Tennessee Tea Party Groups Issue Demand On How Textbooks Portray 'Minority Experience In History'
A coalition of Tennessee Tea Party groups has formulated a list of "demands" focused on the state's educational curriculum and political agenda that they want the state's legislature to heed this session.
As far as their educational concerns, the panel writes that they want to "compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government," a failure that they claimed had been brought about by "neglect and outright ill will," The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports.
Hal Rounds, spokesman for the group, recently claimed at news conference that there was "an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the Founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another."
As a result, the Tea Party organizations argue, there should be "no portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership."
"The thing we need to focus on about the Founders is that, given the social structure of their time, they were revolutionaries who brought liberty into a world where it hadn't existed, to everybody -- not all equally instantly -- and it was their progress that we need to look at," Rounds explained of his interpretation of the legacy of the Founding Fathers.
The issue of revising curriculums to teach history in a manner that encourages the glossing over of the uglier factors of the past has popped up in other states over the past year.
In Texas, an ultra-conservative faction of the Texas State Board of Education succeeded in pushing through a drastic overhaul of the state's textbooks and educational agenda. Among those proposals was an effort to replace instances of the "slave trade" with "Atlantic triangular trade."
In Tennessee, Tea Party groups have also waded into the ongoing debate over health care reform, attempting to make efforts to repeal the measure a matter of state policy. The Commercial Appeal reports that members of conservative movement call the measure "an insult to Constitutional principles."