Today I went to the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office (Michigan’s version of the DMV) to find out what I needed to do to get a Chauffeur’s License, so I could drive the YMCA’s mini-bus. It turns out I have to take an open-“book” test on a tri-fold pamphlet. That’s all. But then I will be “credentialed.” No driving test, no nothin’, and I’ll be able to hold the lives of up to 13 children in my hands.
Sometimes credentials don’t mean nothin’.
But here’s a story via Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub* about a history textbook approved for 4th graders in Virginia that claims “thousands of African Americans formed battalions in the Confederate Army and fought to save the South, during the Civil War — entire battalions under Gen. Stonewall Jackson.” Yes, not only did those slaves love the noble cause of their own subjugation so much that they eagerly fought to defend it, but white southerners had no qualms at all about arming and training thousands of black men. Yeah, sure.
Who could have written such patently obvious nonsense? How about someone who’s not trained as a historian?
Sometimes credentials do mean something.
* Why can’t any of us here think of a great blog name like that?