The Ancient Greeks are under assault in our schools!

For the last 30 years the Ancient Greeks have been under attack in the American school system. The study of Ancient Greece has been de-emphasized, while the study of classes that often distort Greek history are frequently required.

Many, if not most, students educated in this school system during the last 20 years have no idea about the importance of Ancient Greece. This is tragic since the foundation of Western Civilization began in Greece.

The immortal British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley stated,

“We are all Greeks, our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts have their roots in Greece.”

These words expressed the views of most intellectual and educated Europeans and Americans for hundreds of years, before the recent “trends” of the last 20-30 years.

Emphasizing the importance of Greece in the school systems was a foundation of the educational system in both Western Europe and North America for nearly three centuries. Until the mid 1970s, any student in the American public school system received a generous introduction to Ancient Greece in the 8th grade and again in the 10th grade. In college, students were required to take Western Civilization—and Ancient Greece was definitely emphasized there.

From the mid 1970s a dangerous trend was established in public education to try to make history “sensitive” and “inclusive,” whether it is true or not. One pervasive theme is “multiculturalism” – the notion that all cultures made equal contributions to Western and, specifically, American society.

As a result, in public schools the study of Ancient Greece is frequently minimized or omitted, while the study of non-Western cultures, such as the Islamic religion and Latin-American cultures, are taught as being as significant to American Civilization as Greece, Rome, or Renaissance Europe. The inaccuracy of these assertions does not seem to bother educators who are concerned with “sensitivity.”

On the college level, Western Civilization is no longer required by most universities, while taking classes in ethnic studies and “cultural pluralism” are required. Militant ethnic studies classes frequently teach distortions. In Black Studies classes a theme that is frequently taught is that the Ancient Egyptians were black and that the Ancient Greeks stole most of their core cultural foundations from the black Egyptians.

Some distinguished scholars have responded to this assault on Hellenism.

Two of the most successful are Victor Davis Hanson and Mary Lefkowitz. Hanson co-authored Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom, while Lefkowitz wrote Not out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History. Both Hanson and Lefkowitz have been honored by the Government of Greece for their writings.

These scholars have had some impact, but multiculturalism is still stressed in public schools and ethnic studies distortions are still taught at universities.

A video historical documentary may be the best response to multiculturalist and “pluralist” attacks on Ancient Greece. This documentary will be viewed on mainstream television, used in the classroom, and made available to millions of homes through DVD and VHS.

Additionally, such a documentary may enlighten millions of Americans, including Greek Americans, about the importance of Ancient Greece.

Indeed, many Greek-Americans are not aware of the fact that

Consensual/Constitutional Government
Separation of Church and State
Civilian Control of the Military
Equality Under the Law
Modern Science
The Rational Pursuit of Knowledge, and
Organized Sports Competition