College Students Flunk Korea Quiz – Shocked At What They Learned

December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


The danger of the Trump/Pence regime launching, or provoking a war with North Korea becomes more imminent every day. Yet the degree to which people in this country have been kept ignorant of the most basic knowledge about the horrific war that the U.S. launched against North Korea in 1950 is extremely alarming. What follows are recent reports sent to on taking out the quiz Before You Go Along With and Give Your Silent Approval to the Murder of Tens of Millions Koreans, Take This Quiz and See How Much You Really Know! to students at the elite University of Chicago, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the U.S., and at Columbia College. This represents a very small sampling of students, but the resulting scores are indicative of the important work that needs to be done with this test—this is a test that needs to be taken broadly to high schools as well as universities and junior colleges. And even as the universities must be defended from the vicious attacks from the fascists, it is important that students and others understand that they are still getting educated through a very narrow prism that reinforces ignorance, an upside-down (or from-me-out) view of the world and, ultimately, chauvinism—especially on issues touching on the essential nature of U.S. relations to the rest of the world.

We would like people who see these reports to take out the quiz to campuses and send in the scores to (send to


Columbia College Students Take Korea Quiz—Shocking or Not-Too-Shocking Answers and Response

From a reader:

A couple of us in the Revolution Club together with someone newly involved with Refuse Fascism went to Columbia College in Chicago to get out the pop quiz on the history of the U.S. invasion of North Korea. There was a challenge at first in getting people to recognize the importance of the quiz, why it matters that people are so ignorant about these basics facts while Trump and his fascist regime drag the world closer to WW3 and nuclear war. This subject is so often treated as barely a footnote in history, while U.S. politicians routinely tell people to be concerned about the grave threat that North Korea poses to the world, and presents the people of North Korea as a faceless mob when they are mentioned at all.

We did start to puncture that, however, and quite a few people were provoked by the challenge being put out: “People are being silent while Trump threatens to totally destroy North Korea. Take the pop quiz; see if Columbia students know ANYTHING about the history of the U.S. invasion of North Korea.” We would also read out some of the questions from the quiz at times. In total, we had about a dozen students who stopped and took the quiz on the spot. Similar to any quiz students get in school, they took it seriously with some students smiling nervously at some questions, and all of them anxious about what they would get wrong. When they were done, we would go over their answers with them and grade the quiz. There was a common reaction of shock and surprise. One of the most common questions answered incorrectly, and which stood out in vivid shock, was the question about how many buildings in North Korea taller than one story high were destroyed by U.S. bombing. The answer is over 99 percent. People reacted viscerally, imagining the city of Chicago with only one-story tall buildings.

In addition to engaging people around the quiz, those of us in the Revolution Club were showing some of the students a clip from Bob Avakian’s talk The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go! In the Name of Humanity, We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America. A Better World IS Possible, where BA takes on gross American chauvinism and challenges people to “Free yourself from the GTF—The Great Tautological Fallacy.” This got people to really think about not JUST all the important facts about the U.S. role in the world that they don’t know anything about, but also how they have been trained to think about the U.S. role in the world. Some students, even when horrified by the reality of what the U.S. did in North Korea, were still trying to wrap their heads around why the U.S. would do these things, and had trouble coming to terms with the idea that America may NOT be a force for good in the world. Again, this was even from people who were actually concerned, not just about the ugly history, but also about the dangers of the Trump/Pence fascist regime. So with everyone we watched the clip with we told them about the need to listen to the entire talk from BA and the Q&A to really get a full picture of what we are facing and what can be done.

With most of the students who took the quiz, it opened an opportunity to get deeper into the stakes of WW3, the nightmare of the Trump/Pence fascist regime, and what we must do to end this nightmare. Students were challenged to act based on their understanding, not just about North Korea, but what humanity and the planet face. Many of the students we engaged with wanted to be involved. One student expressed enthusiasm for establishing a Refuse Fascism chapter in school. Through all this, we engaged people with the mission of Refuse Fascism, invited people to an upcoming potluck, and challenged them to become part of driving out this regime.

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Case #93: U.S. Invasion of Korea—1950

Read more

The U.S. Air Force carpet-bombed Korea, destroying every building in the North more than one-story tall.

University of Chicago Students Flunk the Korea Quiz

From a reader

A couple of us went out to the University of Chicago (UChicago) today and gave students the Pop Quiz on Korea posted at and (Please take it yourself and share results: Before You Go Along With and Give Your Silent Approval to the Murder of Tens of Millions Koreans, Take ThisQuiz and See How Much You Really Know!) We distributed a couple hundred quizzes and were able to grade seven of them. At this premiere center of intellectual life, home of the most elite students, the average score was 60 percent correct. Basically, they flunked the test about a subject that is not trivial but involves Trump’s threats of nuclear annihilation against North Korea. It is of note that a leading scholar on Korea, UChicago faculty member Bruce Cumings, has been exposing the actual background and history of U.S. aggression against North Korea.

I asked one student who stopped, “How do you look at the level of danger represented by this nuclear threat, compared to the relative ignorance and complacency among students? What does ‘normalization’ look like here?” He said that on election night he was part of the “primal scream” as hundreds of students converged in the Quad to.... scream in horror. But now his peers just see Trump as a joke. I myself was at this “primal scream,” which was replicated on several campuses, and was organized in minutes on Facebook as the harsh realization of Trump’s election set in. I had watched the 2016 election returns at the Divinity School and ran out thrilled to hear the commotion converging on the Quad.

Another student initially raised this: “What is really important to me was what Trump could do in his field of study which is how he could contribute to humanity in the future.” I asked, “What future?” I posed the question that Bob Avakian posed to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman after he said Trump represents an existential threat to humanity. If this is true, what is the commensurate response? He thought and said, “What can I do?” A lot as it turns out, including as he explained he’s involved in UChicago student organizations.

A researcher we met told us how horrified she was when Trump got elected. Despairingly, she realized Trump was not gonna play by the rules. She told how she went to med school in Texas and was involved in the famous pink shoe demonstration at the Texas legislature when legislator Wendy Davis filibustered and mass protest at the statehouse shut down proceedings and stopped passage of the anti-abortion bill... temporarily. “What did we accomplish?” Here we are and she felt the Trump regime will not play by the rules so there’s nothing we can do. It never occurred to her that people could act outside the “rules,” the normal channels. Normal channels are not where opposition ends. That’s where making history begins. She is re-thinking. This exchange concentrates a lot about the chasm we have to lead people through as they realize NO ONE is going to save us and we have to break out of the normal cuz we’re not living under the normal.

While we are talking about normalization... there’s the role of head of the UChicago affiliated Institute of Politics, David Axelrod. (Axelrod was Chief Strategist for Obama’s presidential campaigns and served as Senior Advisor to President Obama up through early 2011.) He is one of the leading Democratic Party figures attacking any talk of impeachment of Trump. He despises any talk of impeachment, but Axelrod is right at home bringing to campus leading Trumpites, like Sean Spicer (when he was still Trump’s press secretary) and Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

This campus cries out for creative “Break the Silence, Bring the Noise” action. Start at Stagg Field (a birthplace of the atomic bomb) Note: The exchanges described above occurred only a hundred yards from where the secrets of the nuclear bomb were discovered.), go visit Axelrod’s office, swing by the Medical School to SALUTE the students and faculty who just recently righteously “took a knee” action which needs to be supported, defended, and spread!

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