Rally Planned to Oppose Racist Mexican-American Textbooks

Coalition will hold rally before SBOE public hearing on Tuesday

Educators and activists are slamming proposed ethnic studies books for several factual errors and racist depictions of Mexican-American history.
Educators and activists are slamming proposed ethnic studies books for several factual errors and racist depictions of Mexican-American history. (Source: PDF Screen Shot)

On Tuesday, Sept. 13, academics, lawmakers, and activists are gearing up to fight against proposed Mexican-American textbooks deemed racially offensive and overflowing with historical errors.

The group, dubbed The Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition, has been urging the Texas State Board of Education to reject the Mexican American Heritage books for their numerous inflammatory misrepresentations and perpetuation of stereotypes. For instance, the books describe Chicanos as wanting to “destroy” Western civilization and Mexican laborers as “lazy” compared to European and American workers. “It was also traditional to skip work on Mondays, and drinking on the job could be a problem,” the book reads.

An ad hoc committee of educators formed by SBOE District 2 member Ruben Cortez Jr., D-Brownsville, reviewed the text and offered a 54-page critical report highlighting more than 140 inaccuracies. The books failed to meet professional standards and offer "a prolific misrepresentation of facts.” The proposed book is “really a polemic attempting to masquerade as a textbook,” they wrote. (You can read the committee report here.)

“If students accept the racist depiction of Mexican origin people, regardless of the student’s racial/ethnic background, they will be psychologically damaged,” said Trinidad Gonzalez, a history professor at South Texas College and chair of the review committee, during a press conference last week.

The coalition plans to gather at the William B. Travis building at 9:30am. For more on the "Reject the Text" rally, click here. The Texas State Board of Education will convene afterward at 11am to hold a public hearing on the textbooks. The board will decide whether or not to adopt the textbooks for the 2017-2018 school year in November.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

State Board of Education, Mexican-American studies

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