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McCarthyism, Old and New: Today's Culture Wars in Historical Context
State legislatures prohibiting “anti-American” teaching. Vigilante groups publishing lists of “unpatriotic teachers.” Committees investigating who teaches what and where. Books banned. Paranoid rumors about brainwashing vulnerable youth.

All of the above is happening right now, affecting thousands of teachers. Rightwing politicians and cynical operators are whipping up public sentiment about “Critical Race Theory” as a subversive plot against America.

All of the above is happening right now, affecting thousands of teachers. Rightwing politicians and cynical operators are whipping up public sentiment about “Critical Race Theory” as a subversive plot against America.

We have been here before. From the 1940s through the 1960s, reactionaries used anti-Communism as a weapon to attack educators at every level. Thousands were investigated, many jobs were lost, and “loyalty oaths” were required for decades. Textbooks were sanitized as patriotic myths took the place of careful analyses of evidence.

McCarthyism expert Ellen Schrecker looks at how the current assault on teaching the truth reprises the outrages of the Cold War red scare, while the activist educators, Jesse Hagopian of the Zinn Educational Project and Jennifer Ruth, an AAUP activist promoting a resolution for faculty senates to fight against the new gag laws, will respond to Schrecker's presentation.

Van Gosse, professor of history at Franklin & Marshall College and co-chair of Historians for Peace and Democracy, will moderate.

Sponsored by Massachusetts Peace Action, Historians for Peace and Democracy, the Zinn Education Project, and Radical Teacher.

Oct 12, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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