‘We will teach our children the truth about America’: Trump defends patriotic education plan likened to Hitler Youth

Donald Trump has once again touted his plans for a “patriotic education” commission for American schools to teach children to “love America,” a plan that has been likened to the Hitler Youth programme from Nazi Germany.

“I announced last week that we’re launching a pro-American lesson plan for students. [The] 1776 [Commission],” Mr Trump said to a roar of applause from his supporters at an airplane hangar rally near Dayton, Ohio, on Monday.

“We will teach our children the truth about America — that we are the most exceptional nation on the face of the earth, and we are getting better and better all the time. … No party can lead America that will not teach our children to love America,” the president said.

Shortly after Mr Trump announced his plan for the 1776 Commission last week, “Hitler Youth” began trending on Twitter as users compared the two.

“Since people are (correctly) equating Trump’s new executive order with Hitler’s Youth, here is an interesting factoid,” wrote American author and film producer, Tariq Nasheed. “Hitler’s Youth was actually inspired by the Boy Scouts…Because the Boy Scouts was founded by white supremacist Robert Baden-Powell.”

Mr Trump has made clear his 1776 Commission is intended as a counterweight to the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” whose mission statement says it aims to educate Americans about slavery and the contributions of black Americans to national life.

1619 was the year enslaved Africans were first brought to the American colony of Virginia.

“The left has warped, distorted, and defiled the American story with deceptions, falsehoods, and lies,” Mr Trump said last week.

American universities have “[rewritten] American history to teach our children that we were founded on the principle of oppression, not freedom,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Times told Politico in a statement that the 1619 Project does not strive to teach American children to hate their country but to help them better understand the totality of its history.

“It deepened many readers’ understanding of the nation’s past and forced an important conversation about the lingering effects of slavery, and its centrality to America’s story,” the spokesperson told Politico.

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