Tennessee Tea Party Wants Schools to Be Nicer to Founding Fathers

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Written By admin at Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The late comedian George Carlin used to say America was built on a double standard: “This country was founded by slave owners who wanted to be free.”

We wonder how his joke would have sat with members of Tennessee’s tea party, which just presented state legislators with five priorities for action, including amending state laws governing school curriculums to change textbook selection so that “no portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers,” the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.

Hal Rounds, an attorney and a spokesman for the group, said the goal is to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another,” according to the Commercial Appeal.

“Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government,” according to materials the activists distributed.

Critics say the activists’ search for truth is really an attempt at lies.

Information about the founders owning slaves and displacing Native Americans “is well documented and acknowledged by professional historians and should not be censored,” according to Addicting Info, a website dedicated to discrediting what it sees as right-wing propaganda. “Hiding knowledge is tantamount to lying and that’s what the Tea Party wants our teachers to do.”

What the group is asking is not unprecedented. In 2010, the Texas State Board of Education adopted controversial textbook standards that stress the Christian influence of the nation’s founding fathers and give more weight to conservative groups and personalities throughout history.

Those moves have been criticized as a departure from generally accepted historical teachings and a threat to the apolitical nature of academic standards.

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