Trump’s push for ‘patriotic education’ ignores the complexity of our national story

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Florida Today

History is not about exceptionalism. It is about confronting the past to help inform the present. Individuals who only wish to espouse an exceptionalism narrative are ignoring a fundamental truth that must be shared: There are always victims as well as victors, and decisions have consequences.

History also is not simple or straightforward. To argue otherwise is not to fully understand it. The recent call by the Trump administration to counter what he called “the crusade against American history” by pushing “patriotic education” is an example of the oversimplification of our understanding of the past. As the late historian J.M. Roberts famously argued, “History is the story of mankind, of what it has done, suffered, and enjoyed.”

I have spent my career teaching introductory courses to university students in the history of the United States, Europe, Africa, and the world. Students often come to the classroom with a variety of notions about the past: entrenched ideas, misinterpretations, even outright falsehoods. Our primary purpose as educators is to guide and assist in highlighting the basic truth that history is not in fact simple, easy, or straightforward. Yet many want history to be that way. They want to feel good about our past. But as E.H. Carr argued in “What is History?: (1961), “the facts of history never come to us ‘pure,’ since they do not and cannot exist in a pure form.”

Despite the claims by President Trump that “America’s founding set in motion the unstoppable chain of events that… built the most fair, equal and prosperous nation in human history,” the history of this country cannot be told solely through the triumphs and victories of its people, principally because such achievements were rarely without cost. We cannot have an honest conversation about our past if we do not


Scottie Pippen on partnering with American Express and the Calm meditation app to tell the history of basketball in a ‘Sleep Story,’ and the value of mindfulness in his NBA playing career

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Scottie Pippen wearing a blue shirt: Scottie Pippen. Day One Agency

© Day One Agency
Scottie Pippen. Day One Agency

  • Scottie Pippen spoke to Business Insider about partnering with American Express and the Calm meditation app to narrate an audio history of basketball for the app.
  • Pippen also discussed how he and the Chicago Bulls used mindfulness to excel as a team, and called the NBA bubble “pickup basketball” in an extended reflection on it. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

NBA legend Scottie Pippen partnered with American Express and Calm, a meditation app, to narrate an audio history of the game of basketball in a “Sleep Story” that debuted on the app on Tuesday. 

Pippen spoke to Business Insider in a phone interview about the partnership that led to “The History of a Dream,” Calm’s 34-minute audio project intended for sleep induction, written by Charles Duffie and narrated by Pippen.

Through the companies’ partnership, eligible American Express cardholders can access a one-year premium membership with Calm to hear Pippen’s story, as well as a virtual discussion with Pippen and sports psychology expert George Mumford, which will take place on October 8 and donate all ticket proceeds to the Scottie Pippen Youth Foundation.

In our interview, Pippen discussed how he used mindfulness as a tool in his NBA career with the Chicago Bulls. He also gave an extended reflection on the NBA bubble, which he described as “pickup basketball,” singling out Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo’s postseason performance as an indicator that the game in the bubble is comparatively “so easy.”

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

What drew you to this project and this partnership?

Well, lately, I’ve been doing some voiceovers. I did one with Michelob Ultra for the return of the NBA in the bubble. So it’s something I’ve been exploring a little


The story of Trump’s business career, his taxes and his debt

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  • A bombshell New York Times report claims that Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016, and nothing at all for much of the previous decade, a major contrast with his image as a self-made billionaire.
  • Trump’s business career shows a series of flashy and ambitious investments that go bust, sometimes ending in bankruptcy, with Trump moving on from the wreckage each time.
  • Multiple reported windfalls throughout Trump’s career — from inheriting millions as a child to the millions he began earning as a reality-TV star from ‘The Apprentice’ — have given major boosts to Trump’s investments over the decades.
  • Another windfall arguably came in 2016, when Trump was elected president.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Visiting my grandmother in Queens in the late ’80s and early ’90s meant a few things.

There were the M&M’s she always had laying out on her coffee table, usually next to her daily copy of New York Post. There was a haze of cigarette smoke from the Parliaments she was always smoking, and, somewhere in the ether, there was mention of Donald Trump.  

He was everywhere in the tristate area in those years, long before NBC’s “The Apprentice” made him a national figure. His name blanketed the Post’s gossipy Page Six and the buildings up and down I-95, from Atlantic City to Central Park West. 

By the turn of the ’90s, a string of corporate bankruptcies meant that Trump’s name migrated from the sports and gossip pages to other sections of the paper. This set in motion a long-running series of reports on Trump business failures that may have culminated with the New York Times’ bombshell from this weekend. Tax records show Trump claimed chronic losses for much of the last decade, per the Times, leading to just a