The majority of textbooks used in N. American high schools and middle schools are made and/or purchased in Texas. As reported earlier on the blog, Texas based lobbyists have used this fact to erode information on reproductive rights and LGBT history in the past (In the Life did a brief but thorough documentary segment on this in 2005 as well). As also reported earlier, they are now working to remove reference to several community justice workers with a particular emphasis on removing Latin@ history. The Texas Board of Education will be voting on the proposal to remove community leaders like Cesar Chavez from the standard history textbooks on Wednesday of this week, January 13, 2009.
The United Farm Workers’ Union is asking for your help in preventing this from happening, here are the links to their urgent action (any of the links in their message will take you to a prepared form letter-email to be sent to the school board all you have to do is sign with your name and email or write your own letter in the space provided) :
We urgently need your help to stop the Texas state Board of Education from erasing Cesar Chavez and all Hispanic historical figures from public school text books. Since Texas is such a major textbook purchaser, such a move could have a nationwide impact.
This Wednesday, Jan. 13, the state board will take a preliminary vote to adopt new standards for social studies texts. These new standards would eliminate all Hispanics since the conquest of Mexico in the early 16th Century.Cesar Chavez, arguably the most important Hispanic civil rights leader of the 20th Century, is among the historical figures to be eliminated. One of Lowe’s so called “experts” said that Chavez “lacks the stature…and contributions” and should not be “held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation.” Alsoeliminated are a number of key Texas history makers such as Irma Rangel, the first Hispanic woman elected to the state Legislature.
Board members and their appointees have complained about an “over representation of minorities” in the current social studies standards. This is ironic as Hispanics will soon comprise the majority of all Texas public school students.
Please take a few moments right now to send board Chair Lowe an e-mail. Tell the TX State Board of Education not to allow a handful of ideological extremists to revise history by eliminating people of color. Please act now.