Monday, January 23, 2012

Tennessee Tea Party Wants to White Wash TN Textbooks

Tennessee Tea Party 'Demands' That References To Slavery Be Removed From History Textbooks | ThinkProgress
Marie Diamond

In 2010, the conservatives who controlled the Texas Board of Education caused an uproar when they made radical changes to the history curriculum for the state’s 4.8 million public school students. The changes included referring to the country’s first black president as “Barack Hussein Obama,” and requiring students to “contrast” Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ inaugural address with Abraham Lincoln’s philosophical views.
To whitewash one of the darkest practices in America history, conservatives proposed that textbooks refer to the slave trade as the “Atlantic triangular trade.”
Now Tennessee Tea Party members are taking their efforts a step further and trying to eliminate references to slavery in American history textbooks. Salon reports that Tea Partiers who fetishize America’s founders are “demanding” that students not be taught that many of them owned slaves...
Many of America’s first leaders, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, owned slaves. Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave Sally Hemings, and James Madison actually brought a slave with him to the White House when he became president.
The framers also painstakingly avoided addressing the issue of slavery when they wrote the Constitution, which included a compromise that each slave be counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of representation and taxation.
But recently, conservatives have preferred to gloss over those ugly truths and deprive students of a complete and honest portrait of the imperfect men who founded our country. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), founder of the congressional Tea Party caucus, famously said that the founders “worked tirelessly” to end slavery. Several of the GOP candidates have even signed a pledge that claimed that blacks were better off under slavery than under President Obama.
Salon: Tennessee Tea Party Demands Textbooks Contain No Mean Things About Founding Fathers