From TFN Insider
In March the conservative Texas Public Policy
Foundation (TPPF) ambushed teachers and others who have been working to revise
social studies curriculum standards for the state’s public schools. TPPF
charged that the curriculum writing teams — made up of teachers, academics and
others — were drafting standards that left out important historical figures such
as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, holidays like Independence Day and
various patriotic symbols like the Liberty Bell.
That was nonsense. As we noted later, Don McLeroy (who was State Board of Education chairman at the time) had leaked
early work from the writing teams to TPPF — work that was nowhere near complete.
It seems clear that TPPF’s purpose (and McLeroy’s) was to discredit the work of
the writing team members. Most of those team members are hardworking educators
and academics who know history and understand quite well how to craft curriculum
standards for students.
But not all of them. We have already reported about the ideologues the McLeroy
faction on the state board has appointed to a panel of so-called “experts” who
will help guide the revision of the social studies standards. It turns out that
faction members have also embedded fringe right-wingers on the very curriculum
writing teams that they were criticizing last March. Here are three:
We told you a little about Bill Ames last
month. Ames — appointed to the writing teams by state board member Don McLeroy,
R-College Station – spoke before the State Board of Education’s Committee on
Instruction in April, criticizing what he called an “overrepresentation of minorities”
in the social studies curriculum standards.
Over the years Ames has been a regular speaker at public hearings about
textbooks and curriuclum standards in Texas. In 2004, for example, he testified
before the state board in support of new abstinence-0nly health textbooks. He
criticized comprehensive sex education as an effort “to promote sexual activity as no more than an adolescent game,
“The other side’s agenda is not about helping children. Rather, it is about
growing the business volumes and revenues of Planned Parenthood and other
abortion providers. Such a goal requires high numbers of sexually active
teenagers, indoctrinated and encourages by anything-goes sex education programs
in our public schools.”
When it comes to social studies, Ames often complains that textbooks spend
too much time discussing the contributions of minorities, thus crowding out what
he considers the real contributions that made America great. And he is angered
by textbook passages that he deems insufficiently patriotic or that he thinks
dwell too much on negative aspects of the nation’s history.
Ames also has ties to the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, an organization the
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls “a nativist extremist
group” that sends armed members to patrol the nation’s border with Mexico.
about his work with the Minuteman group in the Collin County Republican Review
in December 2005:
“(I)llegal aliens are overrunning our tax supported hospitals, public
schools, and welfare systems. They are bringing diseases to the U.S. which were
eradicated here decades ago: including tuberculosis, malaria, plague, leprosy,
As an organization, TFN takes no position on immigration, illegal or
otherwise. But efforts to demonize illegal immigrants by portraying them as
disease-carriers has been a key key tactic of nativist groups and their
supporters for years now — even though those claims are often based on distorted
and often erroneous information. (See here and here, for example.)
Peter Morrison, appointed by state board
member David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna, is a member of the Lumberton Independent School District Board of Trustees in
Southeast Texas. Morrison publishes an e-mail newsletter, The Peter Morrison
Report, that calls on Texas conservatives to “light a fire to take back our
state and country from RINO sellouts and liberal extremists.”
Morrison, who shares Ames’ nativist passions, gets plenty of e-ink on various
Web sites. A “culture warrior” to the core, he is harshly critical of
Republicans he considers insufficiently conservative (”Republicans in Name
Only”). Perhaps needless to say, he harbors a particularly vicious loathing for
Democrats. Here is some of what he wrote after Obama’s election in November:
We are in a cultural war with the Left: with those who want to welcome every
person in the planet into the United States and grant them citizenship; with a
President-elect who isn’t afraid to embrace the tenets of communism; with a
political party that wants to raise your taxes during a time of economic
His recent attacks on Judge Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by President Obama for
the U.S. Supreme Court, have
been especially vitriolic, subtly questioning her sexual orientation and calling
her a racist:
“For one thing, if she’s confirmed, there’s every indication she’ll be a big
promoter of the radical gay agenda on the court. She’s replacing David Souter, a
lifelong bachelor and recluse who lived with his mother when he was appointed.
President Bush Sr. assured us that the unknown Souter was a real conservative,
but he turned into one of the biggest champions of gay rights on the court.
Likewise, Sotomayor was briefly married thirty years ago, had no children, and
has never remarried. She’s certainly not going to be a friend of the traditional
family, to put it mildly.
The anger and hate are almost palpable when Morrison argues that Obama (”a
radical black activist who has nothing but contempt for people like us”) and
Sotomayor (a “race hustler” who ”is proud of her racism”) are racists. His
contempt is so overpowering that he even supports the secession of Texas from
The flip side of Obama’s ‘empathy’ is apparent hatred and contempt for white
people, traditional families, small business owners, evangelical Christians,
conservatives, and everyone else that liberals call the ‘racist, heterosexist,
nativist, Christianist, capitalist, homophobic power structure’ in America. In
other words, what most of us call normal people. These radical leftists regard
folks like you and me and our children as the enemy, and it’s their mission in
life to put us in our supposed place, which to them means at the back of the
bus. They’re in charge now, and they fully intend to use their power to remake
America in their image. If the Senate approves Sotomayor for the Supreme Court,
Obama will know that he has carte blanche to escalate his all out war on
traditional Americans. . . .
If they approve her (and to be honest, with only 40 squishy Republicans in
the US Senate, it’s unlikely), it’s time to get serious about finding a way for
our beloved Texas to exit a system where Barack Obama and his racist friends
interpret the laws that undergird our very life, liberty and material
Board member David Bradley also appointed Tom
Owens, another Lumberton resident, to the writing teams. Owens is a right-wing activist with ties to the Constitution Party,
which seeks “to restore our government to its Constitutional limits and our law
to its Biblical foundations.” News reports indicate that in 2005 he sent mailers
to about 70,000 California households attacking a Republican candidate for
Congress as a “lying scumbag” with “terrorist friends.” The mailers
supported the nominee of the Constitution Party (who also happened to be a
member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps).
But that’s mild compared to the vicious, gay-bashing Web site Owens created
to attack Democratic congressman Nick Lampson in Houston: Why Rep. Nick Lampson Is
“Bought and Paid For” By the Homosexual Lobby.” Some excerpts:
Lampson wants homosexuals to have easy access to your children and wants the
Boy Scouts to “pay up” for offending the homosexual lobby.
Nick Lampson voted AGAINST banning homosexuals from adopting children in
Washington, DC. . . given homosexuals’ notorious promiscuity (i.e. preventing a
stable home environment) and their propensity to molest children (crime
statistics reveal male homosexuals are 16 times more likely to molest children
than the general population), such a policy is a crime against children from a
politician that promotes himself as an advocate of children.
Nick Lampson cosponsored the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, a bill that
would allow homosexual immigrants to bring their partners to the US . . . .
Lampson wants to throw open the borders to millions of homosexuals who will not
only take American jobs but also worsen the AIDS epidemic (including free health
care once they get here) in our country.
Do you agree with Nick Lampson that people who speak out against the
homosexual agenda should possibly be jailed for their opinions?
You really should read
the whole, vile thing.
All of this is just a taste of the extremism that may influence what our kids
learn in social studies classrooms over the next decade. Perhaps now we know why
the state board’s McLeroy faction and TPPF are so intent on trying to discredit
the work of writing team members — members who are likely appalled by the fringe
political activists they have been forced to work with.