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...

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