Lies My Teacher Told Me

Topics: United States, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Americas Pages: 2 (450 words) Published: September 2, 2013
America is a country of many origins from many different people over time. Today, however, most Americans don’t know the whole truth about their country’s history because they are taught an extremely revised version of their past. It is important for all U.S. citizens to understand how our country came to be so that we can all share pride for where we’ve come from and what we’ll become.

Loewen spends a chapter discussing the truth and lies surrounding Christopher Columbus and other early explorers and conquerors of the Americas. During the time periods Columbus and other explorers “discovered” what is now known as North and South America and Europeans began settling and using it to benefit themselves. Columbus set the example for Europeans who came to the Americas following his visit in regards to treatment of the native people, their lands, and goods. Columbus is often portrayed as a pivotal person in the settlement of the New World in the late fourteen hundreds and later on, yet his story is severely molded to make him into an ideal American hero for the public to celebrate the good and noble works of, ignoring the fact that he enslaved American Indians and robbed them of valuables. Loewen most likely chose his story because it is taught incorrectly to students from a young age and Columbus helped in causing explorers after him to come to the New World and treat it the same way he did. Columbus is one of the first American heroes, based on how U.S. history textbooks describe him, yet while he is significant in a sense, there is very little that is accurately taught about him.

The worst parts of America’s past have not forever corroded our noble intentions. It is important for people to know both the good and the bad about their past so they can truly understand and know where they’ve come from, but the bad doesn’t always outweigh the good. For instance, the fact that the Pilgrims stole from Native Americans and dug up graves for various items...
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