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When It Makes Sense To Think Like A Nazi

April 15, 2013 by  

When It Makes Sense To Think Like A Nazi
PHOTOS.COM

When everything becomes sanitized, the collectivist vision of utopia will have been realized.

That’s why a teacher in Albany, N.Y., is in hot water over an English assignment that required her students to “think like a Nazi.” Students in Albany High School English classes were assigned a paper that required them to watch and read propaganda put out by Nazi Germany.

They were then instructed to make a decidedly politically incorrect argument. The teacher wrote in the assignment: “You must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!”

In five paragraphs, students were to pretend they were German citizens facing persecution if they could not persuasively argue to a Nazi official that Jews were the source of Germany’s problems.

The students were also instructed to incorporate the Greek philosopher Aristotle’s elements of an argument into their paper: “Logos” (persuasion by reasoning), “Pathos” (persuasion by emotional appeal) and “Ethos” (persuasion by the author’s character).

While the teacher’s assignment may seem extreme, the skill the educator was trying to impart to the students is a valuable one: knowing why an idea is wrong by going to great lengths to understand why some people consider it kosher.

But considering an idea from all sides of the debate is not something that public education has been interested in doing for many years. The general purpose of public education is not educating students, but pumping out obedient and politically correct subjects of the state.

And don’t forget, in Germany circa 1930s Nazism was representative of the state.

By encouraging her students to take the position of an oppressed citizen forced at gunpoint to go along with the will of the state, the teacher risked revealing a lot about how people unthinkingly end up on the wrong side of history by enabling oppression.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • mort_f

    If she can get through to her students, it might be the first sign of hope. Especially if other teachers would follow her lead.
    Unfortunately the ‘leaders’ of our ‘education’ system need to be taught by teachers like her. They have been too deeply indoctrinated.

    • Cher

      I recall a suburban public school that tried this approach with looking at the arrival of Columbus from the native people’s perspective and they were vilified from the conservatives and told that teaching from different perspectives would confuse students.

      • Nadzieja Batki

        But that is not where the story of Columbus begins with the explorer and the “native” people. There were no “native” people in this country that became America, they migrated from other countries.

        So telling and believing lies is OK with you as long as you get your comment in that that you loathe Conservatives.

        • Right Brain Thinker

          Nadzi, you consistently say some pretty loathsome and hateful things yourself on this site, like this comment calling Cher a liar. No wonder so many folks “loathe” conservatives like you.

          And Cher is not lying anyway. Nearly EVERYONE on this planet is descended from people who came from “somewhere else”—-Africa is the place from which ALL humans spread—-there is much scientific evidence for that. The “native Americans” came from Asia and were here for many thousands of years before Columbus et al arrived. It WAS “their” country.

          It took only a few hundred years for the good “conservatives” to nearly wipe out the NATIVE AMERICANS, and that history is one to look at if you want to see some ‘loathsome” behaviors. I have seen lessons taught similar to the one Cher describes, and many of the students DID come to the conclusion that the “white man” did some very bad things (kids are honest and idealistic—they don’t understand free market rapaciousness and manifest destiny because they’re not “fair” ways to do things). Some went home and talked about it to their very conservative parents around the dinner table—-some very heated conversations ensued. The difference between now and then was that very few of those parents complained to the school—-conservatives back then had a sense of perspective and “balance”—-they wanted their kids educated, not brainwashed. Those that did come in and complain were easy to deal with—-they were rational thinkers, not mindless followers of dogmas as you appear to be—-none of them ever went beyond the building with their concerns after our discussions.

        • Roy Clingenpeel

          If you want to be historically correct according to the evolutionist, we are all Africans. Historically Columbus never set foot on the US but the Vikings did and went back home. And if you look at history in its perspective, it is written as those in charge say it is to be written; to insure it if favorable to them. Evolutionist are not
          historians, they are theorists wishing to get their names in the paper and get a grant so they won’t have to work. Facts do not support their theories.

          • Right Brain Thinker

            Of course evolutionists are not historians, they are scientists. Historically, the Vikings never set foot on the US either, because the US didn’t exist until the late 1700’s (you can say the same for John Smith, too). I don’t know what “history” you’re talking about that has been rewritten, but the SCIENCE of human evolution and the movement of humans across the planet has been documented by archeological and fossil evidence for a long time now, and the discovery of DNA has made possible the linkages that show we ARE all “Africans” at root. The “theory” of evolution, as you would have it, is supported by one of the largest bodies of scientific evidence and FACTS that have ever been assembled behind any “theory”. Please don’t get your BELIEFS confused with what science has shown us.

            And “they are theorists wishing to get their names in the paper and get a grant so they won’t have to work” is a rather snide and unintelligent comment with NO basis in fact. Why did you bother?. .

        • Right Brain Thinker

          A reply I just made didn’t “take”—-I will try again with a condensed version.

          Nadzi, I myself find it pretty “loathesome” that you are attacking Cher like this. She is not lying. You are mistaken in what you say. Everyone on this planet has come from “somewhere else”—-the human race spread from its origins in Africa. The Native Americans were here for many thousand of years before Columbus et al arrived.

          I have seen lessons taught that were similar to what Cher describes, and some conservative parents did comment because their kids came home and started some heated dinner table conversations over the topic. The idealistic and honest kids basically thought that the “conservatives” who took this country from its owners were pretty loathsome in what they did and how they did it. The difference is that conservatives back then wanted their kids to be educated rather than brainwashed, so no “vilification” took place and “complaints” never went beyond the school. It’s not that way today, unfortunately.

          • Capitalist at Birth

            What proof do you have that they were”conservatives”? Or are you just attempting to make disparaging remarks about those with whom you disagree. That the human race spread only from Africa is your theory, not fact.

          • Right Brain Thinker

            What proof that WHO was conservatives?. In the case of the parents in the school setting, they told me they were, and I knew them to be so from other discussions on other topics.

            In the case of those who took the country away from the Native Americans, committed genocide, slaughtered the bison and raped the landscape for profit, who else would they be but conservatives? They were free-market, unfettered capitalism, anti-regulation, small government believers that folks like you would feel very comfortable with, Cap (as your name implies).

            Cap says, “That the human race spread only from Africa is your theory, not fact”. Sorry, Cap, but the evidence that humans first appeared in Africa is more than just theory. Maybe you’re confused because there were later “spreadings” from other “centers”, but it all began in Africa.

            By the way, that “theory” has the same weight of evidence, i.e. “proof”, behind it as the assertion that the Wright brothers invented the airplane and flew it or that the Civil War was fought. Do you believe in the Wright brothers and that the Civil War was fought? If so, you should also accept that evidence that says you are related to Barry H. O’Bama, as we all are.

            If you have ever heard of Olduvai Gorge, Lucy, and Dr. Leakey, you will know that we are ALL Kenyans (or very close to it).

          • Right Brain Thinker

            Why do you follow me around asking to have your brains beaten in, Frank? There is so much ignorance, misinformation, fractured logic, and just plain “nuttiness” in this comment that I won’t waste the time to respond. You talk about “missing links”? What’s missing is any connection between you and reality. You need help.

          • Frank Kahn

            [comment has been removed]

          • Right Brain Thinker

            And I CAN imagine why. Frank is obviously “overheating”.

  • Warrior

    Why everybody knows “public edumacation” exists to 1.) feed the poor. 2.) show everyone how low one can wear his pants before they end up around his ankles. 3.) vote for the democrat. 4.) assign you to a “gang” and 5.) get your trophy.

    • Raven58

      6. And where and how to apply for there FREE stuff.

  • JThaddeustoad

    Our education system is run by the state and has been since Jimmy Carter gave us the dept. of education…. Here we are 30 plus years later and our children are being taught that Nazism is wrong yet the folks who are running the state controled system are emulating the very folks that threw them in ovens 70 years ago…. for espousing the communist philosophy while plundering the German economy..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dick-Grace/100003240956908 Dick Grace

    When I got my first job over 50 years ago one the fellows I worked with loved to argue politics. After we would argue awhile he would change sides with me and I would have to argue the other side. It was a tremendous teaching tool and one I never forgot.

    • Vigilant

      Perhaps so, but this assignment only presented one side of the story.

  • BigBadJohn-nc

    My favorite/best teacher in High school used a similar approach. It was an exercise in getting people to THINK!

    American History, boring subject but one everyone has to know. My teacher had us reading the text book out loud in class and our home work every night was to read the news paper and bring in an article to discuss. The arguments and discussions were the learning part. Try it today, there are even more parallels to the American revolution than there was in the 60’s.

    • Raven58

      Actual, American History as well as World History is a very, very interesting subject. And is what is the real problem with what is happening to this country. If this generation were taught the true principles instead of the crap they are being taught today we would not be in the mess we are in now.

  • dan

    …. know thy enemy….I just love an old-school teacher.

    tThe hardest part of that assignment would be

    to not plagiarize the Mainstream Media

  • BigBadJohn-nc

    Considering that GW Bush used the same exact tactics to get the American public behind him, this teachers lesson is very valid.

    It is us against them

    You are either with us or against us

    If you are reading this in English thank a soldier

    Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction – and we KNOW where they are!

    GW Bush

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep
    repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be
    maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from
    the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus
    becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to
    repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus
    by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield
    no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly –
    it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

    “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.”

    “Intellectual activity is a danger to the building of character”

    “If we are attacked we can only defend ourselves with guns not with butter.”

    Joseph Goebbels

    • CatGman

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” You should know Big John. Some people will believe ANYTHING..

  • MelK

    This teacher appears to be at least attempting to educate her students. She should be commended, not condemned.

    • AnnCA

      As you should know, attempts to educate and especially attempts to teach kids to think are extremely unwelcome by today’s American government. These kids will be eligible to vote in 2016. None one with a capacity of thinking would ever vote for the current government. Do you wonder why they did not commend the teacher? I would not surprise if soon they will find enough of ‘concern’ parents to sue and fire her.

  • Right Brain Thinker

    These kinds of “lessons” were much more common 25 and 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the divisiveness and “media madness” that has overtaken the country makes it very difficult to do this kind of thing today and “get away with it”.

    Also, his lesson was probably undertaken in an advanced upper grade class—-it’s not the thing one would normally attempt with your average Sophomores or typical average students at any level.

    • Vigilant

      It’s worth noting that “the writing assignment was done before a planned class reading of the memoir “Night,” by Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.” (http://news.yahoo.com/ny-teacher-assigned-nazi-letter-put-leave-195221762.html) It would therefore appear that the students were indeed to be given both sides of the story, something Mr. Rolley conveniently fails to mention. It makes a whole lot of difference to the tenor of the story..

      • Right Brain Thinker

        That’s good to know, because that would make the lesson even more “complete” and valuable. Sam was attempting to do the usual “stir everybody up thing” and therefore was not too clear on what his major points were.

  • alpha-lemming

    And nobody sees the Melissa Harris-Perry parallels here?? If that’s not attempts at creating “brown-shirt”, PC, indoctrinated eco-religion, collectivist drone receptacles… I don’t know what is.

    • Jeff

      When I was in high school, we all went to a couple of John Birch Society meetings. We thought those people were either from another planet or were putting on a show for us. They seriously thought the state had no business providing education to kids. “If your parents can’t afford it . . . ” All Melissa Harris Perry said was we all have a stake in the education of the next generation. If you see Hitler or Stalin in that comment, it’s on you, not her.

  • boyscout

    Curiousier and curiouser. I am really surprised that this blog did not begin with the news of this teacher’s dismissal. Recognition of the lie may not yield the truth, but it’s a great first step.

    • Vigilant

      “…this blog did not begin with the news of this teacher’s dismissal” for the simple reason that the teacher was not dismissed. She was placed on leave, a BIG difference.

      As you would say, “Recognition of the lie may not yield the truth, but it’s a great first step.”

      • Right Brain Thinker

        Yes, and she was probably placed on leave mainly so that some gutless school administrator could say they “did something” about it and things could be allowed to quiet down.. They can’t be seriously considering “disciplining” her much beyond that.

        About the only thing she might be faulted for is picking this particular lesson for use in Albany, NY, which has a good-sized Jewish population, some of whom might be knee-jerk sensitive to ANY use of Naziism. It would be interesting to know what the teacher’s heritage was, how many of her students were Jewish, and how the Jewish community in general in Albany felt about the whole thing.

        If she had come to me for advice back in the day, I would have suggested that perhaps she could do the lesson using Native Americans versus the “White invaders” out west in the late 1800’s—-Wounded Knee and Touch the Earth stuff—-although there are also some Native Americans in Albany who might take offense, that would at least be farther removed in time and place than Nazi Germany.

  • john

    THE STATE HAS ALWAYS BEEN CORRUPT .THIS IS WHY GERMANY HAS OUTLAWED HOME EDUCATION “THINK LIKE THE STATE” WHAT ABOUT THE GOOD OLD U.S.A THE INDIANS WERE SAVAGES GOD FORBID WE SHOULD TEACH THIS WAS THEIR LAND AND WE CHEATED THEM AND JUST PUSHED THEM OUT OF THE WAY .WHAT ABOUT EVOLUTION VS CREATION .WHY DON’T WE TEACH THEM BOTH .IF YOU ARE OPEN MINDED AND STUDY THEM BOTH CREATION MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE .EVOLUTION IS THE BIGGEST FARCE THERE IS. NO ONE DID ANYTHING EVERYTHING JUST POPPED OUT OF NOTHING .THE SYSTEM WANTS TO CONTROL YOUR THINKING .YOU THINK THAT TEACHER IS IN TROUBLE WAIT .WHY DO YOU THINK THEY WANT TO DO AWAY WITH THE CONSTITUTION SO THEY CANT TAKE AWAY YOUR CIVIL RIGHTS .SOON NOT ONLY WON’T YOU BE ABLE TO EDUCATE YOU OWN KIDS .YOU BE TOLD WHO YOU CAN PRAY TO AND WHO TO WORSHIP .THERE ARE PEOPLE IN GOVERNMENT WHO WILL TEAR THE BILL OF RIGHTS TO SHREDS AND YOUR RIGHTS ALONG WITH IT .YOU HAVE TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHO’S DOING WHAT .WHAT WE NEED IS TO KNOW WHEN OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS ARE RUNNING FOR REELECTION .WHAT LAWS DID THEY VOTE FOR IN THERE PREVIOUS TERM AND IF WE SEE THE VOTED TO TAKE AWAY OUR RIGHTS DON’T ELECT THEM AS DOG CATCHER

  • Raven58

    This would have been an easy “A” for any of these students. As every night CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS given them perfect examples to follow.

    • Jeff

      I don’t suppose you could cite any specifically though, could you?

  • marylou

    This teacher is a true educator! Figures the MSM would try to trash anyone who does not teach the liberal doctrine but encourages critical thinking skills.
    These students will never be low information voters!!

    • Jeff

      Why would you assume the “MSM” would criticize her? If she gets criticized, it will be from the “fake outrage machine” on the right like Fox News. They’ll lump her in with Melissa Harris Perry who they consider the single greatest threat to the country because she dared to say that we all have a stake in the education of the next generation.

  • Average Joe

    Well done Mr. Rolley!
    The teacher asked the students to think ..actually think… and that’s a no, no at the Ministry of Propaganda. Apparently, more and more people are yanking their kids out of the public (drone mill) school system and home schooling and private schooling instead.
    Hmmm…I wonder if that has anything to do with the liberals trying to convince us , that our children aren’t ours…but rather…they belong to the community? Can’t have anyone trying to better themselves or their children can we? The collective has spoken…you may not rise above your station in life….you must assimilate….resistance is futile…..
    AJ

  • Jeremy Leochner

    With all due respect Mr. Rolley the general purpose of public education is to educate students. Few teachers become teachers with the intention of pumping out obedient and politically correct subjects of the state. Sadly our education system is not perfect. Far from it. But that does not mean we should be cynical and abandon it. I will be honest. I am a product of the public school system. But I am certainly not an obedient servant of the state. Public education is about teaching children and teenagers to think critically and to question. That hardly sounds like pumping out obedient servants to me.

  • Tony

    Yes it’s true that many modren politcians are trying to take a few pages from Dr. Gobbell’s play book. And getting young students to see how that works is good for us all, no matter where you might take youre side. I’m just glad we don’t have any elected officials that know how to pull it off. Hpoe we never do.

  • Tony

    Sorry, I ment “HOPE”.

  • henrybowman
  • Michigan_REB

    They are just afraid these kids will figure out what Obama and his bunch of trained apes are really up to. And, then they will start thinki9ng for themselves and not part of Obama’s collective.

  • Dragon 1

    Obamma acts Just like a NAZI !!! Maybe he is Hitler re-incarnate!!

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