Boycott Texas History Book Publisher

Jefferson not influenced by Enlightenment Thinkers!?

Calling all college history professors and instructors. It is time to use our clout as history professors to make a statement. According to the New York Times article the Texas Board of Education is making significant changes to the history curriculum for high schools students. We need to come to the aid of Mary Helen Berlanga and use our clout as academics to boycott the rewriting of history for political purposes. If it were just Texas, I may not suggest such a boycott. However, because publishers have become so economical in the past years, the book published according to the Texas guidelines will be used by other states for their classes. It is time to say ENOUGH to this blatant attempt at censorship and academic political correctness. Censorship on the part of the publisher and censorship on the part of the Texas School Board of Education who did not even have, according to the CBC news broadcast on March, 23, 2010, The Current, an academic historian suggesting changes. We need to show our support for Mary Helen Berlanga by emailing her our support at this email address here.I am proposing to spread the word to all historians who teach at the college and public school level. If they we have the power to choose our textbooks, we need to boycott the publisher, and their subsidiaries, of the textbook for Texas public schools.  Show them that we will not accept the rewriting of history.  These are not just changes to a curriculum these are calculated extractions of American history. The claim by many is that history is some leftist tool to twist facts. I am sorry but both VanRanke and Droysen would argue with that. What qualification does a dentist and a preacher have to determine historical standards? I will need your help here academics and graduate students. Boycott the publisher of this book and their subsidiaries. Let’s illustrate that historians can use their clout to stop the abuse of history by agenda seeking loons who think that history is merely interpretation. It is not just interpretation. It is an informed analysis determined by factual evidence. I shutter to think what they will want to exclude next, the holocaust? That will be the next step if we do not take a stand now. All those who support this issue can make a comment below and I will respond. Let me know what more we as historians can do to prevent this gross malfeasance of history on the part of the Texas Board of Education.

It must be stated that censorship is NOT academic freedom. Academic freedom means that one should be able to choose resources for inclusion within an academic setting. What the Texas School Board is doing is excluding, that is censorship.


Filed under Digital History, Texas School Board

4 responses to “Boycott Texas History Book Publisher

  1. Kathy

    I agree with your assessment that this is a horrible trend, letting school boards dictate knowledge content in history, as well as science and economics.

    Years ago, there was a boycott of McGraw Hill, and I remember corresponding with the publisher to find out what happened and why they were letting this go on. I don’t have that email anymore, but it was a very complex situation, as I recall. I did stop using McGraw Hill, although I felt they were under the gun to some extent, because of the size of the Texas market. This is perhaps a debate whose time has come: do we punish the publishers who change their texts to conform to the dictates of school boards?

    It reminds me of the debate about boycotting Starbucks. For some reason, the gun lobby associates Starbucks with leftie hippie types, so in states where they had open carry laws, the NRA decided its members would go into Starbucks with visible guns. The urge of many was to boycott Starbucks (I would not want to go into stores where people were carrying guns!). But if Starbucks closes, it is just one more American company down the tubes at the behest of the NRA. So I have kind of mixed feelings about a boycott. You are very right to raise this discussion.

    • I agree with your assessment Kathy is it correct to punish publishers who will publish for Texas Schools. I think in this instance, as a historian, we should use our academic credentials and our ability to choose whatever books we want for our classes to decided not to use their materials. I understand it is touchy, but this is not just a matter of putting things into the book, its also a matter of eliminating and twisting history so one group of people will feel superior to others. I did not go into detail, but there are 5 million Texas school children, over half are of Hispanic origin. It is ridiculous to take out relevant materials about important Hispanics in modern history. As if American history is only about white people. I am an American of European/Canadian descent and I am totally upset at this notion of the right that “history is only a bunch of stories that are merely interpretive.” That is not true. And I do think it is time to make this stand against publishers who will give in to the proclivities of a small group of wackaloons. This subject would not be so important if it were not the case that Texas school books set a standard that is replicated in other states. It has wide ranging repercussions at a national level. Thank you for your support and pass the word

  2. Donald W. Meritt

    Texas needs to leave the union and form it’s own country of bigots, after all they have the Bush’s.
    Next Texas will be saying it was not really the indians land at all, they took it from the poor white Texans.
    Every other state needs to not buy books from any publisher that prints this garbage.
    Again Republicans are manipulating the American Public into beliveing a hand full of bigots and morons.

  3. Zaya

    I do not teach history, but I am planning to organize my department and inform (nicely) our biology book publishers (some do publish history books) that if they comply with the Texas ruling, then we wont be using their books.

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