The Story of Us on History Channel—an attempt to revive the myths of American capitalism
By William Moore and Fred Mazelis
The United States emerged from a great revolution that owed much to the Enlightenment and in turn had a great impact on the subsequent French Revolution and later struggles up to the present day. “The Story of Us” presents it, in contrast, as simply the result of some uniquely American characteristics that came out of nowhere. “We are pioneers and trailblazers. We fight for freedom. We transform our dreams into the truth. Our struggles will become a nation.” This is the mantra that is repeated at the beginning of each episode, and it is designed to obscure the real history of the United States while fostering a chauvinistic mythology.
Banalities such as “the document that will change the world” (referring to the Declaration of Independence) and a battle “that will change the course of history” (the 1770 Boston Massacre) are repeated endlessly without the slightest further elaboration. Most significantly, the programs rely overwhelmingly for their “talking heads” not on historians who have actually studied the subject, but on political, military and business figures.
Historians like Gordon Wood, Bernard Bailyn, James McPherson or Eric Foner do not appear on these programs. Instead we get Michael Bloomberg and his predecessor as New York Mayor, Rudy Giuliani; Republican bigwig Newt Gingrich; NBC news anchor Brian Williams; generals David Petraeus and Colin Powell; fashion and lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart; actor Michael Douglas; and billionaire know-nothing Donald Trump, among others.
The review doesn't mention Indians. The previous review mentioned Indians once--when one tribe helped the proto-American colonists defeat another tribe. And...that's it.
If the series really doesn't mention Indians after the Pocahontas/Pilgrims phase...wow, that would be lame. All those broken treaties and wars of aggression whitewashed out of existence. Sounds like a conservative's wet dream of a history series.
Even the one mention above is lame. Indians helped the European invaders...which tacitly gave them permission to continue invading. Indians killed other Indians...so they were as guilty as the European invaders. In other words, mistakes were made...everyone and no one was to blame...so the European conquest could proceed without anyone's questioning its fundamental immorality.
And Obama shilled for this series with his "moral compass" quote? Other than during political controversies (Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.), has Obama ever said anything significant about America's racial history? Not that I recall. With his failure to mention the genocide against Indians or Armenians, he's proving to be a typical
The agenda here is the same agenda in Arizona's efforts to curtail ethnic studies. Namely, to maintain the status quo in which white male Christians rule America. We see stories about this every day. From General McChrystal's disparaging of
For more on the subject, see Conservatives Hope Minorities Will Forget and Ethnic History Corrects American History.
Below: Look, deadly savages! We had to conquer them for their own good!