Friday, January 14, 2011

Tennessee Tea Parties declare war on history textbooks.

The Commercial Appeal has a story that says that a group of Tennessee Tea Parties want, among other things, to change references to the Founding Fathers as slave owners. You can scope it out here .

 From the story:

"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."

I'm sorry but the truth is the truth and our schools should teach our nation's history warts and all. I haven't been in school in a little while so I can't speak on current textbooks, they may very well be biased and disproportionately point out the flaws of the founders. What I can say is that removing all reference to this is pathetic. Schools should give students all the info and let them think for themselves, not guide them into some sort of predetermined view of history dictated from above. Plus none of the things that Mr. Rounds mentions are "made up".

Also, I think the effectiveness of various Tea Party movements is being diluted as they take on more issues and topics. As an anti-debt, anti-deficit, and anti-reckless spending movement it had a pretty considerable effect. It moved these issues to the forefront in a big way. It could have even had a lasting impact on our national conversation regarding debt and deficit reduction. Right now I see it turning into another conservative movement focused on vague "anti-Americanism".

A movement of fiscal responsibility could have continued to grow across the board. A great many people in our nation think our government spends way too much, but a lot fewer of them want to go around rewriting our textbooks.

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