I mentioned in my post The Revision of Pride that there is a battle brewing in Texas over classroom textbooks. The battle is heating up, and, at least so far, the conservatives are winning.
Here's a little backstory for anyone who isn't up on the subject. For the past few decades, the textbook publishers have been catering to the demands of California's board of education, because California bought the most textbooks of any state in the nation. That certainly explains a lot about the liberal trend in the classroom, doesn't it? Unfortunately for California, their budget woes have translated into fewer new textbook purchases.
However, what is unfortunate for California is quite fortunate for the rest of us. Texas has since replaced California as the leading textbook purchaser for the nation. This means the state of Texas can now make demands of the publishing companies, much as the state of California did, and those changes may well effect textbooks everywhere. And demand, they are!
The Texas Board of Education is in the process of debating and voting on changes to curriculum, and the battle between liberal and conservative board members has been heated, but, so far, the conservatives are winning:
Conservative members had their way in the 11-4 vote, which came one day after several Democratic board members walked out, claiming the proposed standards dilute the contribution of minorities to American history and culture. The debate, which picked up again Friday morning, ended with only a single Democrat voting to support the new standards.
The fact that the liberals walked out should come as no surprise. If we have learned anything from the past year+ of liberal rule it is that the only acceptable compromise is full capitulation to their demands. Anything less is unacceptable. The fact that there was one democrat who voted for the changes is cause for hope, though, and that democrat should be given credit for agreeing that learning about American exceptionalism is more important than the cultural significance of hip-hop music.
The main liberal argument is that there isn't enough minority representation. There were many minority contributions to the creation and preservation of this Union, but let's face it - back in the 1700's, whether in America or Europe, minorities didn't have much voice. Happily, those wrongs were righted and became the freedom we enjoy today, but it doesn't take away from the basic facts of life. This country was founded by a group of white men. This is not a travesty - it just is what it is.
Does that mean that our kids shouldn't learn about people like Frederick Douglass, Dolley Madison or Sojourner Truth? Of course they should - they helped shape this country and should be remembered for their contributions. But should our Founding Fathers be replaced by Famous Amos and Mary Kay? I personally believe that the black community in America has contributed far more than just a cookie maker (wildly successful entrepreneur though he may be) and hip-hop, and it is a disservice to them to relegate their portion of history to those narrow confines.
As a woman, I feel that the suffrage movement should also be discussed, if not in depth, at least touched upon. Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the many other thousands of women who risked life and limb in their nearly 100 year battle to win the priviledge of voting for all of us is something that has been lost to the girls of today. Teaching our children about what they went through is important as a reminder that some sacrifices are worth it, and everyone deserves dignity and a voice.
This battle in Texas is so important, because the education we give our children dictates where we are headed as a country. The California years, when they dictated the curricula, lead us down the path of collectivism and european socialism. History lessons are based on feelings and impressions, not hard fact. Our children are being taught to relate history into how they feel about an event, not the factual repercussions of it.
The liberals swept themselves in to victory in 2008 because that election was enabled by the subtle decades-long indoctrination of our youth (who are now beginning to reject that flawed reality). It's time to turn it around, and the Texas board of education has become the front line in the battle.
The tide is turning, though, the tide is turning. To keep it turning, we have to learn from the opposition. The main tactic that has worked so well for them has been their role as the 'squeaky wheel'. Their protests, lawsuits and generally irritating tactics have served them well. We are learning their lessons, but we are only applying them to the federal realm. As Tip O'Neill once said, "All politics is local". Yes, we need to keep the pressure on the apparent federal socialist revolution that is taking place before our eyes, but we also need to apply that same pressure locally - most especially our school boards and PTA.
Our children are literally our future, and we need to be as aware of that fact as the liberal/progressives have been. We need to fight them tooth and nail for the hearts and minds of our children. The Texas fight is just the beginning, but what a beginning it is!