By Olivia P. Tallet, New York Times
Mexican-Americans might not recognize their cultural history as it unfolds in a new textbook proposed for Texas public schools.
Chicanos are described as people who “adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.”
In another passage, Mexican-Americans are linked to undocumented immigrants.
Illegal immigration has “caused a number of economic and security problems in the United States,” the textbook notes. “Poverty, drugs, crime, non-assimilation, and exploitation are among some of these problems. Studies have shown that the Mexican American community suffers from a significant gap in education levels, employment, wages, housing, and other issues relating to poverty that persist through the second, third, and fourth generations.”
These are excerpts from “Mexican American Heritage,” the first textbook on this subject ever included in a list of pre-approved instructional materials for Texas public schools. Following an outcry from activists in 2015, who demanded that Mexican-American studies be formally included in state curriculum, the State Board of Education voted to include textbooks on this subject.
But instead of a cause for celebration among Texas Latinos, the new book is courting controversy.
“Paradoxically, we pressed for the board to include texts on Mexican- American studies, and we achieved it, but not in the way we were expecting,” says Tony Diaz, host of Nuestra Palabra (Our Word) radio program in Houston and director of Intercultural Initiatives at Lone Star College-North Harris. “Instead of a text that is respectful of the Mexican-American history,…