If you happened to be on Twitter or on your favorite conservative website on Sunday, you may have noticed the latest faux outrage on the right. Search engine Google, on its homepage, transformed its famous doodle into a version featuring the late labor leader Cesar Chavez.

The Google Doodle has become a bit of an honor, a periodic feature that has recognized some well-known and some not so well-known individuals, holidays and dates of note. It’s also the kind of feature that is usually seen as cute and uncontroversial.

But this past Sunday was Easter. Yes, on Easter Sunday there were no Easter eggs, no bunnies and no Jesus. There was just Chavez. Cue the (social conservative) outrage:

Yep. While two billion Christians around the world celebrate Easter Sunday on this 31st day of March, Google is using its famous ‘Doodle’ search logo art to mark the birth of left-wing labor leader Cesar Chavez. For real. Google’s Doodle logo overlords sure have a way of rubbing their politics in people’s noses.

Sad to say that on this one the religious right needs to be spoken to like it’s a child. Specifically, a child who throws… Read More

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… Read More

Remember when phony historian and alleged social studies “expert” David Barton advised the Texas State Board of Education to strip out César Chavez from new social studies curriculum standards for public schools? Here’s what the head of the Texas-based group WallBuilders said in 2009:

“(Chavez’s) 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.’”

The U.S. Navy doesn’t appear to agree, this week naming one of its newest ships after the late labor and civil rights leader. Says U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus :

“César Chavez inspired young Americans to do what is right and what is necessary to protect our freedoms and our country. The César Chavez will sail hundreds of thousands of miles and will bring support and assistance to thousands upon thousands of people. His example will live on in this great ship.”

Schools, parks and other facilities across the country also carry Chavez’s name.

After an avalanche of public criticism, even the state board’s far-right members decided not to take Barton’s deliberately divisive, politically motivated advice and kept… Read More

Texas State Board of Education Chairwoman Gail Lowe has some peculiar views when it comes to teaching students about good citizenship. In her view, labor leader César Chavez and civil rights champion and former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall aren’t good role models for that.

Right-wing critics want to censor discussion of Chavez and Marshall in public school social studies classrooms, claiming that they lack sufficient stature and are poor role models for students. In a new interview with the Associated Press, Lowe presses the far right’s case against the two:

Marshall and Chavez are “not particularly known for their citizenship,” Lowe said. “Figures we use to represent those character ideals (citizenship, patriotism and community involvement) and the type of persons we want your students to emulate should be politically neutral.”

Neutral about what? Racial segregation in public schools? Voting rights? The right of people to organize and campaign for better working and living conditions? The heroes of the American Revolution weren’t “neutral” about people organizing and fighting against tyranny. Abraham Lincoln wasn’t “neutral” about the inhumanity and injustice of slavery. Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady StantonRead More

It didn't take long for the absurdly unqualified ideologues appointed to a social studies curriculum panel by the Texas State Board of Education to start playing politics with our kids' education. Two far-right members of the so-called "expert" panel guiding the curriculum revision are demanding that César Chavez -- the renowned community and labor organizer and civil rights leader -- be stricken from the standards because they say he's not the right kind of role model for students. That's only one of the problems with the "expert" reviews of the current social studies standards provided to the Texas Education Agency last week by the panelists. The panel is made up of six members, including a trio of mainstream academics from Texas universities. The others include political activist David Barton of Texas and evangelical minister Peter Marshall of Massachusetts, who used their reviews to criticize the inclusion of Chavez and other historical figures they consider inappropriate. In addition, they and fellow panelist Daniel Dreisbach of American University make lengthy arguments that the Founders intended to create a distinctly Christian American nation based on biblical principles. That contention conflicts with multiple rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court and…… Read More