By Mike Sabo for RealClearEducation
Many Americans today accept that the threat of communism subsided with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But “We still see communist and socialist regimes emerging and spreading, not just in Latin America – for example in Venezuela and Nicaragua – but around the world, ”said Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President and CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation (VOC).
“These regimes regularly kill their own citizens and have a devastating effect on human rights and their national economies,” he added.
In fact, more than 1.5 billion people – including those living in Laos, North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba and, of course, China – are currently living under oppressive communist and socialist governments.
Founded in 1993 by a dual, unanimous congressional law, the VOC is “dedicated to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to pursuing the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes.”
Prior to joining the VOC, Bremberg was a representative of the United States Trump administration at the United Nations office and other international organizations in Geneva. During his time there, which he describes as a ‘profound and life-changing experience’, he ‘became aware of the challenge of China’, which was ‘much worse’ than he realized.
He noted that the UN’s International Human Rights Council had made the investigation into the US record of racism during the summer of 2020 a top priority – placing it above China’s horrific human rights abuses against Uighurs, among other ethnic groups within its borders.
“Communist countries have by far the worst record on human rights in the past and present,” Bremberg added. “Their brutality is only surpassed by their lies and disguise.” Seeing this moral imbalance up close, he convinced himself of the ‘need to educate Americans about the dangers of communism today’.
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American civic education, Bremberg says, involves not only the structure of our form of government, but also the world around us. Referring to the competitive claims of the 1619 project and the 1776 commission, he notes that although we would be willing to ‘be self-critical and examine our past’, we should also consider our country in comparison to others, especially those under Communism’s iron fist.
While Bremberg says that the United States has done an excellent job of highlighting the horrors of the Holocaust in K-12 education, he recalls the effect that reading Anne Frank’s personal diary had on students’ generations of students. understanding of communism is weak in comparison.
VOC highlights the devastating record of Communism and the continuing threat it poses to free government by ‘telling powerful stories and highlighting examples of the victims of communism’. He argues that these stories ‘capture our imagination and create deeper connections’ that will help students ‘learn core truths’ that will stick to them.
VOC offers a number resources to just do it. His Witness Project is an award-winning video series featuring victims of communism that tells powerful, heartbreaking stories. One video highlights the gripping journey of Ji Seong-ho, who escaped North Korea by walking tens of thousands of kilometers on crutches. President Trump acknowledges his bravery and courage during a unforgettable momentduring the 2018 State of the Nation Address.
Other programs and content include VOC’s annual National Education Seminar for middle and high school teachers (it will be broadcast live starting next year), a complete curriculum with fact sheets highlighting what communism has accomplished on the world stage, and Communism in the world webinars with thoughtful presentations by experts.
VOC’s three fellowship programs China, Latin America, en Pole function articles, reports, en books by affiliated scholars covering all aspects of communism. The Baltic Fellowship program should start next year with an Estonian scholar working with VOC in DC
Students can visit Victims of the Communism Memorial in Washington, DC, commemorating those killed by communist regimes. Compiled by President George W. Bush on the 20th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s famous speech “Tear Down this Wall”, the statue depicts the “Goddess of Democracy” with a torch – the same statue erected by Chinese students during the famous demonstrations on Tiananmen Square.
Upcoming events include China Forum – a conference with scholars and speakers on the issues and challenges related to the People’s Republic of China – and a event in St. Louis to commemorate the VOC’s Memorial Day, which takes place annually on November 7th.
In 2022, VOC will be proud open A ‘world-class digital integrated museum’ in Washington, DC, which will provide a ‘captivating visitor experience’, a goal of more than 25 years. The museum, located on McPherson Square, will be an “international hub of scholarship and civic engagement for the 21st century anti-communist movement.”
“Through Western capitalism and democracy,” Bremberg argues, “we can better protect human rights and, over time, improve our system through self-justification through civic participation.” 20th and 21st century.
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
Mike Sabo is the editor of RealClear’s American Civics Portal.
The opinions expressed by contributors and / or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Political Insider.