In a decisive 10-4 vote, the Texas Board of Education just ensured that all their children will be ignorant for the rest of their lives. According to a write-up in the New York Times, the members of the board had a clear intent:
The conservative members maintain that they are trying to correct what they see as a liberal bias among the teachers who proposed the curriculum. To that end, they made dozens of minor changes aimed at calling into question, among other things, concepts like the separation of church and state and the secular nature of the American Revolution.
And the board felt that education is too important to be left to the teachers! At no time were any “historians, sociologists or economists consulted at the meetings, though some members of the conservative bloc held themselves out as experts on certain topics.” Take board member David Bradley, for example, who is a real estate agent and armchair historian whose accomplishments include earning his Eagle Scout badge in 1972:
“I reject the notion by the left of a constitutional separation of church and state. I have $1,000 for the charity of your choice if you can find it in the Constitution.”
Well, case closed. List your home on MLS with professor Bradley. I’ll have my $1,000 donated to the ACLU, please.
The board made many other changes to American history. They wanted to include the history of several conservative political movements and organizations which have been selectively deleted by liberal historiography:
[The board] included a plank to ensure that students learn about “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s, including Phyllis Schalfly, the Contract With America, the Heritage Foundation, the Moral Majority and the National Rifle Association.”
The board also wanted to uncover some aspects of the Civil Rights era that liberals have papered over. Don McLeroy, a dentist, self-described “Christian fundamentalist,” and “young-earth creationist”,
pushed through a change to the teaching of the civil rights movement to ensure that students study the violent philosophy of the Black Panthers in addition to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent approach. He also made sure that textbooks would mention the votes in Congress on civil rights legislation, which Republicans supported.
“Republicans need a little credit for that,” he said. “I think it’s going to surprise some students.”
The board also delved into a Glenn Beck-inspired “just-asking-questions” potpourri category of historical revisionism:
Mr. Bradley won approval for an amendment saying students should study “the unintended consequences” of the Great Society legislation, affirmative action and Title IX legislation. He also won approval for an amendment stressing that Germans and Italians were interned in the United States as well as the Japanese during World War II, to counter the idea that the internment of Japanese was motivated by racism.
Other changes seem aimed at tamping down criticism of the right. Conservatives passed one amendment, for instance, requiring that the history of McCarthyism include “how the later release of the Venona papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government.” The Venona papers were transcripts of some 3,000 communications between the Soviet Union and its agents in the United States.
Get all that? Conservatives are awesome, black people are violent, LBJ destroyed our nation, discrimination can be positive, and Joseph McCarthy was right all along. That’s fair and balanced; definitely no liberal bias here.
Oh, and don’t forget economics:
In economics, the revisions add Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek, two champions of free-market economic theory, among the usual list of economists to be studied, like Adam Smith, Karl Marx and John Maynard Keynes. They also replaced the word “capitalism” throughout their texts with the “free-enterprise system.”
“Let’s face it, capitalism does have a negative connotation,” said one conservative member, Terri Leo. “You know, ‘capitalist pig!’ ”
Thank you, Terri, for erasing the word capitalism from the universe. No more will rapacious corporations and sociopathic Randians ever have to feel the unjust sting from the invective “capitalist pig.” No, they’re just freedom-loving entrepreneurs. Terri, I only wish that the article had gone into more depth about how your degree in special needs education was helpful with all of the other retarded board members.
And what is a textbook revision without shitting on sociology?
In the field of sociology, another conservative member, Barbara Cargill, won passage of an amendment requiring the teaching of “the importance of personal responsibility for life choices” in a section on teen suicide, dating violence, sexuality, drug use and eating disorders.
“The topic of sociology tends to blame society for everything,” Ms. Cargill said.
Yessirree! That anthropomorphized topic of sociology sure do tend to blame a lot, don’t it? Future generations of Texans will know that sociology is just a gigantic scam used to excuse poor performance and collect welfare. While Sociology tells you that your rape was due to a culture of misogynistic violence, the truth is that there really is only one person you can blame: yourself. Perhaps you should have thought twice before leaving the house with those pedal pushers on. Showing calf awakens uncontrollable male urges.
And it seems that the entire board positively hates that godless Thomas Jefferson:
Cynthia Dunbar, a lawyer from Richmond who is a strict constitutionalist and thinks the nation was founded on Christian beliefs, managed to cut Thomas Jefferson from a list of figures whose writings inspired revolutions in the late 18th century and 19th century, replacing him with St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone. (Jefferson is not well liked among the conservatives on the board because he coined the term “separation between church and state.”)
“The Enlightenment was not the only philosophy on which these revolutions were based,” Ms. Dunbar said.
Great work Cynthia. Most people are not aware that Jesus Christ personally inspired the French Revolution. You are really putting your law degree from Pat Robertson’s Jesus-based Law School at Regent University to work.
Congratulations, assholes. I’m starting to think that letting Texas secede from the Union is a good plan.