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Desc:I think you may have glossed over a few details, there.
Category:Classic TV Clips, Educational
Tags:propaganda, Denial, Schoolhouse Rock, Manifest Destiny, Lies my Teacher Told Me
Submitted:Binro the Heretic
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Comment count is 26
Bort - 2015-12-27
I prefer to sing it as "Lebensraum". The same concept except that Germans, at least, have come to understand the negative implications that come with it.

... I just realized, the Germans too had visions of reaching the Pacific Ocean. This song really does work pretty well on both continents.
Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-27
Hitler was an America fanboy. He loved American pop culture. He idolized American industrialist tycoons. He borrowed most of his most awful scientific & social ideas from American "experts" on the subjects. He loved that so many Americans hated Jews and other non-white, non-Christian peoples.

It must have broken his tiny little shriveled-up raisin of a heart when America joined the fight against him.

Cena_mark - 2015-12-27
It's like Kims and their love of Hollywood movies and basketball. It makes me think even if they could nuke the US, they wouldn't out of fear of accidentally killing Micheal Jordan.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-27
In an alternate dimension, the confederacy won the civil war and made a horrible, horrible "School House Rock!" about it.
Xenocide - 2015-12-27
Genocide junction, what's your function?
kingarthur - 2015-12-27
White wash that killin' right out of your hair.

That guy - 2015-12-27
What's "propoganda"?
Robin Kestrel - 2015-12-27
A small organ near the liver which stores and concentrates bile.

Xenocide - 2015-12-27

gravelstudios - 2015-12-27
"Elbow room. Kill a bunch of Indians.
Elbow room. Steal some from the Mexicans."
dairyqueenlatifah - 2015-12-27
I don't think there's any "propaganda" going on here so much as there was one point to make about westward expansion and it'd take a lot more than a three minute song to go any deeper than "Yeah a lot of people fought over territory and built stuff!" Although I do feel like sugarcoating history is beginning to take its toll.

I had one of those far right "WWII never happened" types tell me the other day that Native Americans weren't actually "Native" but they're actually Asians who came here and killed all the REAL Native Americans, who were white people, so when the British came over and started mowing down red people it was just whites taking back their own land.

Out of morbid curiosity, I then googled this wacky idea he fed to me and apparently it's not something he thought up; a lot of Stormfront types actually believe it.
Bort - 2015-12-27
If they couldn't make a three-minute video about westward expansion that didn't ignore the rather vital other side of the tale, perhaps it wasn't a good candidate for cartoonification.

I get that they oversimplify the relationship between the colonies and the British Empire in that one about the Revolution, but at least they aren't leaving so much out that it feels like they're trying to mislead the kids.

infinite zest - 2015-12-27
Yeah.. I don't know if any of you took German in school, but in the 90s the text book had a very comic book approach, with Anna, the protagonist living with German homestays. A lot of it was her learning about German culture and history, and oops there's 12 years missing. When I took it for an easy A language requirement in college, it was the same book, but she turns out learning about what happened during that time. Not sure which one was more uncomfortable.

Bort - 2015-12-27
When it comes to the Nazi years, I can understand keeping that out much better than this Manifest Destiny thing, because God knows kids are going to hear about the Holocaust somewhere. If there's anything Americans learn about Germany, it's the Nazis, and people ought to learn that there's more to Germany than a regime whose officials and soldiers are almost all dead now.

In my day we had these videos:


betabox - 2015-12-27
It's kind of hard to call something 'propaganda' if the events depicted happened over three centuries ago.

It may well be whitewashing, but the purpose of propaganda is to sway popular opinion regarding current events.

Bort - 2015-12-27
Hey IZ, here's another German video for you:


I get the feeling this will be more entertainingly baffling if you have forgotten everything you learned in German class.

infinite zest - 2015-12-28
Holy shit that's awesome! I think I got maybe 25 percent of it. For extra fun, turn on the Closed Captioning :)

"Cat does not like to to hook week but in public is fun" Sure.

infinite zest - 2015-12-28
Also "My phone I mock I chief it is the amended Obama, by phone I am NOT" it goes on like this.

Binro the Heretic - 2015-12-28
@ betabox:

Make no mistake, this was definitely propaganda.

At the time it came out, America was dealing with a lot of blows to its collective ego. We were still recovering from our humiliation in Vietnam. The so-called "greatest generation" was losing power to those damned hippie stoner commie punks. The descendants of the indigenous peoples were calling out the descendants of the European settlers on the genocide perpetrated by their forbears. The descendants of slaves were calling them out on slavery and the continued violations of their civil rights. Women didn't just want to be tame little housewives any more. The economy was starting to tank. America was no longer the global influence it had been in previous decades and our bicentennial anniversary was fast approaching.

A lot of the "Schoolhouse Rock!" shorts dealing with American history focused on building up the accomplishments of white European conquerors and omitting or diminishing the accomplishments, influence and suffering of the non-white, non-Christian peoples.

You can say, "Well, these subjects were too complicated and mature to deal with in a kids' cartoon." but it's all tied together. How, for example, can you talk about the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and leave out Squanto? The colony might well have failed if not for him. The only portrayal of Indians in the "No More King" short were two shifty-looking natives who pop up from behind a rock then quickly duck back behind it when the White settlers drop the gangplank and come ashore. It then shows the pilgrims building houses and planting corn and becoming prosperous.

Now, I'm not saying they should have shown Squanto's people being wiped out by smallpox, a plague introduced to the Americas by gold-and-slave-seeking-Spaniards a little more than a century before. I'm not saying they should have shown Squanto's enslavement first by the Spanish and again by the English or the six crossings of the Atlantic he performed to finally escape and get back home. I'm not saying they should have shown the pilgrims burning the bodies of his former tribe-mates and moving into their homes because they didn't know how to build their own shelters. But couldn't they at least have devoted a verse to showing how he taught them to grow corn? I was fifteen before I even heard the name "Squanto".

The point of the "Schoolhouse Rock!" American history shorts was clear: White people are the smartest, bravest and most deserving people.

Bort - 2015-12-28
Basically, it's propaganda for a conservative perception of America, which we can see very clearly in Texas schoolbooks and the like. Like I said above, I think some of it is understandable considering the target audience and the format; but if you can't tell the story of, say, the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment without feeling the need to lie, maybe you should choose another topic.

gravelstudios - 2015-12-28
@dairyqueen: I have heard the theory that there is some evidence to support the idea that Europeans managed to follow the edge of glaciers across the Atlantic and settle in north America pre-clovis. Most Anthropologists think it's silly, but there are a few who think it's plausible. Could you be referring to a very messed up version of that theory?

infinite zest - 2015-12-27
Jeez.. I've always said that I regret being too young for SHR but now I'm kinda glad I never watched it. Didn't make much of a difference though, I was in 5th grade for the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue and I did a project on what we did to the indians and got sent to the principal's and the project was destroyed.
Bort - 2015-12-27
"Schoolhouse Rock" was all right for everything except history.

And it did inspire this:


infinite zest - 2015-12-27
Hehe that's awesome. I mostly know the show through the parodies throughout the years and always wished I had a nice little mnemonic device in song form for geography or whatever, but I didn't realize how close to reality the parodies were.

gravelstudios - 2015-12-28
I'll agree that SHR is great for everything except history. And in their defense, this attitude was normal in animated depictions of the settling of North America at the time (another good example is the Peanuts cartoon about the pilgrims and Plymouth Colony). That doesn't make it right, but it's no worse than anybody else. Remember what they say about winners and history.

Old_Zircon - 2015-12-28
Well shit.
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