Sadly, history often repeats itself, especially when it comes to discrimination. The debate over the Boy Scouts of America’s now-postponed decision about whether to end a blanket ban on gay scouts is just another example — and a number of Texas politicians have chosen to put their names clearly on the wrong side of history.

More than six decades ago, in 1956, scores of white southern politicians (nearly all of them Democrats) signed on to the so-called “Southern Manifesto” attacking the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling against racially segregated schools two years earlier. Ultimately, 101 elected officials — 19 Senators and 82 House members — signed the Manifesto. All were from states that had been part of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Among the signers was Senator Price Daniel of Texas.

The Manifesto’s words have become only more odious over time. Beyond its claims that the Brown v Board of Education decision was an “abuse of judicial power” and a threat to states’ rights, the document defended the discredited principle of “separate but equal” and the right of states to enforce that principle in education — both concepts that had been upheld… Read More

A Huffington Post article reveals that tax records filed by David Barton’s Texas-based organization, WallBuilders Presentations, suggest that the religious right's favorite propagandist is an expert in African-American history. From the article: In filings with the Internal Revenue Service, Barton’s nonprofit, Wallbuilder Presentations, Inc., justified its tax-exempt status by highlighting among its "accomplishments" a video project "of the moral heritage and political history of African Americans. It’s a curious claim for the Tea Party favorite, who has twice given speeches in front of white supremacist groups -- protesting later that he was ignorant of the groups' professed racist ideology.…… Read More

by Jose Medina

Our friends and partners at Equality Texas have asked us to pass along an invitation to TFN members, and we are more than happy to do so. Equality Texas is hosting a lobby day coming up on Monday, March 7, to push for inclusive policies that protect all children, end discrimination and strengthen relationships.

Here are the details:

Equality Texas Lobby Day: All roads to equality lead to the Texas Capitol

Monday, March 7 (Breakfast and check-in begin at 7:30 a.m.) Meet at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center (FUMC) 1300 Lavaca Street Austin, TX. 78701

Registration for Equality Texas Lobby Day is free, but advanced registration is required. A full schedule of activities and registration information can be found here.

And don’t forget, TFN Lobby Day is also only a few weeks away (March 21).


(7)  Science concepts. The student knows evolutionary theory is a scientific explanation for the unity and diversity of life. The student is expected to:… Read More

Remember the revisionist history that members of the Texas State Board of Education were pushing in the debate over new social studies curriculum standards? This was especially evident in efforts by some board members to whitewash American history when it came to race and civil rights issues. At one point board member Don McLeroy even suggested that women and minorities should thank men and white people for securing their civil and equal rights -- as if the decades of struggle to win those rights were just a footnote in history. Now Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is trying to revise the racist history of White Citizens Councils in the South during the civil rights era of the 1950s and 1960s. Here's Barbour talking about his hometown of Yazoo City, Miss.:…… Read More

In TFN’s 2006 report The Anatomy of Power: The Religious Right and Political Power, we took a hard look at the career of pseudo-scholar David Barton and his efforts to provide a historical justification for making religion the basis for government policy.  Our conclusion:

His main accomplishment (has been) to provide a bridge between the secular and political world  of the Republican Party and the religious world of evangelicals.

Fast forward almost five years to present day, and Barton is now hard at work trying to bridge another gap — this one between the Republican Party and African-American voters. Barton is shopping a revised version of American civil rights history wherein the GOP is the champion of racial equality and Democrats defenders of racism. And guess who’s buying — the man who is preparing to headline a conservative rally at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech this weekend: Glenn Beck.

But as is always the case with Barton, the story he tells is built on distorted history and half-truths. So says Julie Ingersoll, an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Florida:

Like Barton’s… Read More