In With Jesus and Out With Civil Rights Leaders in Texas Textbooks

July 16, 2009

(ChattahBox)—The Texas State Board of Education is facing criticism for waging a war on history, by appointing social conservative “experts” to advise the state on its social studies requirements for school curriculum.

Some of the more controversial recommendations made by the “experts,” involve blacklisting civil rights leaders from social study textbooks, while promoting the notion that the Founding Fathers wanted a distinctly Christian nation based on biblical principles.

According to the NY Times, the contentious debate has far-reaching consequences, not only for Texas education, but for the rest of the country as well. The social studies curriculum will be used to write school textbooks “and publishers are reluctant to produce different versions of the same material.”

A curriculum perverting history to please social and religious conservatives in Texas, may very well find its way into the classrooms in other states.

The core of the controversy rests on what historical figures are acceptable to the conservative “experts.” Evangelical minister Peter Marshall and David Barton, president of WallBuilders, both believe that Hispanic labor leader César Chávez should be removed from the social studies curriculum.

“To have César Chávez listed next to Ben Franklin, as in the current standards is ludicrous,” wrote Marshall. “Chavez is hardly the kind of role model that ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation,” added Marshall.

Barton contends that Chávez “lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others.” Thurgood Marshall, the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice who argued the landmark school desegregation case is also on the “experts’ hit lists.

The Supreme Court justice was derided, as “not a strong enough example” of an important historical figure to be discussed in Texas schools.

The “experts” then turned their attention to women’s rights, deciding that Anne Hutchinson, an early colonial advocate of women’s rights and religious freedom, was nothing but a troublemaker. Hutchinson “…didn’t accomplish anything except getting herself exiled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for making trouble,” said Marshall.

“Anne Hutchinson does not belong in the company of these eminent gentlemen,” he said, referring to colonial leaders William Penn, Roger Williams and others,” Marshall wrote.

The “experts” also decided that innocent minds in the early grades should not be exposed to the biographies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen F. Austin.

Once history is rewritten to satisfy social conservatives, experts hope to exert their influence to focus on the role of religion in the founding of America.

I could only find one reference to the role of religion in America’s past,” Marshall said. And if he has his way that will change to emphasize the “…motivational role the Bible and the Christian faith played in the settling of the original colonies,” wrote Marshall in his review.

Barton goes further with his not so hidden political agenda, by insisting that “…the proper adjective for identifying U.S. values and processes should be “republican” rather than “democratic.” Barton is a former vice chairman of the Texas Republican Party

Critics, such as Jesus Francisco de la Teja, chairman of the history department at Texas State University is outraged at the politicizing of education.

The Texas State Board of Education plans to adopt the final social studies curriculum in March.

Source


Comments

12 Responses to “In With Jesus and Out With Civil Rights Leaders in Texas Textbooks”

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  4. Rob on July 17th, 2009 6:15 pm

    ““…motivational role the Bible and the Christian faith played in the settling of the original colonies,” ”

    Let’s point him to Jefferson then.

    “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.” – Thomas Jefferson

  5. Marioac on July 25th, 2009 1:40 am

    So much time has passed since the founding of this country, so much has happened, as in the slaughter of millions of Native Americans, their languages and their pleasure as equal humans on the face of our Earth. While Ben Franklin was wining and dining on new foods from America and drinking the wines of Martha’s vineyards, he dared not protest the plight of the Natives. Jefferson was a moral man who tried to always do the right thing, yet they all were men who gained Native insight in adopting what was at the time, merely idealism, as a constitution, and not as a way of life, because Negros were slaves, and Natives were buried in graves. A place where the Buffalo once roamed, now became these new ‘founders’ home.

    Cesar Chavez was a more recent man, who we can remember, just like yesterday. Many still here remember la huelga. We will never forget. We remember the disinterest of the government for these people who only wanted their rights, as is now the case trying to lump into one position all things “illegal immigrant” as if these people came here because we aren’t the biggest cash crops producer because of their dedicated service, so we can all eat, like they also must. They fought against pesticides, being the original modern day advocates for organic crops. Not wanting deformed babies any longer, or cancer rates through the roof, they fought until things changed, as they need to continue doing. Three pregnant females were picking just recently and got sick by poison that drifted to them from only a few meters away a the beginning of their shift (6am), because our government is on the side of big agro business, and doesn’t want to change things, until someone like Cesar gets up, tired of the abuse and decides to organize enough people to stand up for their rights and say: “Si se puede!”

    So to say, Cesar is not as important or not even close to important as those who dressed in cushy clothes, wearing cushy wigs, while brutality ‘founded this country from the Natives, is ludicrous. Cesar deserves to be up there, and is up there with the best of the best, and these guys are just upset because they see the exploding “everything is big in Texas” Latino population and want to put a clamp on little Hispanic childrens ears on any role models they can believe in, who is one of them, while they are still called minorities in there homeland.

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    Three pregnant females were picking just recently and got sick by poison that drifted to them from only a few meters away a the beginning of their shift (6am), because our government is on the side of big agro business, and doesn’t want to change things, until someone like Cesar gets up, tired of the abuse and decides to organize enough people to stand up for their rights and say: “Si se puede!”

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