Texas Might Finally Approve a Mexican-American Studies Course Today

DoloresHuerta.jpg
Rockero
Mexican-American activist Dolores Huerta, who was struck from Texas' social studies curriculum five years ago.
High school students in Texas can take, and get credit toward, electives like floral arrangement, team sport officiating, and turf-grass management. But not for Mexican-American studies, something activists, education groups, and several dozen state lawmakers are pushing to change.

They came out in force for Tuesday's State Board of Education meeting in Austin, urging board members to make the course a state-approved elective for high school students. Districts can currently offer such classes by developing and getting approval for their own "innovative course," but the process can be arduous; state approval would provide a standardized curriculum and textbook, making things much easier.

Their argument seems pretty reasonable. In a state where more than half of public school students are Hispanic, the vast majority of them of Mexican descent, and with Mexican-American leaders having been expunged from the social studies curriculum, it's only fair to give students a chance to learn about their heritage, which also happens to be intertwined with Texas history.

See also: Creationists' Last Stand at the State Board of Education

Texas Freedom Network's Kathy Miller puts it like this:

Right now there are more than 200 elective courses in the state curriculum, including classes on topics like floral design and web gaming. In a state where the majority of public school students are Hispanic, surely there is room for an elective course that teaches students how Mexican-Americans have helped shape our nation's history. And this is especially important just a few years after this state board actually debated whether Texas students should learn about revered Hispanic Americans like Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta and Sonia Sotomayor.

In the words of Tony Diaz, director of intercultural initiatives at Lone Star College in Harris County and one of the most forceful advocates of Mexican-American studies is more succinct:

"Texas must stamp out one of the last vestiges of discrimination. Our community will not be separated from its history," Diaz said.

The proposal has met with resistance from some Republicans on the board.who object to singling out an single ethnic group for study and say the "innovative course" option is sufficient. From the Houston Chronicle's preview of the debate:

"I'm Irish," says board member David Bradley, R-Beaumont. "So I'd like to propose an amendment to create an Irish-American Studies class."

He noted that many HISD students speak Urdu: "Why not Indian-American Studies? That may sound silly. But I'm raising a serious point. In Texas public schools, we teach American history and Texas history. We don't teach Irish-American history and Italian-American history."

Board member Patricia Hardy, R-Weatherford, said the state already includes a considerable amount of Mexican-American history in the curriculum. A former social-studies teacher, she argues that a Mexican-American studies class would do students a disservice if it displaces other social-studies offerings ...

[F]or the state to approve official curriculum for a class that focuses on one ethnic group, "whether it's the majority or not, is wrong," she says. "We're citizens of the United States, not citizens of Mexico."

None of them raised those objections at Tuesday's hearing, where the only real opposition came from Lady Theresa Tombs, the flamboyant, supposedly knighted SBOE candidate from North Richland Hills who claims to be a "carrier of diplomatic papers" and, we learned Tuesday, is qualified to opine on Mexican-American issue because she was named to a "Latino Who's Who" for her ministry work.

See also: Meet Lady Theresa Thombs, State Board of Education Candidate, Dame of Justice, Carrier of Diplomatic Papers

Just because the board members stayed silent, though, doesn't mean they're on board with the course. Tuesday was just the public hearing. Today is the board discussion and the vote.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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70 comments
pak152
pak152

so when will Mexico institute American studies? how anti-American will this course of studies be?

Americano
Americano

They could skip the class and get a job at a restaurant.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

No one should be labeling Dick Lamm as a Liberal.  He's a crackpot who's been dismissed as nothing more than a doomsayer.



Among Lamm’s key issues are establishing population control, stopping immigration, raising taxes to reduce the deficit, increasing tariffs for greater trade protection and ending “excessive” medical care for the elderly. His ideology is based on the “lifeboat” philosophy of human existence, according to which a race or nation cannot survive with its own limited resources if it dispenses those resources to others. ---cato.org



dingo
dingo

They could model the curriculum after all of the Guatemalan-Mexican studies courses they offer in the public schools in Southern Mexico.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

Former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, a Liberal Democrat on how he would induce "American Suicide":

"First, Invent 'multiculturalism' and  encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. Make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and  discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of  bounds."

"Second, We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort.  The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently:  "The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural  experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by  hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together." Lamm said, "I would  encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would!  replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl  metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have  various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing  their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their  similarities."

"Third, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school."

"My fourth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations  and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think that  their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population."

"My fifth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship, and  promote divided loyalties I would celebrate diversity over unity.  I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other- that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent.  People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together."

"Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'xenophobe'  halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bi-lingual/bicultural country, having established multiculturalism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative  impact of millions of  them."

Lamm said this back in 2004

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

From the very first days America has not been a nation of a single "culture", it has been a nation of many cultures. The idea that we were not "multi-cultural" in the past ignores our history. As Alan Dershowitz states it, America is not a "melting pot" where people lose their heritage, it is a "stew" where each ingredient retains its flavor but comes together to make a better recipe.

However, the dominant culture was that of western European, white males ruling over all others. Ethnic, religious and sex discrimination was the norm.

America has come a long way in establishing a level playing field for all of its citizens regardless of their ethnicity, their religion or which sex they are. However, barriers remain to real equality for all.

One of the most important goals is to have everyone, regardless of their background, believe that with work and dedication they can climb the economic ladder. Part of this is to provide youth examples of how others like them were successful, and to understand the battles and progress done by others before them.

Having a history class focused on this lesson is positive and valuable. I hope the SBOE passes the course.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

I love to learn about about other cultures; their history, their language; their cuisine.  I have no doubt that some bigoted Americans are fearful that learning about cultures different than their own will explode the stereotypes that have taken so long to build up. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

As a matter of self-preservation we need to eliminate diversity.  No country has ever survived by "celebrating" multiculturalism.  E Pluribus Unum is not on the Dollar Bill in the name of diversity.  It is an absolute necessity.

E pluribus unum - The understood meaning of the phrase was that out of many states (or colonies) emerge a single nation. However, in recent years its meaning has come to suggest that out of many peoples, races, religions and ancestries has emerged a single people and nation—illustrating the concept of the melting pot.

lg71050
lg71050

Does the "R" after someone's name always automatically indicate that person is a total asshole?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

You can't or won't dispute a single point he made, all you have is a personal attack, and a weak one at that.

why not try to logically debunk even one issue raised by Lamm that was posted?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@dingo

I known Mexican graduates of those courses, for some reason it made those graduates, to the man, speak ill of Guatemalans.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

Well, we should see his bigoted, illogical, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, hateful rant thoroughly dissected, deconstructed, disproved and flushed here in this forum soon.

Two hours and not one attempt though tells me that, in this case at least, the debate actually is over. LOL.

The guy must love Mark Steyn.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Have you encountered problems here in America learning about other cultures?

If someone decides they don't give a rats ass about, say, Armenian culture, does that make them bigoted against Armenians?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

As a matter of self-preservation we need to eliminate diversity

Unfortunately, many immigrants interpret the "we" in your statement to mean they must preserve their culture, they have no interest in "diversity" if it means diluting that culture.

I'm speaking specifically about a group who, through over-representation in immigration, has no desire nor need to assimilate. This is what immigration quotas and laws were designed to avoid.

Many Latinos have told me this, much empirical evidence points to this mindset. Chavez very strongly doubted the border-jumper's "love of America", and through my experience, he had every reason to.

The legal Latino immigrant is really no different than any other immigrant group, they are much, much more likely to "love" what America represents than their illegal counterparts. They are much more apt to assimilate - which does not mean abandoning your culture, it means accepting "American" culture.

But the people who advocate for corruption of the immigration system make it so very much harder for them, in so many ways. Their "compassion" is not for America, or Americans - and they further their mistake by declaring others, who cite simple logic and empirical fact - as "racist", or anti-immigrant. That's because they cannot support their position with logic, and cannot fathom that their aims, if successful, will be damaging to the very people the laws were designed to protect.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@holmantx  "Eliminate diversity".  As they did in Nazi Germany, you mean:


The Holocaust was more than a Jewish event. Records kept by the Germans prove they exterminated millions of Communists, Czechs, Greeks, Gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, mentally and physically handicapped, Poles, resistance fighters, Russians, Serbs, Socialists, Spanish Republicans, trade unionists, Ukrainians, Yugoslavians, prisoners of war of many nations, and still others whose identity may never be recognized. Their victims, according to one survivor of four different concentration camps, "were of some thirty nationalities, from Nepalese to Andorrans, and of a variety of racial and linguistic stocks ranging from Basques to Buriats and from Ladinos to Lapps". 


Michael Berenbaum,ed., A Mosaic of Victims: Non-Jews Persecuted and Murdered by the Nazis (New York/London, 1990), x


David Rousset, The Other Kingdom (New York, 1947), 13-14. 

wcvemail
wcvemail

@TheRuddSki  

Guatemalans are the East Texans of Mexico, but without the legal protection or the "Bless Their Hearts" acceptance.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  Steyn is one of the funniest and best writers around.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

If someone decides they don't give a rats ass about, say, Armenian culture, does that make them bigoted against Armenians?

no it doesn't say that.

however, if someone in a position to decide if a school course on Armenian culture should be offered says no, it shouldn't, they are showing a prejudice against Armenians.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

This is what immigration quotas and laws were designed to avoid.

Bullshit. Immigration quotas and laws were enacted to stop "those people" from entering .

"those people" were first Asians, then were used to limit the number of Eastern Europeans entering. See, Western Europeans were OK for the most part, except for all those darn Irish....

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

To equate those who believe that immigration should be legally controlled to Nazis indicates that you see every developed nation on a Earth as basically Nazi.

You're basically an anarchist.

tdkisok
tdkisok

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz


Oh come on, just because Republicans in Congress support cutting benefits for first responders doesn't make them assholes, it makes them heartless dicks. 

pak152
pak152

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @lg71050just not as big as the one's on the other side of aisle. why is it that liberal/progressives have to engage in name calling rather than debating facts?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

If your president told you that, there's a ninety percent chance it's a proved lie.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@TheRuddSki He actually is somewhat of a crackpot.  His last term of governor in Colorado was a case study in political suicide, at least to those of us living there.  His arguments against senior care expenditures may have had some mathematical basis, but to a bunch of rural hicks, advocating that granny just wander off and die so as not to burden the social safety net doesn't fly very far.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

This tie into the post I linked to from The Nation, pointing out the problems with modern liberalism's illiberalism, and the contradictions between openness to a wide spectrum of ideas and ideals, which is in actuality strictly controlled. IOW, modern liberalism has met the enemy, and it's them.

That's why the confusion over "Women's rights" or the "war on women", and why Bill Clinton is a hero and Ayaan Hirsi Ali is shunned by the left, for instance.

Some things I think are not meant to make logical sense.

There's a bit of a war developing on this theme, among self-professed "liberals". It's interesting reading. Any lib interested in getting out of the bubble might serve themselves well by regularly reading Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com

There, they'll find links to what I reference, if they care to.

Here's an interesting piece along those lines

http://ricochet.com/liberalism-eating/

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

His Liberal credentials were yanked shortly after that speech.  That fact validates a debunk in Leftist circles.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

The guy is a "crackpot", yet you can't or wont debunk or dispute a single issue he raises.

Why not?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

It's not unusual for the same person to decry the "ugly American", and bemoan the effect American immigration has on "indigenous culture" in Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize. Yet, when an American complains of the radical cultural change in their own neighborhood, the same person so quick to demonize Americanization is equally quick to demonize the American who sees his local culture replaced.

It's so convenient to have it both ways, so convenient that "xenophobia" and "racism" are concepts that apply only to certain groups of people designated by the left.

That's why we see certain people here unable to explain why flooding the labor market with foreign nationals and black-market labor is beneficial to America, Americans, and in particular, Latino-American immigrants and blacks.

One would suspect that they are actually sock-puppets for the failing state of Mexico, which needs the US as a pressure valve to relieve their corrupt system of the necessity of change, and the possibility of revolution.

What else could explain the illogic?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

Just try and cross the Mexican border into Guatemala or (gasp!) Belize.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@wcvemail

I hate to cite my rather lengthy experience with the mix of Latin Americans lest it upset my butt-sniffer, but you're right, Mexicans are not fond of Guatemalans at all. They're not big on Salvadorans, Hondurans, North Americans or, for that matter, each other - it's a latitude attitude.

But the the Caribbean Latinos think Mexicans are shits. It's a longitudinal issue.

However, none dare call it bigotry, lest one be accused of bigotry.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  and we all now live in one of the Stans - Brokistan.

I was ranting and raving about something somewhere, and he sent me an autographed copy of one of his books. So of course I think he's a hellavaguy.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

No debate there, amigo. He loves New Hampshire as much as I do, because Vermont, which was my real, true love, went socialist on me. That, and no sales tax - cheaper beer!

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

Apparently, you ignore statistics and concerns discussed and documented not just here, but among the Latino community as well.

what "statistics" are you referring to that say that "immigrants don't learn reading, writing and arithmetic"?

your contstant put down of non-native born people  shows exactly where you come from as a "source", you use as broad a paint brush as ever existed. in your eye they're monolitic.

Usted es la persona ignorante, con los ojos bien cerrados.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Mavdog

As for your unfounded blathering about how "our immigrants" don't learn "reading, writing and arithmetic"...

Apparently, you ignore statistics and concerns discussed and documented not just here, but among the Latino community as well.

...I'll just consider the source

I'll just consider that passive-aggressive dog-whistle code for the debate is over! Adiós, tenga un buen día, disfrutar de su ignorancia, amigo.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

Nor can the study of the Bible, and the Bible has an lot more influence on American history than Mexico.

first, no, the Bible has had more influence on American culture than on American History. It is a good area of study as an elective course.

second, no wonder you have your panties in a wad over this, you mistakenly think the course is on Mexico. It isn't, the course is Mexican-American studies.

As for your unfounded blathering about how "our immigrants" don't learn "reading, writing and arithmetic", I'll just consider the source.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

It can't be covered totally inside an American History class.

Nor can the study of the Bible, and the Bible has an lot more influence on American history than Mexico.

Look, I'm not against electives on the study of Kangaroo sexuality, or anything, but I would be more supportive if they taught reading, writing and arithmetic to a level that would put US public education on a higher plane. Maybe when our immigrants learn that, they can branch out into the pride courses.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

That is illogical.

If your reasoning were true, we wouldn't need to have a course beyond basic literature. Why would we need to have anyone study 18th century english lit? or post modern lit?

It can't be covered totally inside an American History class. Just like there is a valid reason there is an elective class on the American Civil War, or a class on the Progressive Movement.

That's what school study is all about, gaining greater, more in depth knowledge on a subject...

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@mavdog

Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, they're saying that singling out one culture to study at the exclusion of others is in itself a form of exclusion, or bigotry.

Is there an Asian studies? Is there a course in Arabian studies? The history of a Israel?

Cannot the study of history simply include the major influential groups and their influence on the world, the US, the Southwest, Texas - without singling out a specific group for its own area of study?

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor of specific elective studies of different cultures and religions. I assume you would support a Bible-study or Chinese culture study as well.

But I can see the point that it's not needed because all this can be included in the study of history, and specifically American history.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@TheRuddSki

laws aren't being used as you claim

Page Act

Chinese Exclusion Act

Naturalization Act of 1903, 1906, 1907

Immigration Act of 1917

Emergency Quota Act of 1921

Hart-Cellar Act

you don't know US history do you?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Mavdog

Strawman.

Mexicans dominate the legal immigration slots. Apparently, laws aren't being used as you claim.

Then on top of this legal immigrstion flow, we're supposed to give amnesty to tens of millions more who jumped the line?

Why?re Mexicans so special that they should enjoy privilege denied all others?

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

@pak152 If you are asking ME about how I feel about teachers having sex with students vs what I "allege" about catholics (and perhaps you are simply making a statement).  Yet I don't know of anyone who thinks either one is okay.  I do find it alarming that female school teachers are treated differently than males.  Yet I do believe that every Teacher arrested is not given the same options as Catholics Priests are given.  The money involved in cover-up, legal fees, lawsuits, relocations and mental support is astronomical and there is no reason for me to "allege" any of it.  With so much cover up I think it would be impossible to get an accurate numbers from the Vatican.   Suffice it to say that if the crime is be committed by someone being paid by taxpayers or someone using Grandma's tithes, there should be the same rules for all.   I think we can agree on that.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@holmantx

The debate is over-ism.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@LOOK

If you support ignoring the law, breaking the law, abandoning law in favor of every-man-for-his-own-interest, you're advocating anarchy.

If the negative effect of what you support is well-known throughout history, and similar laws exist in every developed nation precisely because the effect is known, then you're not an anarchist, you're a fucking moron.

Why do you think every developed nation in the world has immigration law, because the developed world is bigoted?

Just-Sharon
Just-Sharon

@TheRuddSki To call Myrna an anarchist for making that comments certainly means that you support the Catholic priests who rape young alter boys.  And then help support them perverts in being relocated and not  processed and held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.  


That means you are basically a supporter of perverted acts and hate young children.  


......Just a small example of your extreme idiotic bullshit. 

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@TheRuddSki  

It is the Dick Lamm 'heresy' term designed to shut down debate.

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