The Proposed ‘Mexican American Heritage’ Textbook in Texas: Promoting Offensive Racial Stereotypes

Numerous news articles have been pointing to some of the problems with the offensive and factually flawed Mexican American Heritage textbook submitted for adoption by Texas public schools. One of the most jaw-dropping problems is how the textbook promotes stereotypes about supposedly "lazy" Mexicans. Prof. John Mckiernan-Gonzalez, a historian at Texas State University, noted the problematic passage in his review of the textbook for the Texas Freedom Network. Here's the key part of that textbook passage (page 248), which is in a section discussing issues that arose when foreign businesses sought to add operations in Mexico: Read More

On Monday, TFN joined with a numerous other Texas organizations to counter Mexican American Heritage, a proposed textbook for Texas public schools which Mexican-American studies scholars and experts have found to be deeply offensive, simplistic and rife with factual errors.

Take action: MASforTexas.org

So who wrote the textbook? And what qualifications do they have? While the text lists several authors and contributors, little is known about what qualifications or background in Mexican-American studies the named individuals may hold, if any at all. In fact, it is standard practice for textbook publishers to list authors’ expertise in a textbook, and Mexican American Heritage does not include that information.

Here is what we know about the owner of the company — Momentum Instruction — behind the book, and its authors.

CYNTHIA DUNBAR, CEO and owner of Momentum Instruction, and a contributor to the Mexican American Heritage textbook… Read More

On Monday, a coalition of grassroots, civil rights and education groups launched a coalition to oppose Mexican-American Heritage, a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook created by a company owned by former Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) member: Cynthia Dunbar, one of the most divisive members the SBOE has ever seen. The textbook will be considered by the SBOE for use in the state’s public schools.

Mexican-American Heritage has gotten plenty of press in recent months, with cursory reviews of the book finding several problematic passages. Today, to go with the launch of the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook (REST) Coalition — of which TFN is proud to be a part of — a group of scholars confirmed there was good reason to be concerned.

Watch the short video below for just a sample of the problems found when scholars and experts took a careful look at this textbook:

See? This textbook is offensive, simplistic and it includes numerous distortion and inaccuracies.

The SBOE is likely to give the textbook a public hearing in September and vote on whether or not to give it its seal of approval in November.

We encourage you to join the REST coalition… Read More

There was a remarkable and blistering editorial published last week in the Longview News-Journal. The paper’s editorial board writes about an email distributed by JoAnn Fleming to members of the influential East Texas tea party group she leads, Grassroots America-We the People (GAWTP).

In the email, Fleming complains of “the politics of personal destruction” as some members of her group reportedly lashed out at her, with insults, after GAWTP voted to withdraw its endorsement of controversial Texas State Board of Education candidate Mary Lou Bruner. Bruner subsequently lost her SBOE District 9 Republican runoff in late May.

Here’s the blistering part. Of the attacks on Fleming — she’s been told she’s “going to hell” for being a “turncoat” and a “Saul Alinsky acolyte,” among other things — the paper’s editorial board writes:

And this surprises her?

Over-the-top tactics have always been a part of her group’s playbook. There’s nothing new there. Of course, the words usually are directed at moderates or liberals (though there are few of the latter in East Texas).

Now, Fleming is learning firsthand that once the weaponry of personal destruction is used, it becomes the tool of choice.

In other words this is like far-right Republicans who have… Read More

Bruner: I Ran to Expose the ‘Evil’ Actions of ‘Cock-Roaches’

An update has been added to the end of this post.

One more (possibly final?) thing on Mary Lou Bruner. As far as we can tell, she has not returned phone calls from reporters seeking comment on the election results that saw her lose the Texas State Board of Education Republican primary runoff to Keven Ellis of Lufkin.

But she still has the Facebook account where she made the many controversial comments that first made the SBOE District 9 race a national story. A few hours after the race was called, Bruner took to Facebook and offered a dignified concession:

While campaigning and traveling across the beautiful rural counties of Texas SBOE-9, I have been blessed to get to know so many wonderful families in North and East Texas.

I want to thank all of the faithful volunteers and friends who supported my candidacy and shared my dream of Texas schools returning to the traditional knowledge and skills that made the USA the leader of the world.

But then, the following day, she added another post in which she appears to call those who opposed her as “cock-roaches” and “evil.” She first refers to them as the “Establishment”… Read More