Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Texas Orders History Books That Don't Tell the Whole Story (and I am embarrassed)

A Book Texas Schools May as Well Use
I am a native Texan and have lived in this wonderful state for most of my life.  I am proud of Texas.

And I am terribly embarrassed by Texas sometimes.  This is one of those times.

Clippings from a Washington Post article:
When it came to social studies standards, conservatives championing causes from a focus on the biblical underpinnings of our legal system to a whitewashed picture of race in the United States won out. The guidelines for teaching Civil War history were particularly concerning: They teach that “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery” — carefully ordered to stress the first two and shrug off the last — caused the conflict. Come August, the first textbooks catering to the changed curriculum will make their way to Texas classrooms.
[...]
No serious scholar agrees. Every additional issue at play in 1861 was secondary to slavery — not the other way around. By distorting history, Texas tells its students a dishonest and damaging story about the United States that prevents children from understanding the country today.  
And, has been the case for years, Texas is such a huge marketplace for school textbooks that publishers offer the same books to schools in other states, so this distorted picture of the American Civil War will be taught to students all over the country.

History, it is said, is written by the winner of any conflict, not the loser.  Yet, somehow in corporate America, if there is enough money involved and enough profit to be made, the loser is allowed to rewrite history...or to at least change its focus. 

I am a proud Southerner who had ancestors fight for the Southern cause during that war, and I am proud of them, each and every one of them.  I honor their bravery and the suffering they endured both during and after the war.  But the Civil War was, without a doubt, caused by the slavery issue.  Yes, there were other side issues involved, and those issues were very important to many of those fighting (on both sides), but without the question of slavery, the American Civil War would never have happened.

Get it right, Texas teachers.  Add to what is said in the books so that my grandchildren will understand what happened to their ancestors and how we became the country we are today.  Play fair.

Post #2,501

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