Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Eyes of David Barton Are Upon You

Paul Harveybr /br /All the freakin' live-long day, /br /Yes, it's a href=""time again for the culture wars in Texas,/a this time over the teaching in K-12 history texts. The politically appointed board breaks down along familiar lines: scholars in the field of emhistory /em(imagine that) sit on the committee alongside others who are . . . umm. . . well, less qualified, shall we say, in the field of history. Heck, Lynneimg src="" style="float:right; margin:0 0 10px 10px;cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;width: 100px; height: 127px;" border="0" alt="" / Cheney looks like a href=""Leopold Von Ranke/a compared to these guys. Nonetheless, like Forrest Gump and influenza, these guys seem to turn up /br /emThe three reviewers appointed by the moderate and liberal board members are all professors of history or education at Texas universities, including Mr. de la Teja, a former state historian. The reviewers appointed by conservatives include two who run conservative Christian organizations: David Barton, founder of WallBuilders, a group that promotes America's Christian heritage; and Rev. Marshall, who preaches that Watergate, the Vietnam War and Hurricane Katrina were God's judgments on the nation's sexual immorality./embr /br /emWatergate!? /emThat's weird. Whatever. Don't they remember the Lynrd Skynrd line about Watergate in "Sweet Home Alabama"? Other highlights from Marshall's career as a public policy analyst and commentator are a href=""here/a. Read it and then ask, "does your conscience bother you? Tell me true."br /br /Anyway, Marshall and company are leading the charge to sanitize the texts of icky stuff they don't like. A lot of that icky stuff happens to involve non-white people; there's a shocker. Here's my favorite:br /br /emstrongDelete César Chávez/strong from a list of figures who modeled active participation in the democratic //embr /emTwo reviewers objected to citing Mr. Chávez, who led a strike and boycott to improve working conditions for immigrant farmhands, as an example of citizenship for fifth-graders. "He's hardly the kind of role model that ought to be held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation," Rev. Marshall wrote./embr /br /Last time I checked, Mr Chavez was awfully religious, so you think Barton and Marshall would latch onto that. Is it because he's Catholic, or because he's a Latino? Or both? divbr //divdivThen there's Anne Hutchinson of colonial Massachusetts fame, airbrushed out of colonial history. Same goes for Thurgood Marshall -- emgone! /emShazam, Sgt. Carter!br /br /If this was my home state of Oklahoma, no one would care -- too small-time. But this is Texas -- a marketa href=""img id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5358400499754362386" style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 0px 0px 10px 10px; WIDTH: 200px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 132px" alt="" src="" border="0" //a big enough to affect textbook writers everywhere (as has been the case previously with science standards).br /br /Like star fullback Tim Riggins so eloquently intones in emFriday Night Lights/em -- "ibspan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"Texas forever"/span/b . . . [tequila shot downed] . . . " bspan class="Apple-style-span" style="font-style: normal;"No regrets/span/b/i." a href=""The Dillon Panthers got their Jumbotron/a (thanks to Buddy Garrity's greatest line ever, "Have you iever/i seen two people engaged on a Jumbotron?"), and Texans will get the textbooks they deserve. My guess is students will keep not reading them, regardless of who's in and who's out. On the other hand, standards matter, even if only symbolically, and besides, can't they find a cowboy or cowgirl or two to kick Marshall's butt once and for all -- is that too much to ask, Texas? All together now, on three: iClear minds -- full hearts -- /iibcan't lose/b/i./divdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src=''//div

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