Thursday, May 20, 2010

Texas moves to rewrite history

From my latest post on Change.org:

"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

History has shown that oft-repeated quote by Spanish philosopher George Santayana to be true. And so I wonder what horrors future generations will be doomed to repeat if conservatives are successful in rewriting the history taught in American classrooms. Legislators in Arizona have already deemed that contributions by people of color have no place in curricula. Now, the Texas State Board of Education — a Republican-dominated group led by evangelical Christian activist Cynthia Dunbar — is proposing changes to that state's social studies curriculum to advance a conservative agenda and "promote patriotism." At the same time, it does so by obscuring truths about slavery, the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil War, to name just a few.

"We are fighting for our children's education and our nation's future," says Dunbar. "In Texas, we have certain statutory obligations to promote patriotism and to promote the free enterprise system. There seems to have been a move away from a patriotic ideology. There seems to be a denial that this was a nation founded under God. We had to go back and make some corrections."

Among the "corrections," according to The Guardian: renaming the slave trade the "Atlantic triangular trade;" adding information about the "contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders and the "unintended consequences" of affirmative action; blaming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Muslim fundamentalism; tying Martin Luther King, Jr. to the Black Panther movement; and describing the civil rights movement as creating "unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes" among black and white Americans. Read more...

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

In Texas, there was a huge amount of freeborn blacks which I came from. My grandmother told my dad and remembered from her grandfather, etc. we go all the way back to 1820. I have to look at the books. Many of that culture also 'passed for white', etc.

Joanna said...

When I was in school, I learned NOTHING about African American history aside from MLK, Jr., Harriet Tubman, and Rosa Parks. I never even learned about Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass or any other African American leaders. I THOUGHT we would have progressed since the 70s and 80s and start teaching our children about the contributions of people OTHER than European Americans, but instead, things have seemed to have gotten worse. We are regressing, rather than progressing, as evidenced by Texas adopting books and curricula which espouse a reactionary version of American history, AND the banning of "ethnic studies" in Arizona. Why are people so AFRAID to tell children the truth about this countries legacy of racism, imperialism, and oppression??

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Tami, I this in it's entirety; it was excellent and I just put it on blogger post spotlight.

Tami said...

Thanks, Kit!

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