Using state open-records laws, the Associated Press has gained access to some embarrassing emails sent by Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue, when he was governor of Indiana. Daniels is shown asking that the work of far-left historian Howard Zinn be banned from state schools. We share Daniels’s opinion of Zinn’s work, which, in our opinion, has blossomed (or mutated) from a minor counter-cultural effort into a bitter nationwide campaign to turn students against their own country.
Daniels’s complaint seemed to be that K-12 students were being force-fed a leftwing version of American history that education officials happened to agree with. He wrote at one point: “This crap should not be accepted for any credit by the state.” Maybe so, but the remedy can’t be politicians using their power to determine the curriculum or impose a version of history they happen to agree with. A call for balance in the curriculum should have been made in the open, with input expected from all sides. Daniels’s behind-the-scenes effort was, in effect, a call to censor an opponent’s ideas. He should apologize.