No, Texas. Just No.
Texas has decided to rewrite and Whitewash history. In several news reports, indications are that the new textbooks essentially erase slavery from them. How do you teach children an ahistorical history? No mention of slavery, Jim Crow Laws or the Black Codes, or the KKK. No mention of some of the institutions that have shaped the nation’s appearance and make-up. On what planet is this an acceptable education standard? This isn’t about education, this is about the essential battle in a Conservative state to conserve face.
The students in Texas are going to be taught that slavery was a tertiary factor in the decision to secede from the United States, despite the historical fact that it is mentioned in several secession letters and the Confederate Constitution establishes that no state in the Confederacy will be a slave free state. Despite the historical facts that Jefferson Davis was an avowed White Supremacist and his Vice President Alexander Stephens established the principles of the Confederacy would be based on keeping the African in his proper place, firmly beneath the heel of the White man. Add to this that the creation of the Confederate flag was steeped in the same White Supremacist ideology.
To eliminate any mention of the systems that essentially extended slavery is not only questionable, it is flat out dangerous. The Black Codes and Jim Crow unofficially officially extended the subjugation of African Americans for a century after the Civil War was officially won by the North and the Southern States were reabsorbed into the Union. For what reason is history being taught under a Confederate friendly banner? Who authorized this outright foolishness? Who is pandering to the losers of history and why?
Texas has lost its mind if it thinks that these are acceptable education standards. History is not supposed to be on the side of the oppressor, it is supposed to tell the true story of what happened. History is not supposed to be a political tool used to turn the education standards in the favor of those who are Confederate sympathizers. Whoever is responsible for this foolishness needs to be out of a job because you are not only robbing children of the opportunity to learn a real truth about the history of America, you are robbing educators of a chance to speak about what these things have led to in present day America. You are decontextualizing actual events to fit your preconceived narrative of a war that like it or not, was largely fought over the idea and institution of slavery.
Dear White Texas Legislators, get over it. The Civil War was fought over slavery. Black Codes and Jim Crow laws extended slavery. The KKK oppressed and killed Black people for the better part of 100 years post Civil War. These are facts, facts which cannot be posthumously extricated from history or history books. Just because you don’t like history doesn’t mean you get to change it. We don’t like this history either, but we’re still living with the effects of it. I think teaching it correctly is the least you can do.