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As Texas begins to re-write its text books, Virgina can be counted on to provide focus to the historical debate. Shockingly, I agree. We need to have a Confederate History month were a reassessment of the social and historical events of that period led to the War of the Rebellion, as it was officially called. So let's assess those cherished days of antebellum glory!

It is at this time a fellow blogger, Fred Clark, has reminded me of the words of Frederick Douglas quoted below:

I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion. To remove the liability of such misapprehension, I deem it proper to append the following brief explanation.

What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference -- so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other.

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of "stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in."

I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which everywhere surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. The man who robs me of my earnings at the end of each week meets me as a class-leader on Sunday morning, to show me the way of life, and the path of salvation. He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the ravages of wholesale pollution.

The warm defender of the sacredness of the family relation is the same that scatters whole families -- sundering husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers -- leaving the hut vacant and the hearth desolate. We see the thief preaching against theft, and the adulterer against adultery. We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen! All for the glory of God and the good of souls!

The slave auctioneer's bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other -- devils dressed in angels' robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.

Appendix, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845

I think Douglas says it all. Let's read about the heroes like Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee and the reasons for their struggle, to be allowed to enslave another entire population. No matter how heroic, noble, well respected the former fighters of that rebellion were, WE CANNOT FORGET THAT THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR SLAVERY. Now they won't say that directly. They will say no we fought for "STATES RIGHTS". But that is a pseudonym for "the states right to choose to be a slave state."

So let us re-read the heroic narratives of the old south. However, it must be done in combination with Frederick Douglas, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and William Lloyd Garrison. These are the faces of the struggle to make all people free in America. And the fight still goes on today. To selectively eliminate the importance of slavery would be akin to stating the War of the Rebellion never happened.


As Texas begins to re-write its text books, Virgina can be counted on to provide focus to the historical debate. Shockingly, I agree. We need to have a Confederate History month were a reassessment of the social and historical events of that period led to the War of the Rebellion, as it was officially called. So let's assess those cherished days of antebellum glory!

It is at this time a fellow blogger, Fred Clark, has reminded me of the words of Frederick Douglas quoted below:


I find, since reading over the foregoing Narrative, that I have, in several instances, spoken in such a tone and manner, respecting religion, as may possibly lead those unacquainted with my religious views to suppose me an opponent of all religion. To remove the liability of such misapprehension, I deem it proper to append the following brief explanation.

What I have said respecting and against religion, I mean strictly to apply to the slaveholding religion of this land, and with no possible reference to Christianity proper; for, between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference -- so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked. To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other.

I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of "stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in."

I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which everywhere surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. The man who robs me of my earnings at the end of each week meets me as a class-leader on Sunday morning, to show me the way of life, and the path of salvation. He who sells my sister, for purposes of prostitution, stands forth as the pious advocate of purity. He who proclaims it a religious duty to read the Bible denies me the right of learning to read the name of the God who made me. He who is the religious advocate of marriage robs whole millions of its sacred influence, and leaves them to the ravages of wholesale pollution.

The warm defender of the sacredness of the family relation is the same that scatters whole families -- sundering husbands and wives, parents and children, sisters and brothers -- leaving the hut vacant and the hearth desolate. We see the thief preaching against theft, and the adulterer against adultery. We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen! All for the glory of God and the good of souls!

The slave auctioneer's bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies and souls of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other -- devils dressed in angels' robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.

Appendix, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845

I think Douglas says it all. Let's read about the heroes like Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee and the reasons for their struggle, to be allowed to enslave another entire population. No matter how heroic, noble, well respected the former fighters of that rebellion were, WE CANNOT FORGET THAT THEY WERE FIGHTING FOR SLAVERY. Now they won't say that directly. They will say no we fought for "STATES RIGHTS". But that is a pseudonym for "the states right to choose to be a slave state."

So let us re-read the heroic narratives of the old south. However, it must be done in combination with Frederick Douglas, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and William Lloyd Garrison. These are the faces of the struggle to make all people free in America. And the fight still goes on today. To selectively eliminate the importance of slavery would be akin to stating the War of the Rebellion never happened.









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Update of Texas Boycott

Jefferson not influenced by Enlightenment Thinkers!? Current List of Texas Approved Publishers This link will take people to the current list of social study publishers for Texas. These publishers are NOT as of yet part of the new standards but one can imaging the implications here. What a surprise???? For Grades 1-12 the Social Studies and History Texts are from the largest publishing companies, any wonders here??? Harcourt, MacMillan, Pearson; Holt, Rinehart and Winston; McGraw-Hill. One has to scroll down to find the actual textbook approved but these are the publishers approved as of now. However, these are NOT the ones approved for the new standards. As the standards are now yet to be approved in their final form later in the year. I will keep track of this Also a new issue has arisen about this issue that publishers are trying to stay neutral. No surprise there. I have a quote below from a New York Times Article concerning the Texas issue. ""We now have the ability to deliver completely customized content" to different states, said Joseph Blumenfeld, spokesman for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of three major publishers that supply Texas with most of its social studies textbooks." This could be both a blessing and a danger. Publishers for years have been able to provide "customized" textbooks. As one who has been an adjunct in the State of New York, I found that many Community Colleges in that state have customized texts. However, as long as the underlying structure of the content remains factually correct, this is not a problem. The issue at this point is merely what chatper(s) to include. For those who teach introductory courses this is an issue of time and of what to include and what to leave for higher level classes. If publishers start to use customization to "exclude" content that is objectionable, but not factually incorrect, then the issue becomes one of content. This is a problem. If a publisher states that they can just publish a book just for Texas and then a different one for others states for their "customized content," then issue is not solved. It becomes an issue of, dare I say it, censorship and exclusion. If I, as a college teacher, taught US History I, an introductory class covering everything from 1492 to the War of the Rebellion and did not include slavery and its presence on the North American continent because I might be "uncomfortable" about the issue, I am withholding relevant information from students that they have a right to know. In the Texas case, withholding the knowledge that Thomas Jefferson was influenced by Enlightenment Thinkers like John Locke and Thomas Hobbes, is not a choice of convenience. It is altering the historical record. Jefferson got his phrase "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" from John Locke's notion of "Life, Liberty, and Property." All this tells me is that Texas Board of Education members should start reading history before they start rewriting and censoring it.

Boycott Texas Book Publisher

Jefferson not influenced by Enlightenment Thinkers!? Calling all college history professors and instructors. It is time to use our clout as history professors to make a statement. According to the New York Times article the Texas Board of Education is making significant changes to the history curriculum for high schools students. We need to come to the aid of Mary Helen Berlanga and use our clout as academics to boycott the rewriting of history for political purposes. If it were just Texas, I may not suggest such a boycott. However, because publishers have become so economical in the past years, the book published according to the Texas guidelines will be used by other states for their classes. It is time to say ENOUGH to this blatant attempt at censorship and academic political correctness. Censorship on the part of the publisher and censorship on the part of the Texas Board of Education who did not even have, according to the CBC news broadcast on March, 23, 2010, an academic historian suggesting changes. We need to show our support for Mary Helen Berlanga by emailing her our support at this email address here.I am proposing to spread the word to all historians who teach at the college and public school level. If they we have the power to choose our textbooks, we need to boycott the publisher, and their subsidiaries, of the textbook for Texas public schools. Show them that we will not accept the rewriting of history. These are not just changes to a curriculum these are calculated extractions of American history. The claim by many is that history is some leftist tool to twist facts. I am sorry but both VanRanke and Droysen would argue with that. What qualification does a dentist and a preacher have to determine historical standards? I will need your help here academics and graduate students. Boycott the publisher of this book and their subsidiaries. Let's illustrate that historians can use their clout to stop the abuse of history by agenda seeking loons who think that history is merely interpretation. It is not just interpretation. It is an informed analysis determined by factual evidence. I shutter to think what they will want to exclude next, the holocaust? That will be the next step if we do not take a stand now. All those who support this issue can make a comment below and I will respond. Let me know what more we as historians can do to prevent this gross malfeasance of history on the part of the Texas Board of Education. It must be stated that censorship is NOT academic freedom. Academic freedom means that one should be able to choose resources for inclusion within an academic setting. What the Texas School Board is doing is excluding, that is censorship.

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Teaching History in the Digital Age -
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