Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Teabags, Prisons, Slavery, and Schools
Evidently, our private prison slave industry is affecting education as well. Or would, if Tennessee Teabaggers could get away with it.
On the surface, the Teabaggers of Tennessee would want people to view their attempt to skew history as simply patriotic. Paint the glorious "Founding Fathers" in a light that wasn't besmirched by memories of slavery and native genocide.
"The group demanded, as they had in January of last year, that Tennessee lawmakers change state laws governing school curricula. The group called for textbook selection criteria to include: "No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.""
Following efforts in Texas to "put a conservative twist on history through revised textbooks and teaching standards", Tennessee Teabag groups would like to downplay the role of slavery and highlight the downside of affirmative action. It doesn't take much. Just a nudge here and there.
These efforts have a couple of (not so) unintended consequences. One affect is to subtly make the case that all those minorities in prison deserve to be there and are better off there. "Three squares and a cot." And the other is that if slavery wasn't so bad back in the bad old days of cotton pickin' and plantations, since it gave the Southern slaves a place to live and work to fill their idle time, then the prison slave industry of today is warranted since we don't want to just let these "misfits" waste away their time.
The thing to remember always is that Teabag Parties are "astro-turf" groups, started, funded, and supported by right-wing corporate leaders. Koch Brothers, Fox News, AEI, Dick Armey, Newt Gingrich, the Scaife family and others secretly fund these groups and try to make them look like a grass roots effort. They give the Teabaggers their talking points and marching orders, and try their best to hide their true agenda.
It's a very slick piece of propagandizing to blunt our vicious history of slavery so kids can grow up thinking that our prison slave trade is a natural and honest use of human labor instead of the job-killing, wage suppressing, profit raising scheme for business interests it really is.
This is not strictly about how history is taught to our children. It's about legitimizing slavery once again. Under the radar.
George Orwell - "He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls
the present controls the past."