To be fair, no public schools in Texas are teaching that the Holocaust is a hoax. They only tried to teach that the Holocaust is a hoax.
During a training session in a North Texas school district on what books should be in classrooms and libraries, one administration official said they should have books on opposing views on the Holocaust. Gina Peddy, executive director of curriculum and instruction for the Carroll Independent School District, said that if there are going to be books on the Holocaust, then they need to follow a new Texas law mandating (thought they outlawed mandates) educators to present multiple perspectives when discussing “widely debated and currently controversial” issues.
Peddy is on a recording telling teachers and administrators, “Just try to remember the concepts of [House Bill] 3979, and make sure that if you have a book on the Holocaust that you have one that has an opposing, that has other perspectives.”
So, in Texas the Holocaust is “widely debated” and “controversial?” Also, since the Holocaust is fact, how are there opposing views to a fact? And, if the Holocaust is a viewpoint, then the opposing viewpoint is that it never happened? Seriously, Texas…why are you the Taliban?
A few years ago, I was invited to submit a cartoon on Donald Trump to an international contest. Stupid me didn’t look into it and went ahead and sent a cartoon. Only after I placed in the contest did I discover it was conducted by the Iranian government that had previously used a cartoon contest to promote Holocaust denial. I rejected the award along with my fellow American colleague Ed Wexler, who was also snookered into submitting. My point is, now I have to watch out for contests from Iran and Texas. Hey, do you remember when Texas had a Draw-Muhammad contest?
But just like not every Republican is a racist Trump cultist sycophant (there are at least two who are not), not everyone in Texas is a Holocaust denier (I’m looking at Nick Anderson). When Peddy brought up the mandate to have Holocaust denial bullshit in schools, one teacher asked, “How do you oppose the Holocaust?” She probably meant, how does somebody deny the Holocaust happened? I mean, we all oppose the Holocaust, right? Well, maybe not Gina Peddy. She replied to the question, “Believe me, that’s come up.” Where? Where the hell does Peddy hang out that holocaust denial comes up?
The law signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott was to prevent Critical Race Theory and anything “gay” being taught in public schools, or if something slipped through (like it’s wrong to set trans people on fire), then the school needed opposing lessons. Last year, a fourth-grade student brought home a book from Johnson Elementary (in the Peddy district) titled “This Book is Anti-Racist.” Well, the kid’s parents didn’t think anti-racism should be taught to their child and they complained. The school removed the book and planned to give the teacher a tongue lashing until someone pointed out that lashing with your tongue might be gay.
So, what is an appropriate age to teach anti-racism? In Texas, it’s probably never. Look at Greg Abbott and Ted Cruz. They ain’t learned nothing yet except how to gaslight. If the letter of the new law is followed, there needs to be opposing education to the racist border wall these fucknuts want built. It needs to be taught that it’s racist, useless, and too damn expensive. Hopefully, Ted doesn’t bail to Cancun, ironically, in Mexico, during the lesson. If anything should be learned here, if dumbass Ted Cruz can figure out how to get over a wall, then immigrants aren’t going to have any problems with it.
Meanwhile, the teacher with the anti-racism book was scolded and disciplined. And the administrator who proposed teaching Holocaust denial, they probably gave her a gift card to Applebee’s. What they should do is send her to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.
But here’s the thing, kids: If you’re not teaching about systemic racism in this nation, or even that the Civil War was fought over slavery, isn’t that like teaching Holocaust denial…or at the very least, not teaching it happened at all? Texas standards adopted in 2010 teach that slavery was among the third causes of the Civil War. Pat Hardy, a Republican member of the State Board of Education, said slavery was a “side issue” of the Civil War. He said the war was over “states’ rights.” Someone please teach Mr. Hardy that in Texas’ Declaration of Secession from the United States mentioned slavery as the cause, not once, not twice, not even three times, but 21 one freaking times. It was also mentioned as the cause in the declarations from South Carolina, Mississippi, and Georgia.
Also, the vice president of the Confederacy, Alexander Stevens, said the only cause of secession was slavery. He said, “The general opinion of the men of that day [Revolutionary Period] was, that, somehow or other, in the order of Providence, the institution [slavery] would be evanescent and pass away […] Our new Government is founded upon exactly the opposite ideas; its foundations are laid, its cornerstone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition.”
Read the part again that states, “Our new government is founded.” If you’re a Texas Republican, read it three times. If you’re Ted Cruz, have someone read it to you.
Despite the availability and access to the fact the Civil War was over slavery, a 2015 McClatchy-Marist poll said 42 percent of Americans say it wasn’t. And, 37 percent of Americans say slavery shouldn’t be taught in schools as the reason for the Civil War. So in addition to Holocaust denial in this nation, we have slavery denial and people want that shit taught. And how bad is Holocaust denial…or even ignorance?
In September, 2020, a study commissioned by Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, found that one in ten people under the age of 40 had never heard the word “Holocaust.” Oh, it gets worse. The study found that 63 percent didn’t know six million Jews were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Over half the respondents thought the number Jews murdered was under two million. Over half also couldn’t name one concentration camp despite there being over 40,000 of them. I can’t name all 40,000, but I can name at least one.
The survey also found that seven percent don’t know if the Holocaust happened, three percent say it never happened, and 11 percent believe Jews caused the Holocaust.
This survey proves the Holocaust should be taught in schools and fourth grade is probably not too early. While we’re on the Holocaust, we do need to teach more about black history and systemic racism. If these kids and young adults are that ignorant of the Holocaust, then how ignorant are they on racism? Black kids will eventually learn about systemic racism as they experience it because it’s still here. White kids will have the privilege of never knowing if they don’t want to know.
The Holocaust isn’t ignored in schools in places like Qatar, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and probably in Afghanistan, if the new Taliban government plans to have schools. They’re actively teaching Holocaust denial. Now, a school administrator in Texas is literally proposing that Holocaust denial be taught in her state. A Texas school administrator wants Texas to implement anti-Semitic curriculums. Texas has already approved books that label slaves as “immigrants” and “workers.” Maybe there’s one that’ll call them “prisoners with jobs.”
Texas quickly hit the brakes on the proposal to teach Holocaust denial, but for how long? Texas is already teaching ignorance in its schools. It also makes you wonder what’s being taught in Texas’ private schools. Did White Jesus fight at the Alamo? “Hand me another round of ammo, Santa. These Mexicans are really good at getting over this wall!”
Texas Republicans have been pushing extremism in their state. The governor has banned vaccine mandates. They’re anti-face masks. They’ve outlawed abortion. Eventually, they’ll probably bring back scarlet letters and force women to wear hijabs. Texas Republicans have earned the nickname “Texas Taliban.” And when you start teaching Holocaust denial, it’s not a nickname anymore.
You are the Texas Taliban.
Now, if we start rumors Holocaust denial is being taught in schools, like there are rumors Critical Race Theory is being taught even though it’s not, will parents start bum-rushing school board meetings demanding that they stop?
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