James W. Loewen quotes

  • The antidote to feel-good history is not feel-bad history but honest and inclusive history.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Feel Good #Honest #Feels

  • People have a right to their own opinions, but not to their own facts. Evidence must be located, not created, and opinions not backed by evidence cannot be given much weight.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #People #Weight #Facts

  • Students will start finding history interesting when their teachers and textbooks stop lying to them.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Teacher #Lying #Interesting

  • Christopher Columbus introduced two phenomena that revolutionized race relations and transformed the modern world: the taking of land, wealth, and labor from indigenous people in the Western Hemisphere, leading to their near extermination, and the transatlantic slave trade, which created a racial underclass.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Race #Land #Two

  • Native Americans are not and must not be props in a sort of theme park of the past, where we go to have a good time and see exotic cultures. “What we have done to the peoples who were living in North America” is, according to anthropologist Sol Tax, “our Original Sin.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Native American #Past #Culture

  • So long as our textbooks hide from us the roles that people of color have played in exploration, from at least 6000 BC to the twentieth century, they encourage us to look to Europe and its extensions as the seat of all knowledge and intelligence. So long as they say “discover,” they imply that whites are the only people who really matter. So long as they simply celebrate Columbus, rather than teach both sides of his exploit, they encourage us to identify with white Western exploitation rather than study it.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Color #Europe #White

  • Columbus not only sent the first slaves acroiss the Atlantic, he sent more slaves than any other individual
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Firsts #Columbus #Slave

  • Unfortunately, marketing textbooks is like marketing fishing lures: the point is to catch fishermen, not fish. Thus many adopted textbooks are flashy to catch the eye of adoption committees but dull when read by students.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Eye #Fishing #Adoption

  • It is always useful to think badly about people one has exploited or plans to exploit.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Thinking #People #Plans

  • The idea that we would operate and amputate healthy tissue from a baby, from an unconsenting minor, to supposedly prevent some hypothetical disease, goes against the Hippocratic oath.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Baby #Animal #Ideas

  • Conclusions are not always pleasant.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Conclusion #Pleasant

  • As a result of the sufferings and hard labor they endured, the Indians choose and have chosen suicide. Occasionally a hundred have committed mass suicide. The women, exhausted by labor, have shunned conception and childbirth . . . Many, when pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in such oppressive slavery.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Suicide #Children #Taken

  • Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat the eleventh grade.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Past #Remember #Grades

  • Cherishing Columbus is a characteristic of white history, not American history.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #White #Columbus #Cherish

  • Textbooks should show that neither morality nor immorality can simply be conferred upon us by history. Merely being part of the United States, without regard to our own acts and ideas, does not make us moral or immoral beings. History is more complicated than that.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Ideas #United States #Doe

  • Taking ideas seriously does not fit with the rhetorical style of textbooks, which presents events so as to make them seem foreordained along a line of constant progress. Including ideas would make history contingent: things could go either way, and have on occasion. The 'right' people, armed with the 'right' ideas, have not always won. When they didn't, the authors would be in the embarrassing position of having to disapprove of an outcome in the past. Including ideas would introduce uncertainty. This is not textbook style.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Past #Ideas #People

  • In sum, U.S. history is no more violent and oppressive than the history of England, Russia, Indonesia, or Burundi - but neither is it exceptionally less violent.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Russia #England #Violent

  • It is always useful to think badly about people one has exploited or plans to exploit... No one likes to think of him or herself as a bad person. To treat badly another person whom we consider a reasonable human being creates a tension between act and attitude that demands resolution. We cannot erase what we have done, and to alter our future behavior may not be in our interest. To change our attitude is easier.
    -- James W. Loewen

    #Attitude #Thinking #People