McGraw-Hill and Texas’s sorry ass attempt to rewrite Black American history is wack and it’s a damn lie. Five years ago, the Texas Education Board approved a measure to revise the social studies’ curriculum and that included revising textbooks. Apparently- the ugly, racist truth of slavery was an inconvenient side effect of the Civil War according to redneck, Republican board member- Pat Hardy. This broad is an elected official. Clearly, other racist dicks in Texas put her in that position with their votes. I swear this is why minority votes are so important. I digress.
Whitewashing history isn’t a new phenomenon. It has happened since the beginning of time. Think Jesus, “Exodus”, Elizabeth Taylor’s portrayal of Cleopatra and Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. You get my point.
On September 30th, Coby Burren, a ninth-grader at Pearland High School south of Houston, Texas- sent his mother a text message of a picture from his social studies book. McGraw-Hill published a world geography book calling Africans that came to this hemisphere during the TransAtlantic Slave Trade “workers”. Pause. Workers?
How does stripping a group of people of their culture, patria, heritage, language, and freedom to come work as beasts of burden in the Western Hemisphere constitute being a worker? Was slavery voluntary? Were white people nice enough to give paid time off and overtime for those long ass hours that our ancestors worked?
Well, I figure Texans must’ve taken that hot ass southern climate into consideration when our “good white masters” were picking out our lovely accommodations when we “worked” from dawn to dusk in those cotton, coffee and sugarcane fields. Hell, was lemonade included too? I don’t know which is more ridiculous- the inference that being a slave was an option or that Texas had the balls to rewrite our atrocious history into a fucking fairy tale.
Let’s not stop there. As a publisher of educational materials, McGraw-Hill has a responsibility to give factual accounts in their books and not revise historical events based on the highest bidder. Why does Texas have a different version of history than say Florida? They have gone on record to say that they will rewrite the text which appeared in the chapter about “Patterns of Immigration” (insert the sidiest of side eyes). Let’s get this straight.
The editors of this revision were like, “Oh yeah… this is gonna be great! The kids will, FINALLY, learn the truth about slavery.” They published this shit with a clear conscience. No school district in this country should buy their books and everybody who participated in this shit show of a book should be terminated immediately. I am confident that there were no black editors. At least, I hope not. Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt revised Massachusetts’ 2003 textbooks to downplay white slave masters’ cruelty to their slaves. The book suggested that getting a nice master was basically a luck of the draw for blacks. That’s like suggesting the Holocaust was a “barbecue” to where the Jews were invited.
For years, black people have allowed “history books” to teach our children about who we are and from where we come. Clearly, this is ineffective. We need to make sure that our children have an exact account of our hardships. They need to know that we suffered immensely, but we didn’t break. Slavery was evil. Whites were evil to us. They kicked us in our pregnant bellies. We slept in our own vomit and feces. They raped us and even threw us overboard because we weighed down their ships during our transit to this side of the world.
Yes, that’s the ugly truth of slavery and I’ll be damned if I let ANYBODY whitewash it. There are books that we can buy for our children and I suggest that we do that. When our children are in class, we need to encourage our children to challenge this fuckery. We have to stand behind them too. It’s not disrespectful and it’s a lesson in challenging the status quo. Now, where’s my ancestors’ back pay?