicitly said but they make the civil rights movement and associated problems SEEM like ancient history. The biggest example that comes to mind is photos of MLK Jr being black and white in history books when they were taken in color.

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u/[deleted] May 15 '22

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u/Not_Nicolodian May 15 '22

My grandpa taught at a catholic school for 40 years and some of the things he told me about them are just terribly fucked up.

I lived with my dad's parents, my parents, and my two younger sisters and I remember the adults getting in so many fights about my sister's and I's education. My parents didn't want us to go to the school because of multiple reports of sexual abuse cases and the fact that they were both atheists who raised us without ever really bringing up religion or theology until we were older. That was actually a major factor as to why we moved away from my grandparents.

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u/Botryoid2000 May 15 '22

American government is the good guys.

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u/BootuInc May 15 '22

Civil War stuff probably is the right answer, but I'll say pivot and mention the Pledge of Allegiance

It's a very successful method of indoctrinating people into fervent nationalism

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u/Significant-Put-7019 May 15 '22

Evolution has sooooo little evidence.

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