As part of Pastors for Oklahoma Kids, an urgent message arrived in my email this week: Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters established a new “partnership” with PragerU, a radically conservative media company attempting to provide school resources nationwide.

“All these videos will be available for all the teachers in Oklahoma,” Walters told News9. “We think PragerU does a great job of doing that without any kind of left-wing indoctrination.”

Walters, along with other state representatives and national figures such as Republican primary presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, contend that America’s public schools are filled with left-leaning propaganda.

PragerU’s mission on its website claims: “We promote American values through the creative use of educational videos that reach millions of people online. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Prager University Foundation (“PragerU”) offers a free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education. Whether you’re searching for a deeper understanding, a new perspective, or a way to get involved, PragerU helps people of all ages think and live better.”

PragerU’s 2023 biannual report claims its YouTube Channel received over 5 million views per day.  Over 1 million people have downloaded its app, while over 6 million people have subscribed to its emails.

More startling is that its website received over 26 million unique visitors in 2022, its kids’ content has been viewed over 33 million times, and it has sold over 70 million books. PragerU is extremely well funded, as Vanity Fair pointed to the millions of dollars in donations the nonprofit has received from conservative mega donors.

PragerU has grown into an enormously dangerous conservative tool, now being offered to children in public schools. Conservative politicians attempt to manipulate voters (namely parents and grandparents) into believing public schools have been overcome by wokeism, a term they equate with left-leaning ideology.

However, their rhetoric is simply more of the same: misdirection and manipulation. Conservatives are more upset that their worldviews and privileges are now being questioned by extensive research, an honest assessment of history, and the truth of our current realities.

For example, PragerU claims that America was not founded by Europeans stealing lands from Indigenous peoples. Europeans were curious explorers. They did not intend to kill millions of Indigenous peoples with their diseases.

Furthermore, the European invasion of the Americas was really about the much-accepted practice of conquest and conversion. According to PragerU, anyone with half of a brain realizes that if a group of people cannot defend their lands, they don’t deserve to keep them.

Now, let’s address slavery. PragerU wants kids to know that white people did not “invent” slavery, nor did it start in America. Moreover, they want children to realize that white people were also the ones to start ending slavery. In essence, they want to claim that white people were the saviors of slaves.

In addition, PragerU claims that “no one is guiltless regardless of skin color.” They repackage an old misdirection of the truth by noting how Africans sold other Africans into slavery. “They sold them,” they state, “for items as trivial as mirrors and gin.”

Finally, they point out that slavery still exists today, primarily in the same sub-Saharan countries where slaves were taken from previously. They note that non-white people are practicing modern-day slavery.

These misleading projections seem to absolve white men of any responsibility regarding slavery. PragerU’s rhetoric and tactics are not new as white supremacists have been using this same messaging for centuries.

Thankfully, however, many public school districts refuse to use the materials. In states like Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, school officials recognize the dangers of PragerU’s erroneous content.

Yet, the question of next steps in states like Florida, Texas and Oklahoma looms. Can state legislatures and elected officials pass legislation forcing public schools to use PragerU’s materials? One only has to look to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill to find the answer.

People of good faith—conservatives, liberals and independents—must wake up and realize what is happening. A radical, right-wing populace in the country is attempting to undermine freedom and democracy.

They are trying to rewrite history through the ideology of white supremacy. They are not looking to use best research practices to find the truth. They are making history fit their narratives. Now, they want to offer this history to our children.

Let me leave you with this final thought. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum: “Education in the Third Reich served to indoctrinate students with the National Socialist worldview. Nazi scholars and educators glorified Nordic and other ‘Aryan’ races, while labeling Jews and other so-called inferior peoples as parasitic ‘bastard races’ incapable of creating culture or civilization.”

The Nazis’ tactics should send shivers down our spines: “The Nazi regime purged the public school system of teachers deemed to be Jews or to be ‘politically unreliable.’”

The indoctrination of children won out in Nazi Germany, “Schools played an important role in spreading Nazi ideas to German youth. While censors removed some books from the classroom, German educators introduced new textbooks that taught students love for Hitler, obedience to state authority, militarism, racism, and antisemitism.”

“Never forget” is quickly turning into “never remember.”

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