Students in Texas will be taught a sanitized version of American history that fails to mention the Ku Klux Klan and the history of Christian terrorism associated with the quintessentially American organization.
Conservative Christians in Texas continue to threaten the education of children in a “new version” of American history being taught in public schools. New Texas guidelines for teaching American history in Texas fails to mention the Ku Klux Klan or Jim Crow, while being dishonest about the cause of the Civil War.
Speaking about the Civil War, Pat Hardy, a Republican board member of the Republican controlled Texas State Board of Education, claims slavery was a “side issue to the Civil War,” noting:
There would be those who would say the reason for the Civil War was over slavery. No. It was over states’ rights.
Hardy’s argument is a familiar refrain frequently echoed by Southern apologists determined to defend and justify the immoral and treasonous actions of the Confederacy. What Hardy fails to mention, as do others who make the facetious claim that the Civil War was really about “states’ rights,” is the glaring fact that the particular “states’ rights” of concern in the Civil War was about a state’s right to continue and enable the immoral practice of slavery.
Thus. the Civil War was about slavery, plain and simple. In addition, an accurate historical account of the Confederacy would need to show that it was Christians making the pro-slavery argument, a fact many contemporary conservative Christians try to deny and obfuscate.
The fact is the KKK was a powerful and popular Christian organization that terrorized African Americans in the South immediately after the Civil War during the Reconstruction era. Since then, the Klan has remained an ominous and powerful force in the United States. In the 1920’s the Klan terrorized Catholics, and during the civil rights era of the 1960’s the Klan enjoyed a renaissance as a vehicle for angry whites to express their racial hatred and promote their vision of a “white Christian nation.” To omit these brute facts from American history is a failure of magnificent proportion.
This latest debacle in Texas education is but another example of a powerful minority of Christian extremists trying to rewrite American history to conform to their narrow religious superstitions and force a false historical narrative on the children of Texas.
Previously this dedicated cadre of Christian extremists tried to rewrite American history by promoting textbooks making the ridiculous assertion that the Founding Fathers based the Constitution on the Bible, and that the American system of democracy was inspired by Moses.