Under intense pressure from activists, the Texas State Board of Education decided last year to implement Mexican-American heritage textbooks into the state curriculum. Hispanics accused the Texas school system of denying children the opportunity to learn about the many ways in which Mexican and American cultures are intertwined, and the school board voted to give them their due.
So why are they complaining now?
Well, it turns out that the textbook they chose – simply titled Mexican American Heritage – isn’t good enough.
“Paradoxically, we pressed for the board to include texts on Mexican-American studies, and we achieved it,” said Tony Diaz, a Hispanic activist who hosts a Spanish-language radio show in Houston. “But not in the way we were expecting.”
No? What’s the problem?
“Instead of a text that is respectful of the Mexican-American history, we have a book poorly written, racist, and prepared by non-experts,” Diaz said.
Whoa. That’s no good. Why would the State Board of Education choose such a nasty tome? What the hell’s actually in this book?
Well…these are the questions that people like Diaz would prefer you didn’t ask.
See, the book was written by an author described by the Houston Chronicle as a “right-wing Christian activist.” And since she uses the book to, in part, shine a spotlight on the horrors of illegal immigration, she’s been declared enemy #1 by Hispanic/liberal troublemakers in Texas.
“That author is not recognized as someone who is part of the Mexican-American studies scholarship,” said Douglas Torres-Edwards, another random activist the paper chose to interview.
Well, this just proves that you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. It’s never good enough. You not only have to give in to all of these special demands from liberals and interest groups and activists…you have to do it just the way they want you to do it.
See, these people are using a basic truth against a sensible (but rather unthinking) public. And that truth is that history can be told in any number of ways from any number of viewpoints. History is never just about facts and dates. Even when it is, it isn’t; the author chooses which facts and dates to include and which ones to omit. Every story of history is a narrative of some kind.
So it’s up to us to decide what kind of narrative we want our kids to learn. One that emphasizes personal responsibility, freedom, and the greatness of America, or one that emphasizes evil, guilt, and white sin? Which one gives us a better society in ten years? Which one leads us into the abyss?
Instead of instantly reacting to every absurd demand from the left, officials in schools, governments, and courts would do well to keep those questions firmly in mind.