The Tea Party of Tennessee wants to remove from history textbooks any incidents of slavery and genocide linked to the founders of the U.S. for fear those references would tarnish the image of the Founding Fathers.
Members of Tennessee tea parties presented state legislators with five priorities for action Wednesday January 11, including “rejecting” the federal health reform act, establishing an elected “chief litigator” for the state and “educating students the truth about America.”
What Do They Mean By This?
Regarding education, the material they distributed said, “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.”
That would include, the documents say, that “the Constitution created a Republic, not a Democracy.”
The material calls for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculums, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
Fayette County attorney Hal Rounds, the group’s lead spokesman during the news conference, said the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.
Demand To Remove All References To Slavery Or Genocide
In other words, the request is to remove all references to slavery or genocide from American history textbooks, so as not to besmirch the reputation and standing of the Founding Fathers.
This sounds similar to moves made in other states, notably Texas.
The Texas Textbook War
As I wrote here, last March the Texas Board of Education approved a social studies curriculum for its textbooks that puts a conservative stamp on history and economics, stresses the superiority of American capitalism, questions the Founding Fathers’ commitment to a separation of church and state, emphasizes the role of Christianity in the nation’s founding, and generally presents Republican political philosophies in a positive light.
This a dangerous trend, and needs to be stopped.
Teaching should not be about presenting children with a biased viewpoint and not allowing them to question it. For me, the joy of teaching lies in giving my students all the available information and letting them make up their own minds about what they think is right.
What do you think?
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