Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Editing History

The Texas School Board, dominated by a clique of ultra conservatives, has decided that it’s time to rewrite history and make it more to their liking.

This is not unusual for the Right Wing. Recently Ann Coulter has decided that Joe McCarthy was a great American undone by a liberal conspiracy and Pat Buchanan has argued that Adolf Hitler was really a peace loving guy and the blame for World War II should go to Winston Churchill.

What makes what Texas does important to the rest of the country is that Texas purchases text books centrally rather than allowing local school boards to decide as New York does. Therefore Texas has enormous influence upon what appears in text books as the text book manufacturers fall over each other to line up with the Texas School Board guidelines.

Some of the curriculum directives approved by the Texas School Board include:

Replacing Thomas Jefferson with John Calvin

Texas is removing the reference to Jefferson’s Enlightenment based ideas from a standard related to the influence of political philosophers upon revolutions and replacing him with John Calvin.

The Religious Right doesn’t care for Jefferson who was a secular Deist who tended to distrust Christianity so they’ve decided to simply ignore possibly the greatest American political philosopher who ever lived.

No Separation of Church and State

The curriculum will address the Judeo-Christian influences of the founding fathers but not address the philosophy behind the separation of church and state. One Texas School Board official said flat out “I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state.”

You might want to take that one up with the Supreme Court. Let me explain it slowly so even a dimwit like you might understand. The phrase “Separation of Church and State” is a pointed explanation of what the 1st Amendment means when it says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

Call the U.S. a Republic rather than a Democracy

All references to “Democratic” institutions and practices are to be replaced by “Republican” institutions and practices.

Well, actually, they’re correct. This is a Republic and not a Democracy but they probably don’t know that. They just don’t want these things associated with the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party.

Hip-hop has not been included as a culturally significant movement

The conservatives rejected the inclusion of Hip-hop as culturally significant.

Well of course not. Nothing that isn’t white Christian could possibly be of any importance. Hip-hop is probably second only to Rock n’ Roll in musical cultural significance and to ignore it is simply hiding from reality. I don’t like it so I’ll shut my eyes real tight and maybe it will go away.

All Religions are not equal under the Constitution

The board refused to require that students be taught that the Constitution forbids the government from promoting one religion over another.

Now I wonder what religion they think the government should promote?

McCarthy wasn’t such a bad guy after all

The board required that when addressing McCarthy it be taught that the release of the Verona papers confirmed the Communist infiltration of the U.S. government.

I don’t think anyone ever doubted that there were real infiltration issues. The problem was the methods McCarthy relied upon. The lies, the innuendos and the general climate of fear and mistrust he fostered could have been taken right out of the Gestapo playbook.

The end does not justify the means. As soon as we accept that it does, we’ve already lost the war against totalitarianism.

Conservative Resurgence

The curriculum will cover the Conservative movements of the 1980s and 1990s including the Heritage Foundation and the National Rifle Association but not anything about liberal groups or minority rights groups.

Yup, heaven forbid one might confuse the young ones by teaching them about different ideas and the struggles for equality. Struggles supported by liberals and fought against tooth and nail by conservatives. Better to just brainwash them with only one slant. Besides, them there minority rights folks and liberals freed the slaves and forced us to treat blacks like real people and us white Christians, the only REAL Americans, ain’t gonna stand for it no more.

No teaching about the difference between sex and gender

Apparently one conservative board member worried that a discussion on that issue would lead students into the world of transsexuals and transvestites.

Well, isn’t that a world that educated people ought to at least know exists?

It’s not Capitalism, it’s Free Enterprise

The world Capitalism will be removed in favor of the term Free Enterprise.

Words carry with them impressions and “Free Enterprise” is so much more of a virtue word than “Capitalism” don’t you think? We wouldn’t want to give the kiddies even the slightest impression that anything supported by the Right Wing might have any kind of downside and leave them vulnerable to something like Socialism (even though we don’t understand what that is) now would we?

No Ted Kennedy or Sotomayor but lots of Reagan

The curriculum can ignore Senator Ted Kennedy and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor but Ronald Reagan has been elevated in the amount of coverage he’s to receive.

There are heroes and there are villains. Let’s teach the kids to admire those conservative heroes and ignore those liberal villains.

No Tejanos at the Alamo

The conservatives rejected an effort to specifically mention that Tejanos were among the fallen at the Alamo.

I guess we should also ignore the fact that blacks fought in the American Revolution as well?

Like I said, all of this is a group of conservative Christian assholes attempting to rewrite history to make it match what they would like it to be or at least insure that their kids aren’t taught anything that might make them realize that conservative Christians have their heads up their asses.

This is pathetic but typical. What’s scary is that they will most likely get away with it as most Americans can’t be bothered to worry about stuff like this. The lack of vigilance and the attitude that it’s just a small collection of nuts is allowing the darkness to expand almost unimpeded in many areas of the country.

This isn’t education. This is political indoctrination. What’s next? Firing teachers that don’t pitch the party line? This is Nazi Germany all over again but with a cross as the symbol rather than a swastika.

To paraphrase and expand upon Upton Sinclair, when fascism comes to the United States it will be wrapped in a flag, carrying a bible and illuminated by the burning books in the background.

It won’t come all at once. It will come in small steps such as converting education into political indoctrination.

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