Who Am I?

My photo

I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A LETTER TO THE TEXAS STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION


DISCLAIMER: Not an actual letter, but a commentary


 

Dear Texas State Board of Education,

I wish to thank you for the new history curriculum that was just approved recently. Your decision to promote a slanted ideology in the history curriculum will not only greatly impact the public school system, but this ripple effect will eventually reach the Texas university system. It is shameful to hear that certain figures such as Gloria Steinem, Cesar Chavez, and countless others that have contributed to the rich history of this diverse nation have been eliminated from the history books.

Why do I know those names? For starters, I took an equivalency of four years of high school level Spanish through middle school all the way until my sophomore year in high school. Note: it was the TEXAS school system that I was able to achieve this feat. I can still speak a little bit of the language and pick up on some key words if there are native Spanish speakers talking.

Second, I was raised by a feminist. A feminist by definition is someone who sees women as people too. Of course most of you are terrified by that concept because you only view women as baby making machines and their only domain must be the home which they should never venture out of because the world is a scary, scary, scary place that would cause a woman's brain to explode.

Lastly and most importantly, I have a genuine interest in knowing stuff. We used to revere and respect people who know stuff. Today, we ridicule them and call them names like "elitist."

If I am elitist, so be it. I think knowing stuff is cool.

Even the rabid Tea Party favorite Thomas Jefferson has been eliminated and replaced with the French priest John Calvin as one of the influences on this nation's government. I am confused. I thought right wingers hated the French. Also, Calvin was a huge believer in predestination meaning that there was no way for you to transition through society unless God, or creator equivalent, has made it so.

Besides, the philosophers John Locke and Thomas Hobbes had more of an influence on the founding of this country than Calvin did. Locke stressed the social contract aspect between the people within a society and the government which they belong to. Hobbes was a believer in that human nature at its worst can be very primal like, almost like between tigers in the jungle. Hobbes more than likely would have supported a strong central government because it would have been there as the necessary control to keep human behavior from devolving into pure anarchy of people doing what it takes to survive without consequence. We have seen that as a result of the rampant deregulation of the financial sector.

The reason for this letter is because of what I witnessed last week during a review for the second exam in my US History class. The test covered a period in America that even I admit am not very strong on: the period from the Hayes to Theodore Roosevelt administration (1876-1908). The instructor was asking questions to random students in the class. Not ONE student could name anything about Teddy Roosevelt, despite the fact that the instructor had the power point slide on the Theodore Roosevelt administration.

I dread what impact this decision by the SBOE will have on our university system and society here in Texas.

If by the time we get to the review for the World Wars and not ONE student can name a key person involved in those conflicts, I will seriously contemplate moving to New Mexico once I complete my undergraduate studies.

I understand that I can go to any public university under Hazelwood, but it is just not worth it.


 

From a dissatisfied Texan,

Michael Watts
Post a Comment