Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The State of Tex-ass

If Texas did not exist, someone would have to make it up. If you needed a classic

example of what your life would be like with Regressives running the country, all you have

to do is examine life and public policy in Texas. Texas ranks last or next to last in some

amazing categories: funding for women's health, pre-natal care, per-pupil public school

spending, legal aid, and prevention of violence against women. To it's credit, Tex-ass is

first in executions. Until a recent Supreme Court ruling, Texas believed in criminalizing

the private behavior of adults in their own home. Texas' governor suggested the state

should consider secession because of unhappiness with the goings on in Washington; and

the State Board of Education believes that Texas students should only learn about famous

Regressives in their history books.

No, I am not making this up. In a proposal for new standards for the state's

high school history books, the State Board of Education stated students should learn about

Newt Gingrich, Phyllis Schlafly, and the Moral Majority. Students should not read or learn

about such un-American figures like Cesar Chavez, the leader of the United Farm Worker's

Union, nor Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice and

the man who successfully argued Brown vs. The Board of Education which ended segregation

in public schools.

The fifteen member Board is made up of ten Republicans, and many seem to think

this proposal will pass a preliminary vote. It gets better. One Regressive board member,

Ken Mercer, thinks the list of Regressives needs to be longer. He wants high school students

studying American History to learn about the exploits of James Dobson, founder of Focus

on the Family, Sean Hannity, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Others

have proposed adding Rush Limbaugh and the National Rifle Association.

Before you dismiss this as so much piffle and something that doesn't affect you,

you need to realize that Texas is the second largest purchaser of school textbooks.

Textbook publishers tailor their books to meet Texas standards. This means that children

in most other states will read books that meet Texas standards. In other words, for many

schools, as goes Texas so goes the rest of the country. This ain't bean-bag.

Two of the textbook reviewers of the Board recommended that any mention of

Cesar Chavez be dropped from the next edition of American History books because they

don't consider him to be a good role model.

It is hard to know where to begin. Newt Gingrich dumped wife number one for

wife number two while she was in a hospital bed recovering from surgery. He then had

an affair with a staffer who became wife number three. Rush Limbaugh has more ex-wives

than suits and a little drug problem as well. Gingrich declared the latest Supreme Court

Justice Sonia Sotomayor a racist; and Limbaugh compares President Obama to the Nazis,

as well as openly hopes he fails to bring back the American economy. Cesar Chavez

organized farm workers into their first union, fought for just wages and safe working

conditions in the fields; and he did it all non-violently. However, he is not a proper

role model.

It would all be laughable if these people weren't dead serious. They truly believe

that a study of American history should include Rockefeller and Carnegie, Hoover and

Nixon, McCarthy and Reagan; while eliminating any discussion of King, Chavez, Marshall,

Roosevelt, Parks, or other Progressives. You haven't heard a whiff of this in the corporate

media. The same media whipped the flames of death panels, town yells, and the government's

attempt to reform healthcare; and have nothing to say about the attempt by Texas to

hijack the textbook industry and force it's view of the world on the rest of the nation's

children. The same media that let anyone who wished to get face time to accuse the

President of not being born in America, is silent on an attempt to teach propaganda and

not history. If the school board in Berkeley or San Francisco had proposed to teach

American history but leave out Lincoln, Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms, both Bushes and

William F. Buckley; you couldn't have turned on a TV or radio without hearing about it.

Knowledge is power and Regressives understand this principle. They also know

history is not on their side. History is the story of progress in this nation. It is a story

about the struggle for rights and justice. It is a chronicle of a nation moving from the

control of land-owning white men to enfranchisement of all Americans no matter what

their race, creed, or color. American history is a story about the fits and starts of that

progress. American history is the study of both the good and bad in this journey. The

goal of history is to be as objective as possible. The key difference between history and

propaganda is the ability to suspend bias and chronicle the facts. Real history teaches

the truth as much as possible and lets the chips fall where they may. It has become a

cliche to quote George Santayana, but had Hitler remembered Napoleon, World War II

might have turned out very differently; or had John F. Kennedy not remembered what

triggered the First World War, the Cuban Missile Crisis could have been the spark of a

thermonuclear World War III.

Texas and Texans deserve each other. However, the rest of the nation needs

to ensure our children get the best and most wide-ranging education possible. There

isn't anything anyone can do to restore sanity to the Texas Board of Education, but this

gives you a real world glimpse into a nation governed by these intellectual homunculi

and it ought to scare the beejesus out of you. What do you think? I welcome your

comments and rebuttals. Please send them to lionoftheleft@gmail.com


  1. I've hated Texan's ever since they stole all our utility money. When they were gaming the system I had $500 electrical bills. Every time I meet a Texan I ask for my money back. The after they look at me in that stupid Longhorn dead stare, I explain the whole power scam and Texas' part in it. The stare never changes. Actually most of them think I'm making it up. They don't even know the depth and depravity of their own history.

    Of course Texas gave us Anne Richards and Molly Ivans. So maybe we could do something geneticly with them.....

  2. Texas was started by a few rich cowards who hired mercinaries to fight the mexican governememt. When thse guys got outgunned at the alamo out huston was a coward and left to die. I tell tehm with out northern influence they would be texicans. it is the worship of ignorance that befuddles me

  3. Take a look at what's been going on at the State Board of Education, and I think you'll agree with me. It needs fixing. We need to bring rational discussion, research-based decision-making and a cooperative spirit to the board. I hope you'll join me in this effort.
    We all care about the education of young people in Texas. Let's prove it and give them the best possible public schools and strongest curriculum we can develop, based on the advice of a broad coalition of experienced educators, scholars, and experts. We all want better high school graduation rates, students who are prepared for the work force, for careers, and for higher education. With your help, we can make it happen! Go to www.voterebecca.com to learn more about how you can help.

    -Rebecca Bell-Metereau