On Jan. 13, the Board of Education will hold a preliminary vote to determine whether or not they should adopt new standards for social studies texts in the state of Texas. In question is whether or not Cesar Chavez, along with all other Hispanics since the conquest of Mexico in the early 16th century, should be removed from textbooks.
Gail Lowe, a staunch Republican and right-wing ideologue, hired a panel of "experts" to review the curriculum after being appointed last summer by Gov. Rick Perry to chair the Texas State Board of Education. One of them suggested removing Cesar Chavez, arguably the most important Latino civil rights leader of the 20th century, from the social studies books, stating that Chavez, “lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others" and that he should not be "held up to our children as someone worthy of emulation."
Lowe's review was sparked by complaints by Board members and their appointees about an "over representation of minorities" in the current social studies curriculum. The whole situation is hysterically ironic given the fact that the majority of children in the public school system in the state of Texas are Latino. But apparently, for the Texas school board, Chavez and the one other Latina currently mentioned—Irma Rangel, the first Hispanic woman elected to the state Legislature—are just too much.
If you couldn't get through that last paragraph without laughing (or crying) you are not alone. The United Farm Workers, one of the many organizations Chavez, himself a farm worker and labor leader, founded, has started a petition to help stop the Texas board of education from passing these ludicrous changes to the social studies curriculum. Visit their website to sign up and let the Texas school board know how important it is for our children to learn about historically significant Latinos: www.ufw.org