Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, professor, and author of Debunking Howard Zinn, Mary Grabar to the newsmakers line to discuss her new book and some background into Zinn and the Communist Party USA.
Leahy: We are joined now on our newsmaker line by Mary Graybar. She’s the author of Debunking Howard Zinn Exposing the Fake History That Turned a Generation Against America. She is a resident fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the study of Western civilization in Clinton, New York. Good morning Professor Graybar.
Grabar: Good morning.
Leahy: We’re delighted to have you on the program. by the way, I grew up not far from where you are this very moment. I grew up in Munsville New York, which is near Oneida. just south of 97 miles. I attended Stockbridge Valley Central school when they were not teaching Howard Zinn. (Chuckles)
Grabar: (Chuckles) Oh, there there was a place when they weren’t teaching Howard Zinn.
Leahy: There was a place in time. So you grew up in Slovenia when it was still part of Communist Yugoslavia.
Grabar: Sorry. I didn’t grow up there. I came here when I was two.
Leahy: Oh you were born there.
Grabar: Yeah. Yeah, I grew up in Rochester, New York.
Leahy: Oh not too far away. I grew up right around there. I was actually born in Oswego. So I know that neck of the woods. So tell us about Debunking Howard Zinn. When did you become aware of the ubiquitous Anti-American nature of this Howard Zinn book that has Basically dominated K12 public education for many years now?
Grabar: Well, it was around 2008. I wasn’t yet completely canceled from teaching. I was teaching in Georgia. teaching college. I have a Ph.D. in English. I’d gone through the torture of graduate school. I managed to find some good professors and I started writing about the corruption of education from the inside and. Howard Zinn was still alive.
And I wrote an article about him and then I presented a report that I wrote at a conference upon the release of his FBI file shortly after he died in 2010. and that’s close to 500 pages. And what that revealed upon examination by another historian was that Howard Zinn had been a member of the Communist Party USA in the late 1940s and early 1950s. And so I started looking into him and had proposed this book back in 2011.
And the project fell through. and then I was contacted again in 2017. and I’ve been keeping track of Howard Zinn and his very very popular people’s history of the United States which has broken all kinds of sales records. And so I started writing this book in late 2017 and it came out in the summer of 2019. I couldn’t even imagine what I would find in terms of the Distortion, the manipulation of information, and the outright lies, you know that are in this is pseudo-history book that’s used in classrooms across the country.
Leahy: Why is it been so widely adopted? Because I think you know by the time it came out 1980 we already had the long march into the institutions of the radical professors from the 1960s who avoided the draft and who were neo-Marxist in their thinking. The way it had been prepared for him, so we were kind of used to these new interpretations of history according to a Marxist blind.
And he just took it the next step further and basically wrote a communist version of American history. I mean, you can go back to Marx and Engels and you see a lot of that and Howard Zinn’s book and William Z. Foster the CPUSA chairman and the 1950s who by the way was the chairman while Zinn was in the Communist Party. And so we kind of heard echoes of it, but he really outright lies in the book.
He distorts the evidence, leaves out keywords, and makes things up. And what I did is I just went through the key chapters in his book with a fine-tooth comb and looked up the sources and looked up what the real histories and exposed him. And also he also plagiarizes by the way, which would automatically get your book kicked out if you or someone other than Howard Zinn.
Leahy: Wow. How has your book been received?
Grabar: It’s been well received as you can imagine in conservative circles and people who care about American history. If you go to the Amazon page, you’ll see overwhelmingly that I have five stars. And then the next biggest category is one star and these are not the verified purchasers and they haven’t even cracked the cover of the book because there really are Zinn worshippers out there.
They believe he is the be-all and end-all as far as historians are concerned and they just will close their eyes and stop up their ears if you say anything bad about him. So there really is this cult-like following. And I think it emerges from the fact that his book is used in the lower grades. There’s a young people’s history of the United States.
Leahy: If you bring your book to any K-12 Board of Education and you were to say read this book and throw out Howard Zinn’s books from the curriculum. What kind of response would you get?
Grabar: Well they tend to be wishy-washy. People don’t really understand the extent of how much he distorts history. And they tend to think well, you just need two different views of it, even of history, even if one is based on falsehoods. And so they tend to you know not be well-informed. A person who is well informed I would hope would pick up the book and find the evidence for these charges that have been made against Howard Zinn for four decades. For decades now, others have been complaining about his distorted history. But what I do is I look at the particular points he makes, look at passages, and expose what he does to distort the real history and make it into a communist version of American history.
Leahy: Do you have any hope for the future of public education and in the study of history in America?
Grabar: It looks pretty grim right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I was hopeful with President Trump’s move of The 1776 commission has got some great people on there. Carol Swain was the co-chair and there was some Hope For Real reform. I was at that conference on Constitution Day and President Biden is just dismantling everything. I think the way to begin is to just keep kids out of public school. (Gasps) If I had a small child today, I would keep him or her out of school. Definitely and even if they’re in a private school keep a close eye on what they’re being taught because a lot of these teachers find their ways into private schools and they’ve been radicalized in their own education and try to impose that on young children and teenagers.
Leahy: It’s interesting. You say keep your kids out of public schools. That’s what I’ve been saying here on the air for well over a year. I think the kids come out and they hate America. This is not a good thing.
Grabar: Yeah, they really have been brainwashed and it’s not only by what you know the facts that Howard Zinn distorts and presents but it’s also the way the information is presented. It’s very emotionally manipulative. The teachers are teaching social and emotional learning there are (Inaudible talk) and that’s kind of exposed in his book. So yeah, it’s it’s really really really dangerous.
Leahy: Mary Graybar, author of Debunking Howard Zinn Exposing the Fake history that turned a generation against America. You can buy the book on Amazon. Mary, will you come back for a more extended discussion of where we can go in the future with our kids?
Grabar: Oh, absolutely I’d love it.
Listen to the full second hour here:
– – –
Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Image “Mary Grabar” by Mary Grabar
Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the Independent Women’s Forum Senior Policy Analyst, Patrice Onwuka to the newsmakers line.
During the second hour, Onwuka reviewed the Biden administration’s COVID relief package that would essentially bail out blue cities and states and sweeping legislation not mentioned on the campaign trail. She also forewarned in the coming weeks of rubber-stamped legislation that would be detrimental to American workers and families and highlighted the hypocrisy of the left.
Leahy: We are joined once again by Patrice Onwuka of the Independent Women’s Forum a very important writer here. And she’s been tracking what’s been going on with the Biden administration. I think you’re perhaps less enthused about it than many in Washington D.C. are. Welcome, Patricia. Thanks so much for joining us today.
Onwuka: Absolutely. Thank you for having me, Michael Patrick.
Leahy: By Patrice that that is very common. People actually refer to me as Patrick sometimes because it’s in their mind that Senator Patrick Leahy my distant cousin whom I’ve never met. Distant cousin. Is perhaps the most famous Leahy of the world at the moment. And I have to say we’ve never met and although I did invite him to be on a Leahy Family Feud program back in 2009 when I was at the PJTV with a little Internet TV show.
He declined. We’re on opposites of the spectrum. But he does look a bit like my grandfather. (Chuckles) I’ll tell you that. You have been talking and writing a little bit about the Biden administration. What’s your current take on what they’re up to?
Onwuka: It’s distressful. Frankly all of the things that then-candidate Biden at the time hid. Everything from his energy policies to his labor policies that he didn’t cover on the campaign trail. But we’re now seeing between the sweeping executive orders that were passed within the first month to now this $1.9 trillion COVID relief package which has everything and the kitchen sink that Democrats have always wanted to pass through.
And that’s just the start. I think over the next few weeks we are going to see some major sweeping legislative proposals that he has been rubber-stamped. Everything from election changes to labor policies. It’s going to be scary for the American worker and the American family.
Leahy: Yes. I must agree with you about that. Many Republicans have said look this one point nine trillion-dollar coronavirus relief package as it’s called, only about nine percent of the one point nine trillion dollars actually goes for Coronavirus relief. About 350 billion goes to bailouts for fiscally irresponsible blue cities and blue states. There is a lot of other pork in that bill as well.
Onwuka: Oh absolutely. There’s money for union pension. Money for Planned Parenthood. For the universities for the arts. Even Nancy Pelosi, she’s going to be bringing home tens of billions of dollars to California for things like transit projects. So it’s not surprising that that that I think progressives or those on the left would try and use this massive sweeping spending bill to tuck their favorite pet projects in there and hope that because it has the name COVID relief that people will just pass it right off the bat.
We did see that the House passed the bill. Although there were there was enough pushback from Democrats. And the question is what’s going to happen when it comes up for a vote in the Senate either this week or next week? And not surprisingly it’s going to be a party-line vote. However, they’ve got to ensure that all 50 of their Democrats stay in line. If not, this bill could be sunk.
Leahy: So the two Democratic senators whose names come up most often as possible opponents to the bill are Manchin of West Virginia and Kristen Sinema of Arizona. Do you have any indications reading the tea leaves of where they stand?
Onwuka: Because the $15 minimum wage increases if not likely to be part of the final package. They’re more likely to vote Yes. Now that’s not guaranteed but that $15 federal minimum wage hike was going to be the death knell for this whole bill. Now thankfully we saw the parliamentarian the person who decides, what can and cannot be in a sweeping spending bill like this.
She said hey, no this can’t be in there. Unfortunately, Senator Bernie Sanders was very sad. I insert the meme of him sitting with his legs folded and a sad face because this was really his pet that $15 minimum wage. So because it’s not likely to pass with that in there I think you’ll see Sinema and Manchin come on board. Now, that’s not to say that that something someone else may not hop out. I mean, it’s like a basket of kittens you put one in another one can come out if they don’t get some guarantees or something in that bill that they really want for their folks.
Leahy: I’d be curious as to your reaction to President Trump’s speech at CPAC over the weekend. Did you like it? Do you think he was on top of his game? And who reported on that? I didn’t see much of it in the mainstream media.
Onwuka: No, I think Fox News maybe and Newsmax and some of those more right leading Outlets or are actually independent leading outlets. They covered it. I watched a speech I thought I would have loved to have seen more of this President Trump on the campaign trail because he really number one touted a lot of the great accomplishments that his administration passed on everything from Immigration policies shoring up our borders to the robust economies we had going into the coronavirus pandemic.
And thank goodness the economy was as strong as it was because I think that has softened the blow for workers and I know we’ve got millions of people who are still unemployed. But I think it could have been worse. So he did a great job of laying out what he did when he was in office and then contrasting with what Joe Biden is doing.
His far swing to the left and the fact that a lot of these policies that he kept on the campaign trail and that the media did not ask him about we’re now seeing. And so I think it’s in its opening the eyes of many people. I wish you’d stayed away from the electoral stuff and kind of the campaign was stolen language.
But he absolutely did redefine that the Republican Party is a party based on ideas and policies of low taxes, leadership, America first policies that prioritize American workers and American businesses, and of secure safe borders and safe neighborhoods and communities. Those are really strong conservative topics and issues and I think he’s saying this is who we are.
Leahy: Patrice and woke us senior policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. One word comes to mind when I look at what Joe Biden is doing with the Biden administration is doing what all the Democrats in Congress are doing. That word is hypocrisy. (Laughter) and you know, there’s a case in point. Did you see the story about what the leader of the California teachers union has been doing?
Onwuka: Oh, yes. Oh yes. (Chuckles)
Leahy: Tell our audience about this because it just I mean I saw this and my eyes glazed over.
Onwuka: Oh this guy, he’s priceless. He’s a young man with a little girl and I think she was in Pre-K or a Kindergartner. He was walking her to Pre-K in the morning. Both of them wearing their masks crossing the street. And that should be fine right? Except he is the president of the teachers’ unions in one of the biggest I think cities or maybe the across the state of California and he is taking his daughter to a private institution where she’s able to learn and play.
Leahy: In person!
Onwuka: In person. But all of the kids in California in a lot of districts in public schools do not have that blessing or that benefit. And I think it highlights the hypocrisy of a lot of these leftist leaders and particularly teachers’ union folks who rail against school choice. Who rail against the idea that poor kids should be able to take the federal funds that go to public school and take those two private options, to parochial schools, to charter schools, or even homeschooling and giving them that choice these folks they have a choice they can afford to pay for private school.
They can afford to pay for private tutors, but they do not want to give that to you know, the poor black and brown kids. And hey, by the way, listeners, I’m a Black kid. I grew up in a poor neighborhood with an immigrant family and I made it. And thank goodness. I wish my story could be replicated because of school choice but the teachers’ unions will not allow it.
Leahy: Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum. Thanks so much for joining us again. And please come back and come visit us in Nashville.
Onwuka: Alright. Thank you, Mike.
Listen to the full third hour here:
– – –
Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Patrice Onwuka” by Independent Women’s Forum.