The Texas State Board of Education is on a rampage to promote a right wing, conservative, Christian agenda on the nearly 5 million public school students in the Lone Star State!
In the process, they are about to destroy all objectivity and the pursuit of truth, as they work to wipe out anything secular and liberal, and in the process, eliminate the great advances in the study of American history in the past half century, from an all white perspective to one that includes minorities and the dispossessed as part of the American story. They also are out to deemphasize or eliminate the importance of such Presidents as Thomas Jefferson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson, because their historical contributions do not agree with the set agenda of the majority of the state board of education!
What is wrong with Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and contributed so much in so many ways to our history? Well, he had the “gall” to promote separation of church and state, and to give up organized Christianity and become a Deist! But, what the state board seems not to know, due to their historical ignorance, is that Jefferson became the basis of conservatism, which these people profess, as he battled Alexander Hamilton over the issue of strict versus broad interpretation of the Constitution, and also fought with Hamilton over more state and local government versus a stronger national government! In other words, Jefferson is a conservative icon, as even Ronald Reagan recognized!
What is wrong with FDR? Well, he actually used the national government to fight the Great Depression with his New Deal programs, which, while far from perfect, did actually help lessen the effects of the depression on poor people and minorities, but of course, the board of education wishes to deemphasize the fact that there are minorities and poor people in this nation, who need consideration by government, which is not just for the rich and powerful! Also, he promoted “socialist” programs such as Social Security and Aid to Dependent Children (welfare), so therefore he is evil!
And what is wrong with Lyndon B. Johnson? Well, he promoted a War on Poverty which helped white and minority poor people; promoted civil rights, which many of these Texas board members wish did not exist; and of course promoted “socialist” programs such as federal aid to education, Medicare, Medicaid, and environment and consumer protection laws. This is all bad by definition of many Texas board members, because it means he did not promote states rights and limited national government!
This move in Texas to affect the future textbooks and educational curriculum in the field of Social Studies will be detrimental not only to millions of Texas students, but through the power of widespread acceptance in other states of what the Texas Board decides and textbook companies accepts as the norm, will undermine the historical exposure of millions of students nationwide, and present a challenge to college and university professors, who will discover that college students will be more ignorant and backward in their historical knowledge when they enter college!
It is therefore URGENT for all historical organizations and agencies nationwide to protest loudly and take whatever action is necessary to prevent such a travesty of the historical curriculum to be put into place, as it would be the triumph of the “know nothings”, and affect the long term future of the United States! Ignorance breeds ignorance, something we can ill afford as a nation in the 21st century, and in a country rapidly becoming one in which the majority of children will be minority, and yet be exposed to a white, Christian, sanitized version of historical reality!