Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Philo Has A Revelation, Pats Self On The Back

   Recently, while perusing the stat-counter for this blog, I made a discovery that actually put a smile on my face. By far the most viewed post I've written here at RtR is the one on America, Mexico, and the American Southwest. More people have hit that page than any other two posts combined. People from dozens of counties, numerous states, and various government agencies have spent time sifting through the piece, which I wrote at the height of the Arizona immigration fight.

   The purpose of the post was to share some information on the various things that took place before, during, and after the acquisition of what we now call the Southwestern United States. I'll be the first to admit that despite fancying myself as something of a history buff, I was floored by how much I didn't know while doing the research. The Mexican government forced settlers to learn how to speak Spanish and required all official business to be written in Spanish? Kind of interesting considering the push-back one often gets at the mere mention of making English the official language of the US. Or how about the fact that settlers, in return for land grants, had to convert to Catholicism by order of the Mexican government? Bet you didn't know that little ditty did ya? I certainly didn't.
   Now, back to my stat-counter revelation.  It's not just that it's my most viewed writing here, it's who makes up the vast majority of the readers: people using school networks. Teachers and students in schools from California to New York, Florida to Oregon have read those facts, which we all know are not taught to our children anymore. That information, which has been so horribly skewed, ignored, twisted, or just plain forgotten is being accessed at the one place were it should be widely available, but is in reality almost completely absent. And that realization made me smile.