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The principal goal of “Voices of a People’s History of the United States,” a “social justice” non-profit, is to provide thousands of schools across the country with Zinn’s reading materials and curricula, in-class activities, and group projects. The organization is raising funds to support teacher training programs, travel to education conferences, and other support for teachers who use Zinn materials in class.
This most recent Chicago benefit performance raised money for a year-long “arts project” for about a thousand local schools. In a fawning news segment for ABC about the Chicago performance last week, Damon says in the interview:
Your job as a citizen, whatever you believe, is to engage and participate. And that’s really the message that we want kids to take away. Because an engaged, an active citizenry is always going to make for a better country.
Really? Actually, as Thomas Jefferson supposedly noted, it’s an informed citizenry that is the bulwark of a democracy, and Damon and Zinn are not so much informing Americans as snowing them with destructive propaganda, which leads to the wrong kind of “active and engaged.” For example, the Occupy Wall Street movement is active and engaged – engaged in violent, anarchic class warfare at home and abroad. On the other hand, the Tea Party is active and engaged too – in peaceful, orderly protest of government run amuck. But Damon has demonized Tea Partiers as being willing to drive the American economy “off a cliff,” while expressing frustration with President Obama for not providing more leadership for the amorphous Occupy movement.
Zinn would have loved the Occupy movement. On his website he is quoted as saying,
I start from the supposition that the world is topsy-turvy, that things are all wrong, that the wrong people are in jail and the wrong people are out of jail, that the wrong people are in power and the wrong people are out of power.
Damon too, seems to have an affinity for the Occupiers’ social revolution. He read the following in his Chicago performance, to rousing cheers from the audience:
You’re saying our problem is civil disobedience? That is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience.
Harvard historian Oscar Handlin not only exposed the flaws of Zinn’s book A People’s History of the United States long ago and shredded his “deranged fairy tale”; he also summed it up nicely: “Brendan Behan once observed that whoever hated America hated mankind, and hatred of humanity is the dominant tone of Zinn’s book.” This is the work Matt Damon is helping to perpetuate in America’s youth.
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