Benjamin Franklin Si, Cesar Chavez No? Let's Examine

The Dallas Morning News reported last week about some experts (Must... not... use... airquotes...) who are assessing social-studies textbooks for Texas schools and don't like the inclusion of such people as Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall.

The story has gotten traction around the web, and the Texas state teacher's union weighed in today.

"An ultra-conservative bloc on the State Board of Education known for championing creationism studies in our schools is now out to do away with any mention of Cesar Chavez, one of the most influential labor organizers in U.S. history and a role model and inspirational figure for Hispanics across the country," said Linda Bridges, Texas AFT president. "Who is next on the chopping block, Martin Luther King, Jr.?"

Chavez, according to one of the six experts, a minister named Peter Marshall, "lacks the stature, impact and overall contributions of so many others." Other conservative critics note that Chavez used the tactics of Saul Alinsky, who...ummmm.....was a pretty well-respected proponent of community organizing.

The whole process of approving social-studies textbooks, which promises to be as wildly entertaining as the Evolution vs. God Is Great debate was for science books, is a long, long way from being finished. It won't be until the fall that public hearings will be held, and Chavez and Thurgood Marshall discussed with erudition, restraint and civility. (And you thought the fun was gone when Rick Perry actually failed to appoint the right-wing nut everyone feared he would.)

But Marshall the Expert makes the point that it's ludicrous to put Chavez in a class with Benjamin Franklin.

Do we really want our schoolkids learning about Benjamin Franklin?

1) Dude had an illegitimate son; also proposed marriage to a 15-year-old girl when he was 17. How could that fit in with a proper abstinence-only curriculum?

2) Franklin rarely went to church. Then again, neither did Ronald Reagan when he was president, so we guess he gets a pass on this one.

3) He wrote an essay called Fart Proudly. You don't want middle-school boys going anywhere near this one.

4) He was a MILF-lover, even if it involved double-bagging. Again, not something you want discussed in seventh-grade history -- his advice to go for the older ladies:

Because in every animal that walks upright the deficiency of the fluids that fill the muscles appears first in the highest part. The face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the neck; then the breast and arms; the lower parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: so that covering all above with a basket, and regarding only what is below the girdle, it is impossible of two women to tell an old one from a young one. And as in the dark all cats are gray, the pleasure of corporal enjoyment with an old woman is at least equal, and frequently superior; every knack being, by practice, capable of improvement.

In these days of female teachers getting it on with their students, this is all probably best left undiscussed.

5) Franklin sometimes posed as a woman in writing letters. While there was no such thing as Facebook back then, is this really any different than some fat, male predator taking to chatrooms as "Hotchick69" in order to start up conversations with kids?

As far as we know, by the way, Cesar Chavez never advocated farting, going after MILFs or being a literary transvestite. If only he had, maybe he'd be deemed worthy of inclusion in Texas textbooks.


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