Mexican-American community activists and scholars in Texas are raising objections to a textbook on a list of proposed school books for the 2017 to 2018 school year.
The Houston Chronicle reported
that the textbook, "Mexican American Heritage," includes passages that describe Chicanos, a Mexican-American group from the civil rights era, as people that "adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society."
In 2015, Latino scholars and activists called on the Texas school board to include textbooks that focus on Mexican-American studies.
"We achieved it, but not in the way we were expecting," Houston radio host Tony Diaz said in the Chronicle report. "Instead of a text that is respectful of the Mexican American history, we have a book poorly written, racist, and prepared by non-experts."
The Huffington Post reports
that University of Arizona professor Nolan Cabrera called the book "revisionist, ideological whitewashing of history."
The Post noted that the textbook includes contributions from Cynthia Dunbar, a former Texas board of education member who wrote another textbook that called public schooling "tyrannical" and a "subtly deceptive tool of perversion." She also wrote "One Nation Under God: How the Left is Trying to Erase What Made Us Great."
The Washington Post reported
that the book apparently links Mexican pride to dividing society: "College youth attempted to force their campuses to provide indigenismo-oriented curriculum, Spanish-speaking faculty and scholarships for poor and illegal students. These kinds of separatist and supremacy doctrines were concerning. While solidarity with one's heritage was understood, Mexican pride at the expense of American culture did not seem productive."
University of Houston professor Nicolas Kanellos told the Post that the book appears to be "blatant opportunism from certain people to make money and/or to water down the real Mexican American history."
The textbook comes up for approval by the state board in November, according to the Texas Observer
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