David Barton’s Problem with Hispanic Civil Rights Leaders

by Dan Quinn

During the Texas State Board of Education‘s revision of social studies curriculum standards in 2009-10, David Barton insisted that the board delete labor and civil rights icon César Chávez from a section on citizenship in the Grade 5 standards:

“(H)e certainly lacks the stature, impact, and overall contributions of so many others; and his open affiliation with Saul Alinsky’s movements certainly makes dubious that he is a praiseworthy to be heralded to students as someone “who modeled active participation in the democratic process.”

Barton, the head of the Texas-based, far-right organization WallBuilders, also opposed including Dolores Huerta in the standards, weakly arguing that she wasn’t really a historical figure since she was still alive. After a state board member later complained that Huerta is a socialist, her colleagues did vote to remove her from a section on citizenship in the standards for Grade 3. Considering his reaction to President Obama’s decision to award Huerta with a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Tuesday, perhaps Barton’s real problem with Huerta also was her politics. Barton tweeted today:

“Obama awards Medal of Freedom to Dem Socialists of America Chair who spoke fondly of Chavez’s despotic regime”

Huerta has been recognized over the years with numerous honors for her work as a labor and civil rights leader. Just a few of them:

But for fanatics like Barton, Huerta isn’t good enough because he doesn’t like some of her political views. So it seems that in his mind, Huerta — and César Chávez — must be blacklisted.

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