May 22, 2010

The Texas Schoolbook travesty

None of this is surprising, but Texas has effectively nutjobbed its curriculum, diminished the role that any minorities have played in our history, elevated the legitimacy of the Confederacy, undermined separation of church and state, and, of all things, resurrected McCarthy as some kind of American hero. Many conservatives will want to dismiss this as uniquely Texas, just as they wanted to dismiss the Utah Tea Party purge of Senator Bennett. But this represents a much broader conservative trend, the one of simply asserting what you want to be true as truth:
"At its core, this is not just a travesty for academic integrity and students in Texas, but it's also a reminder of what's gone horribly wrong with the twisted right-wing worldview. These state officials have decided they simply don't care for reality, so they've replaced it with a version of events that makes them feel better. The result is an American history in which every era has been distorted to satisfy the far-right ego."
I see it all around me. People who don't want to believe evolution, so they simply do not. People who desire a Christian nation, so they ignore any evidence to the contrary and simply believe it as so. As I have noted, it is disconcerting as a liberal who was told during my 20s that liberals believed in no truth, and so made it up to meet their own needs. Now it is conservatives who are simply creating the truth they desire, and actively ignoring or erasing factual evidence to the contrary. And it isn't just in Texas. It is in the Tea Party people who assert "death panels" and that Obama has raised their taxes--things that, as Casey Stengel noted, "you can look it up."


6000 said...

All the more reason to divide the country. Conservatives and liberals see things differently and want different things. If we separate, you can have whatever you want in your textbooks, you can have open borders, plenty of regulation, and taxes as high as you want. And you can have obama. You won't have to argue anymore with conservatives. Sounds great to me!

Streak said...

6000, you are a moron. What we are discussing here are facts. As the saying goes, you are welcome to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Of course, you have demonstrated yourself to be firmly in the idiot-denial group who threatens violence when someone does different than you like. I would think you would be a natural for the Taliban.

leighton said...

I'm working at a higher hourly rate than I was at this time last year, and I owe around $100 less per month in federal taxes. If that is increasing my taxes, then may Congress tax me to death.

6000 said...

Facts. O.K. Here's a fact: when your side gets a majority on the Texas School Board, your side can decide what goes into the textbooks.

Another fact: the United States is headed for a civil war, as certainly as I'm writing this.

Streak said...

I will grant you the first one, 6000. that doesn't make their decisions any less problematic and disconnected from real historical fact (I have a PhD in history, fwiw).

On the second one, that is the kind of right wing threat that is unconscionable. You need to go away. Fucktards that threaten violence are not welcome here. Go find a right wing site where they like joking about killing the HC bill and "killing the n******". they are more your racist ass type.

Fuck off.

steves said...

Scary. I have never even been to Texas. I hope that the voters take some steps to add people that are grounded in reason and common sense.

As for the separation of church and state, I have yet to see a good presentation of it in schools. My ethics prof had some good ideas and published some books and articles on the topic of church and state, but most people taking a strong position seem to ignore inconvenient (sorry Mr. Gore) truths. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine.

I was told that it is much easier for publishers of textbooks to "customize" books for states and school districts. I hope this is true and that the rest of us won't be stuck with Texas-style history.

Monk-in-Training said...

Cognitive dissonance and laziness combined with tribalism. A volatile mix of fundamentalism and politics is what my Republican party has become.


6000 I am a descendant of Confederate Veterans, and a not very distant relative of the VP of the Confederacy. NO ONE wants a civil war, REALLY.

Lord have mercy!

Streak said...

Absolutely, Monk, absolutely. No sane person threatens violence or civil war, period, and certainly no sane person does that over expanding healthcare.

Steve, seems to me that the issue here is that the Texas conservatives want to diminish the separation idea to stress a more Christian government. The rest of their view of history reinforces that belief. We can argue about the historical origins of the idea, or how it has been implemented, but what they are presenting is not even close. At a very basic level, we can all agree (outside the fun dies) that our government is secular and was intended to be secular. That is a good way to start.

steves said...

Streak, I would agree that is a good starting point. My experience with this topic says that most discussions tend to devolve into quote wars.

Bob said...

You know, if Texas want to succeed, I wouldn't complain much, except for all the minorities (racial, religous and political) who will suddenly lose all human rights.