I don't really see much of a difference.
The average American, including one from an older generation of a "golden era of education", is still clueless about our history, especially our Colonial. Sure, you could ask these individuals who they thought were the most important founding fathers but if you asked them why they were important, what these individuals actually did for the Colonies and the United States, most of them wouldn't have a clue. In fact, I bet a huge chunk of their answers would be something like, "They signed the declaration of independence/wrote the constitution/fought in the War of Independence" but beyond that they'd probably be ignorant.
While I think that history is important to know, I think it's equally important to learn about the Civil Rights Movement because it is not only an issue closer to us in terms of time but it focuses on issues that we are still
dealing with now and impacts the daily lives of Americans, including school children, every day. We are still dealing with the effects of institutionalized and internalized racism but we aren't that concerned about oppression from the Queen of England, are we?
In addition, my son's school seems to bend over backwards to paint blacks in a positive light, or at least as helpless eternal victims..
I'm really not sure what you mean by this.... How does one paint a minority group in a positive light in the educational system? Are you suggesting that the school is discussing more of the good things blacks have done or accomplished in history and not enough of the bad things they have? That seems like a bit of a crazy suggestion.
And I think what others can understandably see as racist in this comment is your implication what is being taught about Civil Rights in your schools could possibly constitute a reflection on the whole of the population as if they were all homogenous.