Video: Santorum Says California Universities Don’t Teach American History; Colbert, Maddow Debunk

This one’s been making the rounds, in case you’ve yet to oversaturate yourself with first-class flubs emanating from presidential contenders.

Rick Santorum, the increasingly likely runner-up in the GOP nominating marathon, took a wild swipe on Monday at higher education in California while he was campaigning in Wisconsin. He said…

I was just reading something last night, from the state of California. And the California universities, I think it’s seven or eight of the California system of universities, don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught. Just to tell you how bad it’s got in this country, where we’re trying to disconnect the American people from the roots of who we are, so they have an understanding of what America should be.

Here’s the video, from ThinkProgress:

Not sure what Santorum was reading, but it wasn’t the University of California web site, which states, “All undergraduate degree programs at UC require study in American history and institutions. This requirement may be met through examination or enrollment in specific courses.”

Despite multiple rounds of budget cuts at both UC and CSU, American history is still taught at both. The Chron’s Politics Blog reports…

Both [UC and CSU] offer American history courses at all their campuses. Even UCSF, a medical school, offers a Ph.D. in Anthropology, History and Social Medicine which offers a concentration in history of American medicine.

All 23 CSU campuses offer a variety of American history courses, said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp. Students are required to take several of those courses or test out of them in order to graduate.

Here’s MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow debunking/reveling in Santorum’s misstatement…

Now here’s Colbert

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Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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