Another setback for conservatives’ minority outreach

ANOTHER SETBACK FOR CONSERVATIVES’ MINORITY OUTREACH…. When far-right activists took over the Texas Board of Education, one of their first tasks was trying to downplay the contributions of civil rights leaders. Board members insisted that Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall receive too much credit in Texas classrooms.

These attitudes are spreading. This week, Tea Party activists in Tennessee announced a series of demands to state legislators, one of was “educating students the truth about America.”

And as they see it, the “truth” means downplaying the “minority experience” and saying only nice things about the framers.

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.”

Alex Pareene noted in response, “OK, but … I mean … those guys did a lot of ‘intruding’ and slave-owning, is the thing.”

Exactly. There are parts of our history far-right activists don’t like, but that doesn’t make those facts “made-up.” Demanding a whitewashing of history may be in line with the Tea Party worldview, but it serves no one’s interests, least of all the truth.