HB 395/ SB 268 is another one of those bills that aims to distort history in pursuit of a particular (possibly harmful) ideology.
HB 395 is getting its first reading in the House on February 22nd.
Its companion bill SB 268 has one more committee to go: Senate Appropriations
Here is a rough draft of talking points:
- The countries mentioned in the bill are totalitarian centralized command post countries that do not embrace democracy. Democracy embraces the concept of letting all voices be heard. It is telling that similar fascist countries are left off the list in the bill. This bill could be amended to something I might actually support.
- By using words such as marxist and communist, it moves the narrative away from the true dangers facing our country by distorting historical facts. The true dangers facing our country are the attempts at silencing the voice of the people by voter suppression laws and attacks on teaching the facts of history in our public schools.
- One of the ideologies that helps make our country great is that cities and businesses can experiment with what works as compared to a centralized command post that controls all production.
- Instead of what this bill suggests, curricula could be suggested to point out how our Constitution helps prevent violent revolutions. The course might include the history of violent revolutions that might have been prevented if the voice of the people had been considered in the running of the government. The course work might include the value of hearing all voices compared to totalitarian/authoritarian regimes. The course work might include a discussion of the First Amendment which protects free speech, the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
- Certainly the confiscation of private property and Fidel’s brutality has left many Cuban immigrants and humanitarians angry.
- Problems with the bill: It could be argued that the economic hardships in Cuba since the revolution were caused by the US embargo and not by the form of government practiced in Cuba. Also the bill downplays what led to the Cuban revolution:
- Corruption had been an issue in Cuba since the establishment of the Republic of Cuba in 1902. Politics and power were seen as means for the elites to further enrich themselves and accumulate personal wealth whilst in office. Worsened by nepotism, people grew to accept and work within the system, acknowledging they needed bribes in order to achieve certain ends. Batista seized power by violence which undermined the notions of democracy.