• Joanne Jacobs

Red gild: Schools whitewash communism


Communist party supporters carry portraits of Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin during a demonstration marking the 100th anniversary of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Thousands of Communist demonstrators marked the centennial of the 1917 Bolshevik revolution Tuesday by marching across downtown Moscow. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Yesterday, Russians celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution. Russian are “ambivalent” about their communist history, reports PBS.

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled a Wall of Grief sculpture that remembers the hundreds of thousands of people killed under Communist leader Joseph Stalin. “This terrible past must not be erased from our national memory and cannot be justified by anything,” Putin said at the ceremony.

An estimated 750,000 were executed, historians estimate. Add deaths in engineered famines, deportations, prison camps and forced collectivization and the death toll reaches 20 million — or maybe more.

California’s curriculum whitewashes communism’s history, writes Lance Izumi in the Orange County Register. The 11th-grade curriculum framework describes the Soviet Union as a communist nation “that had a very poor record of protecting human rights.”

(Mao Zedong’s) Great Leap Forward (1958-1961) and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) caused massive turmoil in China.” Students, therefore, “should learn about the unrest and disorder in China during these years: elites were made to work on farms; there was arbitrary application of revolutionary justice; the Red Guard even turned on members of Mao’s own party.” Terms such as “massive turmoil,” “unrest” and “disorder” are euphemisms of appalling dimensions here. According to “The Black Book of Communism,” up to 3 million Chinese were killed during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Worse, 20 million to 43 million Chinese people died in the massive famine caused by Mao’s forced communist agricultural policies during The Great Leap Forward, making it the worst famine in history.

Izumi also cites a recent YouGov survey funded by a group called Victims of Communism. “A larger proportion of millennials believe that more people were killed by George W. Bush’s administration than by Joseph Stalin,” he observes.

Some 23 percent of millennials had a favorable opinion of Lenin, while 19 percent thought Mao was cool. (Only 6 percent liked Stalin.)

#history #Communism #Stalin #Mao #Lenin

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