American Cultural Studies

What exactly does it mean? You send your children to college where they signup for courses in American Cultural studies. What will they learn? What exactly is the American culture?

To me American culture is a culture of responsible freedom. A nation derived primarily from European nations and culture, yet every citizen has the same rights regardless of race or national origin. A nation ruled by laws derived primarily from Judeo/Christian morals and ethics, yet still a nation where the government maintains no established religion. A nation not ruled by a religious leader or noble families, but by its citizens through their elected representatives. America is a nation where you are free to speak against the actions of the government, without fear of reprisal. Our nation stood alone in the world. Our American culture was unheard of anywhere in the world.

So what then is American Cultural Studies all about? I would expect to learn what was going on in the minds of our founders. What made them willing to risk life and limb for religious freedom? If they were primarily Christian, why create a nation where Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, athiest, etc enjoyed equal rights? What were their values? What did they like to do? Who were their heroes? Why a democratic republic? In a world where slavery was the norm, what made America so different that quickly abolished slavery? What about the American culture makes us abhor socialism, fascism, and communism? What about American culture would have us coming to the defense of oppressed peoples around the world? What about the culture of Americans who listen to anti-US protestors and defend their right to protest? There is so much to learn about our American culture.

But here is where I have to put the brakes on. You may think as I did that this is what our children should learn. But what we think they should be taught, and what they are actually taught, are two entirely different things. If you’ve read much in Wally’s Blog you may find that I harp a bit on a few individuals and subjects. Well I do, because someone needs to harp on them. Case in point, here is the course listing for American Cultural Studies at WWU. Here it is fresh off the web:

202 The Native-American Experience (3)
203 The Hispano-American Experience (3)
204 The African-American Experience (3)
205 The Asian-American Experience (3)
242 The Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Experience (3)
301 Comparative Gender Studies (4)
362 Asian-American History (4)

For further information and advisement about this program, contact:
Dr. Larry J. Estrada, Director

I will be the first to admit that there have been great contributions to our cumulative American culture from many people in these groups. I will be the first to admit that our nation would be a lesser nation without these groups. But the fact of the matter is that these groups are not the dominate factor in our culture. Hence, the word “minority” is used to describe these groups.

Like it or not the dominant influence in our American culture is the result of “majority” groups. Our nation exists because of the culture of the majority. A culture that was willing to risk everything in revolt, so that both majority and minority groups could enjoy life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as American citizens.

Where is the study of the dominant American Culture in the course list for “American Cultural Studies?” Am I to assume from the course list, that instructors believe that the only valuable contributions to American culture come from Native, Hispanic, African, Asian, gay, and bisexual cultures? Well that’s the assumption I’m making. Because if it weren’t that way I would be seeing the course distribution somewhat reflect the minority/majority distribution.

All of our kids should grow up proud. Proud of free speech, proud of religious freedom, proud of their heritage, proud to be American. But right now I see that most are growing up making excuses for why they aren’t gay or a racial minority. But now I also see why.

It’s what they are being taught in school.

And did you notice the director of this department? One more reason that he is a danger to America.

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