Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator?  Why has every man a conscience then?  I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward.  It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right.

– Henry David Thoreau in Civil Disobedience (1849)

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.

– Frederick Douglass

Civil disobedience is as American as apple pie. In fact, one of the most memorable moments in the formation of the republic was the Boston Tea Party, a much celebrated and historic act of civil disobedience.

From colonists dressed as Native Americans dumping East India Company tea into the Boston Harbor, to Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience. From Rosa Parks, to Martin Luther King Jr., civil disobedience has been a significant part of what has made these United States free, and is a tactic that should be elevated and encouraged, rather than censored and demonized.

Fortunately, the burning desire for truth and resistance is alive and well in Jefferson Country, Colorado, where students and teachers joined together in protest against an outlandish proposal to censor “civil disobedience topics” from the AP history curriculum, in order to focus on: “patriotic material, respect for authority, and the free-market system.” I’m not sure what free markets have to do with censorship, but ok.

More from the Denver Post:

GOLDEN — Dozens of Evergreen High School students walked out of their morning classes on Monday and carpooled to the Jefferson County School Administration Building to protest what they see as the school board’s attempt to censor advanced history curriculum.

“I want honesty in my classroom,” the students said in a letter presented to Superintendent Dan McMinimee, who spoke with four student representatives and the board. “Teachers want honesty in the classroom.”

The protest followed a teacher sick-out that closed two schools last week. Schools were back open on Monday despite rumors that educators might not show again. Students said similar protests are planned for the rest of the week.

“We came in as a preventative measure,” said Mali Holmes, a senior at Evergreen.

The group of 100 to 200 students protested for about 45 minutes before returning back to school, specifically asking that civil disobedience topics not be removed from the AP U.S. History course. Student leaders told The Denver Post that the gathering was planned on Facebook late Sunday night.

The curriculum controversy stems from a board member’s proposal to form a review panel to promote patriotic material, respect for authority, and the free-market system. In turn, the panel would avoid material about “civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.”

Several parents also attended the protest to support their children, including David Temple, who, along with his son, met with McMinimee.

Add this to the list of absurd, Orwellian stories from 2014.


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