Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to Texas, Land of Make Believe

Do you remember when over the summer, Texas governor Rick Perry threatened state secession? I don’t think anyone thought anything of it then; at the time, the right seemed particularly occupied with yelling out anything that seemed to express their extreme displeasure in the “Washington establishment” and the new socialist direction in which the country was heading, no matter how ridiculous it was or how ridiculous it made them seem.

Perhaps it was just coincidental that the face of the “Washington establishment” and the man leading that headlong charge into socialism just happened to be a black face, the first of its kind.

So by the time the secession talk came up, I wasn’t all that surprised; by that time I had seen and heard it all. But what really caused me to raise an eyebrow was when the secessionist movement actually began to catch on. A sizable portion of Texans actually supported secession or either could not make up their mind, and some fools even began to campaign on the secessionist platform.

And whatever reasons Texans might give for supporting secession, the first few lines from the Texas Secede! Website seems to imply that the president at least figures in the desire to leave the union:

“Texas is a free and independent State, subject only to the Constitution of the United States…” (note that it does not state…subject to the President of the United States…”…)

Now, I cannot insinuate race is a factor here because nowhere on this site can I find racist language, so I’ll resist making that charge. Let’s just say that Texans are somewhat intimidated by the change in American society and culture, no matter how minute, that is suggested by President Obama’s election.

However, if the secessionist movement does not gain ground, Texans have found an alternate means of affecting the historical trajectory of the nation; they’ll just rewrite history. Last week the conservative heavy Texas State Board of Education voted to transform the Texas social studies and economics textbooks into purveyors of conservative ideals and principals.

Among other things, among many questionable decisions, in doing so they downplayed the role of founding father and deist Thomas Jefferson in favor religious right icon John Calvin, opted to allow the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s founding fathers while ignoring the philosophical rationale for the separation of church and state, describes the United States as a constitutional republic as opposed to democratic, and removed mentions of capitalism in favor of the American free enterprise system.

The really shameful part is that these distortions of history will be used for a number of years going forward and will influence millions of young Texans. Perhaps, then, Texas is hedging its bets against change by attempting to influence the young minds that flow through its school system by teaching a skewed, one-dimensional version of history. But allow me to give the state of Texas a tip.

Yes, you might be able to change the textbooks. You may be able to distort the truth and downplay the roles and contributions of minorities to this great country of ours and the state of Texas. But keep in mind that racial demographics are quickly changing. Keep in mind that soon minorities will be the majority, with Hispanics leading the charge and African Americans coming in a close second.

So how long do you think you can go on suppressing the knowledge that Tejanos were among the fallen heroes of the Alamo? How long can do you think you can go on suppressing the knowledge of liberal and minority rights group?

All those new minorities coming down the pike will undoubtedly not be conservatives despite the Texas State Board of Education’s greatest efforts. A number of these minorities will be able to think for themselves and seek knowledge of themselves and see through the many liberties you have taken with the retelling of history.

Whatever the Texas State Board of Education may have been trying to achieve, they have managed to engender their own revolution; they have given the many disparate minority rights groups impetus to unite under a common banner. Many groups have already begun to fight back. Many groups have already begun to push back and challenge the distortions.

What the state of Texas has succeeded in doing is creating a text filled with conservative fairy tales positing the state of Texas as a utopia. So in reality, Texas has managed to secede and form its own country after all--the land of make believe.

4 comments:

msladydeborah said...

It is unfortunate that this is the direction that Texas officials are opting to take. As if this is going to help erase what is true about this nation. Rewriting their portion of the national story doesn't change the reality of what has happened already. It is going to be difficult for those who consume this type of altered reality when the truth rises to confront their miseducation.

Max Reddick said...

It seems that as the country changes, evolves, certain sectors or our society are fleeing with undue haste away from reality. But nothing they can do can change the present reality. And keep in mind that the inability to evolve usually ends in extinction.

Anna Renee said...

I was reading a post written by a white man at the AfroNetizen.com blog. He talks about what White People fear. His name is Robert Jensen and the post is dated 3-15and what he spoke about was quite interesting. It helps to shed light on why some white people "some" not all, act the way they do. I was impressed by his honesty.

Ralonda said...

"...and removed mentions of capitalism in favor of the American free enterprise system."
So they removed mentions of capitalism...in favor of capitalism? Free enterprise is basically the same thing as capitalism, isn't it?
I love when people use circular-type reasoning, but I hate when others go along with it (which I'm sure some Texans will do).

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