Prager University’s short and informative video content used to focus on college-aged students. Now they are also providing materials to kids in high school, middle, and elementary schools.
The nonprofit organization recently announced PragerU Resources for Educators and Parents (PREP) to help children “think critically and combat the leftist lessons on gender fluidity, identity politics and defunding the police—among others—that students are forced to learn in many American public and private schools.”
In the wake of PREP’s debut, last week Chinese-owned TikTok permanently blacklisted PragerU from its platform. PragerU has faced censorship from Facebook, Spotify, and YouTube in the past, and it is only a matter of time before these social media monoliths follow TikTok in taking similarly drastic measures.
My mom Rachel Campos-Duffy’s book, “Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom,” is part of PREP and the first featured video in PragerU’s “story time,” videos of children’s books read aloud that “celebrate American values of freedom, individuality, hard work, equality under God and more” for kindergarten through second graders.
“Paloma Want to Be Lady Freedom” is about a Mexican-American immigrant girl who finds herself lost inside the magnificent U.S. Capitol building. She becomes enchanted with the statue of Lady Freedom, a 19-foot-tall bronze woman who sits on top of the U.S. Capitol dome. On her journey, Paloma learns about her immigrant father’s dreams and discovers her own courage and love for America.
The story is based on my little sister, Paloma, who fell in love with Lady Freedom when she was four years old while visiting the Capitol for the first time after my dad was elected to Congress in 2010. On a trip to DC, she decided she wanted to be Lady Freedom when she grows up.
President Lincoln erected Lady Freedom during the Civil War. She’s a beautiful and fierce warrior. She wears a toga-style dress and a Native American-style cape over it. On her head is a helmet adorned with stars and feathers to symbolize her victory over tyranny. In one hand she has a sheathed sword and in the other, she carries a shield and a laurel wreath, another symbol of victory. She faces East because she is keeping her eye on England, always vigilant and protective of our nation’s freedom.
My mom put together a homemade Lady Freedom costume for Paloma on Halloween that year and Paloma constantly carried around a little key chain replica of the statue she got at the Capitol gift shop.
Writing about the “Paloma Wants to be Lady Freedom” video left-wing magazine The American Prospect says it “is innocuously packaged, and at times seems to support immigration. But ultimately, as is the case with much of PragerU’s content, it embraces American exceptionalism, an important strand of conservative ideology.”
The American Prospect then quotes an offending line about American exceptionalism in “Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom”: “I’m glad we went to Washington, D.C., Daddy. I love America.” I love America — horrifying, right?
How did we get here? Why is expressing love for one’s country such a terrible thing? Indians love India. The Japanese love Japan. The Chinese certainly have no problem expressing patriotism and their belief in Chinese exceptionalism. Why is it that in this country it has become taboo to love America? Why is “Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom” and PragerU’s PREP program an outrage?
Our nation’s breakdown of American history knowledge and pride have a lot to do with another book, “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn. Published in 1980, this Marxist-inspired pseudo-history looks at every event in American history through the lens of class warfare. It has sold more than two million copies, gone through five editions, and become the new standard in American history curriculum.
Zinn is no reputable historian; he is an activist. In fact, even leftist historians have pointed out his significant historical errors and omissions in the book. Zinn also openly admitted that he became a “historian” to inspire leftist social revolution: “I came to history with a very sort of modest objective, I wanted to change the world.”
Young consumers of Zinn’s left-wing reinterpretation of the United States have been taught to see America as morally flawed, if not outright evil. “If people knew history,” Zinn proclaimed, “they would scoff at the idea that the United States is a force for the betterment of humanity.” The American left has enthusiastically embraced “A People’s History” and Zinn’s belief that the United States is, at its core and from its inception, a sexist, racist, xenophobic, bigoted, and irredeemable nation.
Stanford University School of Education Professor Sam Wineburg said “A People’s History” went from being a quirky outlier to the new accepted view of American history. “In the 32 years since its original publication, ‘A People’s History’ has gone from a book that buzzed about the ear of the dominant narrative to its current status where, in many circles, it has become the dominant narrative,” said Wineburg. “For many students, ‘A People’s History’ will be the first full-length history book they read, and for some, it will be the only one.”
The narrative of Zinn’s book has permeated all grade levels all over the country. The largest U.S. teachers’ union has a division solely dedicated to advancing Black Lives Matter and encouraging identity politics in schools, right in line with Zinn’s goals. And out of the 100 largest school districts, none have the words “America” or “patriotism” in their mission statements.
This is why we see headlines like, “Illinois Teachers Shamed For Color Of Their Skin In Taxpayer-Sponsored ‘Antiracist’ Training,” “My Kids’ Public School Held A Workshop Teaching The Police Are Racists,” and “Elementary School Forces Third-graders To Deconstruct Their Racial Identities, Then Rank Themselves According To Their “Power And Privilege.”
The devastating repercussions of the American shame narrative include recent race riots, destruction of historical monuments, the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project, and the damaging notion of collective American guilt, especially “white guilt.”
The left’s methods work. They have indoctrinated millions of children into believing America is evil, racist, xenophobic, and bigoted. Most importantly, they want to maintain their ideological monopoly on America’s education system. That is why leftists are so upset PragerU is daring to arm parents, teachers and students with facts, stories, and counter-arguments to the leftist agenda being pushed by public school teachers, unions, librarians, and school boards.
In South Texas, elementary school teacher Judith De La Garza is using “Paloma Wants to Be Lady Freedom” in her classroom to teach children about American history, citizenship, the American Dream, and love of country. She encouraged her students to write about why they are proud to be Americans. Two generations ago, this would not be controversial. Outside of Texas now, however, it could be a fire-able offense for a brave and patriotic teacher.
The left isn’t worried about giving children propaganda; they specialize in propaganda. What they are afraid of is the truth. American shame is the real scam in our education system, and that is why they fear PragerU and its mission.
The left fears elementary students loving the United States and believing in the principles of life and liberty established by the founding fathers and endowed by God himself. They are afraid of teachers like De La Garza discarding the narrative pushed in radicalized teachers colleges, and they are afraid of parents taking an active role in their children’s education. When the left gets this upset, it can only mean that PragerU PREP is over the target.