By Alan Bean
The Texas State Board of Education just took another hit from the late night comedians, this time on Saturday Night Live.
“You know who I feel bad for?” Michael Che asked during the shows fake news segment, “Texas schoolteachers. I mean, it’s hard enough going to school and teaching kids that God created the world in like, 1942, and the first two people were John Wayne and Barbara Bush. But now you gotta deal with 6 foot country boys coughing up a monkey disease.”
The heart of the bit, of course, was Dallas becoming home to America’s first ebola patient; but the caricature of the Texas school curriculum was a swipe at the state’s Board of Education.
For years now, the Texas State Board of Education has been grabbing headlines as its more conservative members (on the advice of their friends on the Religious Right) press the “just-a-theory” approach to evolutionary biology, support the rehabilitation of Senator Joe McCarthy, the elevation of social conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Phyllis Schlafly to rock star status, the devaluation of progressive heroes like Archbishop Oscar Romero, Caesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshall, the positive re-evaluation of the Moral Majority and the thoroughly unhistorical notion that the founding fathers were strongly influenced by Moses and the “Christian or Biblical tradition” when they framed the U.S. Constitution.
In this memorable piece, Jon Stewart explains how “Oscar Romero got disappeared by right wingers for the second time.” Stewart reminds his audience that what happens in Texas matters to the rest of the country because textbook companies operate with the huge Texas market in mind. For this reason, when Texas gets it wrong, the entire country follows right behind us. (more…)