The Texas Board of Education has been busy with its regularly scheduled review of text book standards. Some reports that the scholars and magnates of the Lone Star State have actually planned to completely eliminate any mention of the third president (and impossibly flaming liberal), Thomas Jefferson, have been exaggerated and unfair.
Jefferson will still be referenced, only a lot less. After all, the key founding father and laureate of the Declaration of Independence had the audacity to establish the tenet of the separation of church and state. SSHHH! And he spent a lot time in France.
Why are some Texans so insecure?
According to the Christian Science Monitor, the four hundred-year slave trade of Africans would be reclassified as the “Atlantic triangular trade.” When the term “imperialism” is found in a text with reference to the United States, it will be changed to “expansionism;” “capitalism” will be replaced with “free enterprise.” All this in the name of Christian values.
Our young people, from Lubbock to Houston, from El Paso to Galveston, would now be taught of the “unintended consequences” of affirmative action and the poor social fallout from the Great Society legislation of the 1960s (which ironically is the legacy of the legendary Texan, President Lyndon B. Johnson). While eschewing Jefferson and social progressivism (not to mention the facts), students will be required to study and venerate such things as the Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority.
Why our some Texans so insecure? This behemoth of a state, a windblown amalgam of tumbleweed, big ideas, barbecues, football, skyscrapers, spaghetti freeway systems, wild-eyed urban zoning, Bible righteousness and Neiman Marcus, was once an independent nation and remains something of an anomaly. A state notoriously associated with excessive executions nonetheless has elected a female lesbian mayor in Houston. Austin and San Antonio are extraordinarily progressive cities that are quickly growing in scope and diversity.
To the educational fascists in Texas who would exchange their myopic views for the historical truths that have made this country so fascinating, let me suggest this: If you so are focused on textbooks and truth, go back and restore the Dallas County Administration Building with its original name: The Texas School Book Depository Building. This was the site, in Dealey Plaza, of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, on November 22, 1963.
Image: The flags of the United States and of Texas
ORDER MY BOOK ‘NOTHING LIKE SUNSHINE: A Story in the Aftermath of the MLK Assassination’