You know, I was going to write up a description of yesterday’s Texas Board of Education debate over the social studies standards. But then I figured I’d just post a video of different excerpts from the hearing and let folks watch for themselves:
The board votes today on the new curriculum standards. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
OK. Here’s a real video clip of the hearings in which the board discusses whether to keep civil rights and labor leader Dolores Huerta in the standards. (Favorite quote: “By definition of history, you should be dead.”)
*Sigh.* Brawndo’s Got What Plants Crave. Dolores Huerta is a socialist. The critical thinking is the same. These board members are like Sarah Palin, so unconcerned by their abject ignorance that they cheerfully ramble on, stringing unconnected words together, figuring that if they keep using snippets of the right talking points, they will eventually produce a cohesive insightful point. (Not unlike the notion that a room full of monkeys banging randomly forever on typewriters will one day produce a Shakespearean sonnet.)
Case in point, during a debate over whether to include Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address alongside the speeches of Abraham Lincoln, Cynthia Dunbar accuses opponents of the motion of trying to “whitewash” history. She heard someone else use it and without a moment’s reflection to try to grasp what it means to others, she throws the term out there to make what she no doubt thinks is a clever and irrefutable rhetorical point. (Sort of along the same lines as, “I know you are, but what am I?”)
The Texas Freedom Network has been live blogging the hearings. Here is the excerpt regarding Jefferson Davis:
7:21 – Lawrence Allen moves to strike a requirement that students study the ideas in Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address. A requirement to study the inaugural addresses of President Lincoln and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address remains. Allen notes that Davis’s address doesn’t mention slavery, and the standard currently puts Davis on an equal footing with Lincoln.
7:25 – Barbara Cargill wants to keep Davis’s inaugural address in the standard. Dunbar does as well, saying we shouldn’t “whitewash” history. But that’s what Davis’s address does! The address doesn’t even mention the reason southern states seceded: slavery.
7:28 – Bob Craig notes that an earlier standard already included a mention of Davis. Putting Davis’s address on an equal footing with Lincoln’s speeches and ideas is wrong. Students should analyze the ideas of people who made our country great, not the ideas of those who didn’t, he says.
7:31 – David Bradley argues that some people simply don’t like what Davis’s address said. Well, duh. Why should students study the disingenuous speech of a secessionist who led states that sought to continue enslaving millions of human beings?
7:35 – Geraldine “Tincy” Miller suggests that Davis’s address should remain in for balance.
7:35 – The board votes to keep Davis’s address and then moves the reference to Davis’s address to after the mention of Lincoln and asks students to “contrast” the speeches of the two. This is absurd. The ideas in Davis’s address are focused almost entirely on attacking federal authority — a modern-day TEA Partier could have written such a speech today. The speech said nothing about the evil institution of slavery that Davis’s administration supported. This is just another attempt to whitewash the real history of the Confederacy and the Civil War.
The board is scheduled to vote today on these new standards. If they approve them (and there is no reason to assume they won’t), America will be another step closer to instituting an Idiocracy.