The Politics of Textbooks

This is just a quick note of disclaimer and a short blog to elaborate on an earlier Facebook post. If I had a “Proud to be a Texan” bumper sticker, I’d burn it in protest of the absurd actions last week by the state Board of Education.

Frankly, I am embarrassed to live in a state that allows narrow right-wing political agendas to re-write history and distort so grossly the textbooks from which our kids are taught. Maybe we could save the textbook printing costs and just distribute John Birch Society pamphlets at the start of the school year.

This travesty has been widely reported, including a story in the New York Times on Saturday, so it will be easy enough to Google the details. The Dallas Morning News on Saturday also had a reasonably good summary of the suggested changes and edits to our textbooks, including the removal of Thomas Jefferson as one of those thinkers and writers who influenced social change around the world in the 18th and 19th centuries.

An elected state board of education — sorry, I just can’t capitalize the title a second time — voted along party lines to ensure that students don’t know about the heroic Hispanic Texians who died at the Alamo, but will recognize those names already broadly known and featured in the movie.

Come to think of it, this whole episode seems like a movie — a very bad movie!

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With an increasingly pointless amount of arguably useless information packed inside my head, and a totally inappropriate number of opinions about virtually everything, and a family who must suffer through listening to both, it seemed only fitting to foist them upon others who care to read and react. Now well past 60 years old, this is an outlet intended not to unleash but enlighten, myself much more than others.

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