Society is no stranger to flaws in its history. America, in particular, has a lengthy laundry list of shameful blotches on the angelic record it tries to portray. Because of this, partial truths are often told to cover up the true intensity of the mistakes. Partial truths are used to hover surreptitiously over an accurate account while discussing the harder points of the past, yet they aren't entirely honest. However, the United States is not the only repeat offenders of partial truths. Many nations, organizations, and people have a long history with partial truths. There are an incredible number of examples of partial truths that were used throughout the past. Two men with an authoritative amount of knowledge on this matter are Burton Bollag, author of A Confrontation with the Past: The Japanese Textbook Dispute, and Howard Zinn, author of The People's History of the United States. These two authors have done extensive research in matters of partial truths concerning countries and legacies. Their texts break down and discuss the hidden past of the Japanese and the not-so-hidden truth of Christopher Columbus. Also, I will consult a personal essay I wrote on the concept of Santa Clause and why we spin lies for children at young ages. Words and ideas within these works can adequately prove partial truths are used to disguise the absence of integrity while at the same time, insulting those it is cast upon.
[...] Consequentially, partial truths serve an additional purpose: the intentional deception of young children. Another consciously crafted lie fed to children is the myth of Santa Clause. In my essay, “Santa Clause: A Partial Truth”, I compared the god-like image of Santa Clause to the real St. Nicholas that walked the earth in the third century (Battaglia 1-2). Santa Clause and St. Nicholas possess many similar qualities, the most important one being the theme of uncompromised generosity they possessed. However, St. [...]
[...] Rather than accepting the atrocities lying behind these two acts, a Nationalist-influenced publishing company chose to implement an offensive partial truth into its school system. They introduced a new history textbook that didn't teach Japanese children “their country has [only] done bad things” or to apologize” (588). Bollag noted, book justifies the colonization of Korea [ ]it suggests that Japan's subjugation of other Asian peoples was positive [ ] it ignores the sexual slavery forced on the tens of thousands of young women” (558). [...]
[...] Howard Zinn delves into what is possibly the biggest and most disgusting partial truth ever enforced on the American people: the saga of Christopher Columbus and his self-imposed genocide on the native people of the Americas. Zinn draws our attention to the truth of that fabled conquest of 1492. He recants stories of Columbus's zest for gold, slaughtering any Arawak Indian who got in his way (Zinn 4). His methods of murder were brutal and merciless; it was hard to distinguish what fell more often, his sword from his shoulder or lies from his lips Columbus raped and enslaved women and children while killing a large number of Arawaks in astonishing ways; for example, his crew slicing into the skin of the native's to test the sharpness of their blades I strongly doubt that schoolteachers are telling first, second, or third graders about the genocide and torture that was committed by the first American hero. [...]
[...] For this reason, little partial truths seem almost more than acceptable if it means protecting our innocence and name. Yet, no good come from partial truths. To argue and say the truth, specifically for young children, is too difficult to grasp is unacceptable. Lying and insulting the intelligence of students young and old alike is an atrocity of a much deeper degree. Bollag encountered an indignant mother who protested the propaganda her children had be told (Bollag 559-60). There is nothing more important than a good education, and nothing hinders the progress of a solid education than censorship. [...]
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