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Activism, current events

Texas School Books

I know most of my readers are already familiar with what’s going on in Texas with the new text books, but I feel like I have to mention it just in case.  It’s all very Orwellian, and more than a little scary.  When we look at the degradation of our education system in the last twenty years, it becomes downright terrifying.  Our children are graduating with marginal knowledge of history, science, and world history to begin with, and now we’re going to be replacing the precious few facts they do learn with downright lies.  Among them:

  • McCarthyism is portrayed as a force for social good.
  • “Capitalism” is being replaced with “Free-Market.”
  • Country music has been added as a list of notable American cultural movements — which is fine — but rap and hip hop are being removed.
  • Excision of recent third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader (from the left) and Ross Perot(from the centrist Reform Party). Meanwhile, the recommendations include an entry listing Confederate General Stonewall Jackson as a role model for effective leadership, and a statement from Confederate President Jefferson Davis accompanying a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Language that qualifies the legacy of 1960s liberalism. Great Society programs such as Title IX—which provides for equal gender access to educational resources—and affirmative action, intended to remedy historic workplace discrimination against African-Americans, are said to have created adverse “unintended consequences” in the curriculum’s preferred language.
  • Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. Among the intellectual forerunners to be highlighted in Jefferson’s place: medieval Catholic philosopher St. Thomas Aquinas, Puritan theologian John Calvin and conservative British law scholar William Blackstone. Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs.”

Here’s the thing.  This doesn’t need a lot of discussion.  We — and by “we” I mean “YOU” — cannot allow revisionism and outright falsehood to be sold to your children as fact.  Once we take a FOX News approach to school curricula, we can write ourselves off as a nation that has anything to do with personal liberty or freedom.  Freedom, at its most basic, is dependent on truth.  Without unhindered access to true facts about the world, we cannot claim moral superiority to even the worst dictatorships.  We become no different in kind than North Korea — only different in method.  Sure, we can tromp about proclaiming the wonders of American liberty, but if our population is enslaved by partisan lies, we are not truly free.

If you do not do something to stop this, you are permitting and facilitating America’s descent into fascism.  Now get off your ass and do something.  Call your congressman.  Call Texas’s congressmen.  Write letters to the papers.  Get on a bus and go start a protest at the school board in Texas.  Do Something.

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Discussion

3 thoughts on “Texas School Books

  1. The Enlightenment period and its philosophers had far more influence on the founding fathers than Christianity. Voltaire, de Tocqueville, Diderot, Hume, Montesquieu, and Rousseau are just a few who influenced that period in addition to the American forefathers. France and the U.S. created a new intellectual movement that I would argue was critical of Christian dogma, not catering to it.

    Sure, there were Puritans and enclaves of religious settlements in the 13 colonies, but the reason people came to the U.S. by and large was for economic opportunity. Seeking freedom from religious persecution is often overstated.

    History and Biology have been targeted by the religious right. What’s next? Forcing kids to paint pictures of Jesus in art class? Forcing readings of the Bible as literature? Studying mathematics by using cubits as the primary measurement?

    Posted by Jeremy | April 22, 2010, 7:44 pm
  2. Many people are talking about home schooling. I know a lot of Christians that do that now – because of the “unhealthy” atmosphere at public schools. Does this create a problems if 50% of kids are home schooled? Are we as a culture Devolving? I am beginning to wonder. We – and I mean ME, really need to DO SOMETHING and it might just be to study along side my grandkids!

    Posted by PaigeB | April 23, 2010, 1:32 am
  3. Something you should mention, Hmaby, that not a lot of people realize: this is not strictly a Texas problem. Textbook publishers tend to use Texas as the standard (because so many books are sold in Texas) for the entire country.

    If the memory holes devour history for the kids in Texas, they’ll devour it for kids in your own state too.

    This issue is enough to have me pissing blood. What, we don’t already have enough psychopaths imprisoning the minds of their children with ‘home schooling’? We need to deliver a full frontal lobotomy to our already flawed formal educational apparatus so that nobody within the next generation gets to sip from the cup of the enlightenment?

    There’s enough problems already with the school system; we don’t need to pile ‘thoroughly revised history lessons’ on top of that.

    and a statement from Confederate President Jefferson Davis accompanying a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

    …The real tragedy of this whole debacle is that I wouldn’t at all mind things like this if they were done in a responsible matter, to get kids to think outside of monochromatic moral tones. Give the story & legacy of, say, Robert E. Lee, and also show kids the cut & dry white supremacy proclamations of the secessionist states. Lesson? Sometimes bad causes will employ good people. Show kids Lincoln’s emancipation declaration, and also show them his attempt to have Davis assassinated & his suspension of Habeas Corpus. Lesson? Sometimes good people will do bad things.

    Instead, though, the school board of Texas has decided it would rather just white-wash the issue; invent a moral equivalence between the Confederate states & the Union states. It would be like a German school including a photo of bombed-out London and a photo of bombed-out Hamburg, with the inferred conclusion being, “See? Things were pretty much the same on both sides of the fence.”

    Posted by Kevin R Brown | April 23, 2010, 6:26 pm

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