Kevin M. Kruse @KevinMKruse Historian. Author/editor of White Flight; The New Suburban History; Spaces of the Modern City; Fog of War; One Nation Under God; Fault Lines. Feb. 28, 2019 3 min read

More than a hundred academic historians mock you for being a hack and your response is to pull up an article you wrote two years ago ... for Breitbart?

Fine, let's do this.

First of all -- as always with D'Souza -- he begins with a claim that historians are hiding facts that we've actually written about extensively.

D'Souza repeatedly claims historians are hiding the Democratic Party's past support of slavery and segregation -- which is a bizarre claim for anyone who, unlike him, ever took a US history course in college.

Several people on that list, including me, have written books on this.

D'Souza has claimed that "progressive history textbooks" hide these central facts and, when I've provided countless examples that cover it directly and asked him for examples of textbooks that hide it, he has repeatedly run away.

See here:

Second -- as always with D'Souza -- he then seizes upon this extensively covered theme that he pretends he has "discovered" and, unlike any real scholar, cherry-picks his examples and ignores any evidence that contradicts his predetermined conclusions.

Yes, Southern Democrats were responsible for all Jim Crow laws in the South! (Welcome to 10th grade US history! You must be new here.)

And ...

Republicans in the North sanctioned those laws. The author of Plessy v. Ferguson, for instance, was a Republican from Michigan.

Yes, the Nazis drew on those Southern Democratic Jim Crow laws!

And ...

The Nazis drew even more from the Immigration Act of 1924, authored by two Republicans and signed by Republican President Calvin Coolidge.

After dwelling at length on Southern Democrats and Jim Crow, D'Souza yadda yaddas past the Immigration Act, ignoring the party of the people behind it -- which he's *just* condemned other authors for doing -- and claiming that they were all "progressives."

Really? Coolidge?

I don't think I need to waste any time explaining that Republican President Calvin Coolidge wasn't a "progressive," but in case it needed explaining, the congressmen behind the bill -- Rep. Albert Johnson (R-WA) and Sen. David Reed (R-PA) were thoroughly conservative as well.

Here's Johnson in 1920 defending the Palmer raids against "alien radicals" by saying that the country needed more laws "to make conservatives feel safe."

Here's Reed in a 1926 piece, described as the embodiment of "utterly orthodox, utterly conservative" Pennsylvania.

This is all evidence that D'Souza ignores, because he's only interested in scoring points against (liberal) Democrats today by tying them to (conservative) Southern Democrats of a century ago.

Anything that makes conservatives or Republicans look as bad is simply ignored.

And when actual historians -- like @TimothyDSnyder or Norman Rich -- cast blame on all white Americans for things like Manifest Destiny, immigration restriction or Jim Crow's rise, D'Souza bizarrely claims that *they're* the ones carrying water for one side in a partisan fight.

That's not how real scholars handle these issues.

And again, actual scholars *have* covered this!

Here's James Whitman's book Hitler's American Model, which stresses the role of the Republicans' Johnson-Reed Act *and* Democrats' Jim Crow laws alike:  https://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-American-Model-United-States/dp/0691172420 

In sharp contrast to actual scholars who assign responsibility wherever the evidence leads them without their partisan blinders on, we have this rant from the far fringe's favorite dress-up doctorate:

D'Souza looks to history for validation of his childish worldview -- My Team Good! Your Team Bad! -- cherrypicking evidence that supports it and ignoring everything that contradicts it.

That's not how actual scholars handle American history.

I could go on here, but I have real work to do -- for students who actually *did* enroll in a US history course, and who actually seem to understand it -- so I'll wrap it up.

But I have to note that it's odd for D'Souza to write an essay blaming Democrats for their ties to segregation and eugenicists (while ignoring any Republican ties), in which the one scholar he cites as supporting him ... founded a eugenics institute with segregationist money.


You can follow @KevinMKruse.



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