In 2015, activists demanded that Texas schools add a class on Mexican-American studies to their curriculum. The board of education agreed, but the textbook selected for the class, “Mexican American Heritage,” is pissing off a lot of people. Why?
The proposed textbook for the to-be-added Mexican-American studies course is offensive and written by white people.
Credit: Momentum Instruction
“Instead of a text that is respectful of the Mexican-American history, we have a book poorly written, racist, and prepared by non-experts,” Tony Diaz, director of Intercultural Initiatives at Lone Star College-North Harris, told the Houston Chronicle.
But how offensive is it? Here are some actual quotes from the book paired with some GIFs I felt were appropriate:
Credit: Channel 4 News / YouTube
Yep. That quote really is in the book, which, again, is pretty much hated by those who have actual knowledge of Mexican-American history. Here’s another actual quote I paired with an appropriate GIF:
Credit: Whoupti / YouTube
True or false: Cubans fit in better than Mexicans?
Make sure you take notes, kids. You’re going to need to know this for the test.
Credit: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube
And the hits just keep on coming:
Credit: John Benedetti / YouTube
OK, fine. I completely made THAT one up, but you get the picture.
In all seriousness, I grew up in Texas and never once took a class on Mexican-American heritage. (We did learn about the white man’s eventual triumph over the demonistic Mexicans in seventh great, so that’s cool!) So, while it’s great to see this course finally hit the curriculum, it’s sad to see a book this fraught with inaccuracies and bias get serious consideration for the classroom. The best way to fight ignorance and social stigmas is through education, and this kind of textbook has no place in any school, anywhere. But then again, it’s Texas we’re talking about, so I guess f**k me for expecting better from my own state.