Proposed Mexican-American Textbook Is Racist and Meritless, Say Scholars

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Scholars are deeming a proposed textbook that aims to teach Texas public schools about Mexican-Americans to be racist and not of academic merit. The textbook is a part of the effort for the state curriculum to be more inclusive of Mexican-Americans and their cultural history — which is a battle activists have been fighting for for years. 

The 500-paged textbook called Mexican American Heritage has Christian undertones along with racist explanations of Mexican-Americans. The book blames Mexican-Americans for causing "economic and security problems" because of drugs, crime and "non-assmiliation," among other things.

As one passage reads, "Chicanos adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society," according to the Texas Observer.

The textbook in question was created by Momentum Instruction, which is owned by Cynthia Dunbar, a Republican "right-wing Christian activist" who also served on the Texas State Board of Education from 2007 to 2011. Source: Harry Cabluck/AP
The textbook in question was created by Momentum Instruction, which is owned by Cynthia Dunbar, a Republican "right-wing Christian activist" who also served on the Texas State Board of Education from 2007 to 2011.  Harry Cabluck/AP

University of Houston professor Nicolas Kanellos said the book "appears to be blatant opportunism from certain people to make money and/or to water down the real Mexican American history," according to the Washington Post

The company behind the book, Momentum Instruction, is owned by Cynthia Dunbar, a Republican "right-wing Christian activist" who also served on the Texas State Board of Education from 2007 to 2011. 

"Frankly, that author is not recognized as someone who is part of the Mexican-American studies scholarship and most individuals engaged in scholarship will not recognize her as an author," Douglas Torres-Edwards, coordinator of a Texas Education Agency-approved Mexican-American studies course that's taught in some schools in Houston told Associated Press

After September, a special committee will review all of the proposed textbooks and their reviews before making recommendations to the Texas State Board of Education. However, in the end, each chosen textbook is up to the school's discretion. 

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