There are at least two histories in America, that which is based in historical reality and that which is based solely on accepted myth.
One of the things that contributed to my becoming a history teacher was taking the required class, US History 101. Fortunately I had a professor that didn’t teach straight from the textbook and loved to expose the accepted versions of history to the historical truths.
A classic example was the age-old story that George Washington cut down a his father’s cherry tree and because he was so honest he openly admitted his actions to his dad. The truth is that a traveling minister named Mason Locke Weems. To supplement his income Weems authored a few short books that he would sell along his travels. Since George Washington was such a famous and popular person Weems wrote a short biography shortly after Washington passed. There is no historical evidence proving that Weems’s story about the cherry tree happened but nevertheless it became accepted history and has been taught to centuries of American school children.
If you’re my age just consider that you know about the Battle of the Little Big Horn or what life was like in Tarzan’s jungle. Then read a book about either and compare the reality with what you learned watching Johnny Weissmuller in the roll of Tarzan.
What prompted this post was having read an article in yesterday’s New York Times about the reality of Muslims in America. Islam didn’t just get off the Boeing 747 at Kennedy International. It got off the boat long before there even was a USA. They have been here forever, they have been here in larger numbers than what you may think, and they are and never have been a threat to this nation or its way of life. What they have become is the most misunderstood and denigrated religion in our history. Just ask the Texas Muslim Imam how he was treated when ask to bless the horses, riders, and military personnel at a Fort Worth rodeo. One comment on social media read, “Outraged at a Muslim prayer at an all American event!” “Cowboys don’t want it!”
Well guess what dude? Muslims were riding herd and punching Texas cattle long before there was a Fort Worth. Furthermore, you cowboys didn’t invent rodeo, you borrowed it.