by Judy Molland
Five million public school students in Texas will begin using new social studies textbooks this fall based on state academic standards that are replete with omissions and distortions. The textbooks were created based on standards adopted by the Board of Education in 2010 after a fierce battle.
When it came to social studies standards, conservatives championing causes from a focus on the biblical underpinnings of our legal system to a whitewashed picture of race in the United States won out.
Here are 10 reasons why these books are dangerous for all American students:
1. A Glaring Confederate Omission: In the new textbooks, students get to read the inaugural address by Confederate President Jeff Davis, in which he vaguely alludes to slavery, without mentioning the word. They will not, however, read the speech given by his vice president, Alexander Stephens, which states: “Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”
2. The Civil War was not about slavery: Continuing on the same theme, students are informed that the Civil War was caused by “sectionalism, states’ rights and slavery” — written deliberately in that order. Slavery was a “side issue to the Civil War,” said Pat Hardy, a Republican board member, when the board adopted the standards in 2010. “There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.”
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