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Miller-Meeks promotes curriculum bill decrying communism | Politics and elections

U.S. Representative from Iowa Mariannette Miller-Meeks has joined a group of House Republicans to introduce a bill that would promote the school curriculum denouncing communism.

“(I)n our school system, we speak eloquently about the excesses and demerits of capitalism, but we never speak about the excesses, brutality and murder of communist regimes and why they continued to fail,” Miller said. -Meeks at a press conference on Capitol Hill Thursday announcing the bill.

“And if we want to have critical thinking in our young adults and in our citizens, then we have to teach them both points of view,” she continued. “We must ensure that our next generation is well educated on the dangers of this radical ideology.”

The bill, “Crucial Communism Teaching Act,” would help high schools develop programs to teach students “the dangers of communism and totalitarianism, and how they are contrary to the founding principles of freedom and democracy in the United States.” United”, according to sponsors.

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The bill’s sponsor, U.S. Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., the daughter of Cuban immigrants, said “unfortunately, today we are witnessing an alarming shift in our national consciousness.”

His office claimed, citing a 2020 Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation poll, that “once widely dismissed as an ‘un-American’ and dangerous ideology, Communism “is increasingly accepted, especially by the younger generation. generation”.

  • More than a quarter of Americans support phasing out the capitalist system in favor of a more socialist system, with support surging among younger generations
  • 18% of Gen Zers and 13% of Millennials think communism is a fairer system than capitalism and deserves consideration in America
  • 30% of Gen Z had a favorable view of Marxism, up 6% from 2019, compared to 27% of Gen Y, down 9% from 2019

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation President and CEO Andrew Bremberg, who joined Salazar, Miller-Meeks and other sponsors of the bill, said “the majority of young Americans just don’t know the history of communist regimes.

The foundation was authorized by the US Congress and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1993 to raise awareness of the atrocities committed against the more than 100 million people living under communist dictatorships.

“From the Vietnam era to the fall of the Soviet Union, I proudly served in the United States military,” Miller-Meeks said. “I saw communism spread around the world during the cold war. … (A) and every country in which communism took hold saw the individual liberties of its citizens suppressed, censoring freedom of expression , restricting or prohibiting religious freedom, and exercising total control over private industries, leaving their people impoverished and brutalized.”

The bill closely mirrors one signed this summer by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis requiring the history of communism to be taught in public high schools across the state.

The federal legislation ‘is not an educational mandate,’ but would instead provide materials through the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation that states and local educators would use to ‘teach the true evils of Communism,’ according to the office. by Salazar.

The bill also includes the development of a “Portraits in Patriotism” series of personal stories of immigrants who fled communist regimes.

Critics have questioned the need for such legislation, noting that lessons about communism and other forms of political and economic systems are already part of public school curricula.

Some fear that the legislation is McCarthyism. Others wonder if the program would include lessons about how paranoia in the early 1950s over subversive communist influence in American institutions led to the interrogation, persecution and ruined reputations of hundreds. of innocent Americans deemed to be communist sympathizers on the basis of prejudicial and unsubstantiated accusations.

“We have a rich history of excellent educational programs in Iowa, which are supported by professionals who work in the field,” said Jean Hessburg, spokesperson for the Iowa State Education Association.

“His proposal seems out of step with what’s important right now,” Hessbrug said. “The health and safety of our students, continuing to teach the rich curriculum offered in our schools and ensuring that our children have the right books and materials and that classrooms are not overcrowded” should be at the center of concerns.

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