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An American Affidavit

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

151. Your Family Tree: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

151. Your Family Tree: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

Your Family Tree 

      In 1896, Latin and Slavic immigration exceeded in body count for the first time the  numbers arriving from the ancient lands of the Anglo-Saxons. In certain circles that was  deemed a catastrophe second only to the Deluge. This moment had
been anticipated for  years, of course, and protections for good blood, or "the gene pool" as some preferred to  call it, were popping like corn in the form of exclusionary associations you've seen and  others like them. This was defensive. But other implements of war were being fashioned,  weapons of offensive capability, social engines like modern factory schools, standing  armies, social work empires designed to remake incoming aliens into shapes more  agreeable to the spirit of the "Great Race," a term I'll explain in a moment. This  machinery was grinding out "Americanized" Americans by 1913, just sixty-two years  after the Know-Nothing Party of Massachusetts invented the term.  

     New hereditary societies took a leading hand in Americanization. So did important  monied interests. Chicago financial power got the Children's Court idea rolling at the     beginning of the twentieth century, just as Boston railroad, mining, and real estate  interests had initiated the compulsion school idea in the nineteenth. The Children's Court  institution was nationalized rapidly, a most effective intimidation to use against  uncooperative immigrants. Such courts soon displayed a valuable second side, supplying  children to the childless of the politically better-connected sort with few questions asked.  The similarity of this transfer function to the historic "Baby Trains" of Charles Loring  Brace's "Children's Aid Society" fifty years earlier wasn't lost on the new breed of social  engineer graduating from the right colleges in 1900. 

      These new activist graduates, trained in the Chicago school of sociology and its  anthropological variants by Ross, Cooley, Boas, and other seminal figures, had little  sentimentality about individual destinies or family sovereignty either. All thought in  terms of the collective improvement of society by long-range evolution. In the short run  all were environmental determinists who believed protoplasm was wonderfully  malleable, if not entirely empty.  

     In 1898 the D.A.R., best known of all hereditarian societies, began issuing scientifically  designed propaganda lectures on American history and government. By 1904, the Society  of Colonial Dames was preparing school curriculum. In the same year, the Sons of the  American Revolution distributed millions of pieces of historical interpretation to schools,  all paid for by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Social Register, founded 1887,  quickly became a useful index for the new associational aristocracy, bearing witness to  those who could be trusted with the exciting work underway. Tiffany's started a  genealogy department in 1875 to catch the first business from elites made edgy by The  Descent of Man and, as the century ended, genealogical reference books — the Gore Roll,  Boston's American Armoury and Blue Book, and more — came tumbling off the assembly  line to assist Anglo-Saxons in finding each other.  

     As late as 1929, even with Mein Kampf in bookstalls telling the story of Aryans past and  present, David Starr Jordan, president of Stanford, published his own guide to good  blood, Your Family Tree. It provided in painstaking detail the descent of America's new  industrial aristocracy, from monarchs of great Aryan houses. Abe Lincoln, Grover  Cleveland, and John D. Rockefeller, said Jordan, came out of the house of Henry I of  France; Ulysses S. Grant was in a line from William the Conqueror; Coolidge and  Shakespeare descended from Charlemagne. William Howard Taft, J. P. Morgan, and  Jordan himself from King David of Scotland! So it went. 4 Was this all just simple  amusement or did the game have some implications for the rest of us not so blue-  blooded? Who were these fabulous Aryans the scholars were talking about? What was  this "Great Race"? The answers were to prove both fabulous and chilling.   

4. The Crane plumbing family rejected the coat of arms suggested for them, a hand gripping the handle of a toilet chain with the motto "Apres  moi le deluge."  

The Fatal Sound Shift 

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