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#1 User is offline   Gertie Keddle 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:14 AM

Should Texas Schoolchildren Be Taught That Alamo Defenders Were ‘Heroic’?

A committee is recommending that the State Board of Education cut the word from the school curriculum standards because it is ‘value-charged.’
By
Carlos Sanchez

Texas Monthly
Excerpt:

The concept of defenders of the Alamo being heroic is engrained in the history of this state—and in the psyche of most Texans. The Alamo has been compared to the ancient Battle of Thermopylae, in which an outnumbered Greek army fended off a much larger Persian army for several days before being annihilated. But a committee streamlining the state’s history curriculum standards has removed the word “heroic” from a proposed revision of the curriculum because it is “a value-charged word.”

Last month, the advisory group, called the State Board of Education Social Studies TEKS Streamlining Work Groups and made up of educators and historians, voted to approve a final recommendation making a number of changes to the state’s history curriculum standards. The paragraph in the seventh-grade curriculum, in which Texas history is taught, currently reads as follows:

explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, William B. Travis’s letter “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World,” the siege of the Alamo and all the heroic defenders who gave their lives there, the Constitutional Convention of 1836, Fannin’s surrender at Goliad, and the Battle of San Jacinto.


But the committee is recommending to the state board that it delete several of these passages and add one so now the standards, if adopted, would read like this:

explain the issues surrounding significant events of the Texas Revolution, including the Battle of Gonzales, the siege of the Alamo, the Constitutional Convention of 1836, Fannin’s surrender at Goliad, and the Battle of San Jacinto and Treaties of Velasco.


“‘Heroic’ is a value-charged word,” the group explains in recommending the elimination of the word. The group went on to explain that “all ‘defenders’ is too vague.” Similarly, the ten-person group recommends deleting the current standard that requires students be able to explain Travis letter from the Alamo. The streamline committee said the letter can be mentioned as context for lessons about the siege of the Alamo so that “teachers will spend less time on the analysis of the letter.” There are fewer than 250 words in that letter, but they go to the heart of what Texans think about themselves and about this state. Sometimes called the “Victory or Death” letter, it has been compared to Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade,” which immortalized a British battle in its defeat by Russians in the Crimean War.

To the People of Texas and all Americans in the world: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna...The enemy has demanded a surrender...I have answered the demand with a cannon shot... I shall never surrender or retreat ...

— William B. Travis


Article
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#2 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:19 AM

IF they'd stick to the facts as they where at the time we wouldn't be having to worry about calling anyone hero's or what not.
THAT'S A LITTLE SOMETHING CALLED HISTORY. You teach what is provable, ON BOTH SIDES and go from there.
THEN when you have the FACTS you can decide if there are good guys and bad guys. Coarse that would cause the left to have a stroke as it won't fit narratives and will teach the kids that wars are often very complicated and rarely so cut and dry as some would lead us to believe.

Oki
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#3 User is offline   Hieronymous 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:22 AM

Only a matter of time before attention turns to those who fought at places like Gettysburg, Somme, Paschendale, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Normandy, Italy, etc...you get the idea.

This post has been edited by Hieronymous: 07 September 2018 - 11:24 AM

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#4 User is offline   USNRETWIFE 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:33 AM

Why not cut the 'heroes' out of the Alamo. They cut the US out of the moon landing. http://www.rightnation.us/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/dry.gif
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#5 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:46 AM

As a history buff and graduate, and a non-Texan/American, for me its undeniable that the Alamo and the battle and its defenders/attackers have been whitewashed (literally in some cases) and distorted. The dark side of the Alamo men/Texans has been ignored.

So its correct that we should look at the battle and the Texan War in a more open way. BUT we can do that and still see great heroism in the men, be they white Texan, American, Texicano, black or even Scottish and British (yes we were there lol) who fought and died there. We can look at the battle in a less rose-tinted fashion WITHOUT an overreaction and need to somehow ridicule the men according to our modern ideals. We can see someone who held ideas we find objectionable and yet still see their bravery for a cause. Its not black and white (pardon the pun).

This post has been edited by scotsman: 07 September 2018 - 12:04 PM

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#6 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 11:49 AM

View PostHieronymous, on 07 September 2018 - 11:22 AM, said:

Only a matter of time before attention turns to those who fought at places like Gettysburg, Somme, Paschendale, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Normandy, Italy, etc...you get the idea.


Almost all those men though didn't own slaves for example. None of those battles bar the first were about issues like slavery and states rights. I get what you say, but 1836-45 is a much more complex issue than swarthy Mexican villains or saintly white Texans. The 1836-45 conflict involves multiple issues, some of which were and are uneasy to us. As oki rightly said, teach history in ALL its history, some of which isn't pleasant. And let people make up their own minds. To teach rose tinted history is dangerous, to teach that all people of an era were worthless bigots or racists is as equally stupid and dangerous. We learn nothing from either type of history.

This post has been edited by scotsman: 07 September 2018 - 11:52 AM

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#7 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 12:51 PM

View Postscotsman, on 07 September 2018 - 11:49 AM, said:

Almost all those men though didn't own slaves for example. None of those battles bar the first were about issues like slavery and states rights. I get what you say, but 1836-45 is a much more complex issue than swarthy Mexican villains or saintly white Texans. The 1836-45 conflict involves multiple issues, some of which were and are uneasy to us. As oki rightly said, teach history in ALL its history, some of which isn't pleasant. And let people make up their own minds. To teach rose tinted history is dangerous, to teach that all people of an era were worthless bigots or racists is as equally stupid and dangerous. We learn nothing from either type of history.


The best way honor the dead and those who lived through it is to teach ALL THE FACTS no matter how pain full they are.
I think a lot of people can't go through life or look at War or Conflict without there being a clearly defined 'bad guy'.
When they learn that even so called 'good guys' aren't always or are not what they imagine it doesn't feet a narrative and they can't handle it.

Stick to the facts. I have had to correct a few people over the years in regards to WWII(Imperial Japan). Largely because they want to believe that there was no need to drop the bombs. This because they where spoon fed a narrative that left out key information and distorted the rest. That doesn't do anyone on either side justice. And personally I find it disgusting.

Hell, I wonder how many people realize that there are even some Nazi party members who saved or protected Jews?
A handful, but none the less they existed. Or, for that matter that Robert E. Lee is on record as having hated slavery (and I believe even freed the slaves he owned at the onset of the war) while Grants family(his wife) kept their slaves for most of the duration of the war.

History is littered with these inconvenient but damn important facts. Unfortunately all to often history becomes more about teaching a narrative then a fact based lesson.

Oki
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#8 User is offline   Coach 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 02:30 PM

Victor Davis Hanson and Shelby Steele, one White one Black, both renowned historians, make the same kind of observations as Scotsman and oki. Lets face it folks we are in a colossal battle with willful ignorance.
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#9 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 02:47 PM

View PostCoach, on 07 September 2018 - 02:30 PM, said:

Victor Davis Hanson and Shelby Steele, one White one Black, both renowned historians, make the same kind of observations as Scotsman and oki. Lets face it folks we are in a colossal battle with willful ignorance.



Oh how do I best put this....

We live in an age un parralleled and unlike any other in our entire history as a species. An age where within mere seconds you can find everything about anything. As a child and even teen wanting to learn about something typically meant a trip to the library on the other side of town when they where open. As an adult it simply means pulling my phone out of my pocket. Despite this ease we are dumber than ever.

Oki
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#10 User is offline   Ticked@TinselTown 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 06:48 PM

This is why I buy OLD history books, and when I say old I mean 100 years or older. There's none of that selective redaction and there are far more facts contained than in the modern books where someone's opinion guides them when editing instead of leaving the <censored>ing facts alone and STATE THE FULL TRUTH of events.

That IS what history is all about, not selectively pruning things until it doesn't resemble the facts at all.
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#11 User is online   gravelrash 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 07:20 PM

View PostCoach, on 07 September 2018 - 02:30 PM, said:

Victor Davis Hanson and Shelby Steele, one White one Black, both renowned historians, make the same kind of observations as Scotsman and oki. Lets face it folks we are in a colossal battle with willful ignorance.


See: The French Revolution
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#12 User is offline   Buckwheat Jones 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 07:25 PM

View PostTicked@TinselTown, on 07 September 2018 - 06:48 PM, said:

This is why I buy OLD history books, and when I say old I mean 100 years or older. There's none of that selective redaction and there are far more facts contained than in the modern books where someone's opinion guides them when editing instead of leaving the <censored>ing facts alone and STATE THE FULL TRUTH of events.

That IS what history is all about, not selectively pruning things until it doesn't resemble the facts at all.

Not always. I have a textbook from 1898 about the Spanish American war and boy it reeks of jingoism.
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#13 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 07:37 PM

View PostTicked@TinselTown, on 07 September 2018 - 06:48 PM, said:

This is why I buy OLD history books, and when I say old I mean 100 years or older. There's none of that selective redaction and there are far more facts contained than in the modern books where someone's opinion guides them when editing instead of leaving the <censored>ing facts alone and STATE THE FULL TRUTH of events.

That IS what history is all about, not selectively pruning things until it doesn't resemble the facts at all.


Yeah, we have that in common. For example I still have a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica from the early 1950's. People laugh about it: "What? In this day & age, with full access to Google & Wiki & stuff, you still keep these old dusty books?" Well while it's undeniable countless things have completely changed since then, and therefore large portions of the books are useless, it is very useful for other things. For example when the anti-Israel factions try to "revise" the history of the region, I have the facts as compiled only 5 years after the founding of Israel. Much more reliable and accurate than most of the anti-Israel slant everybody puts on things today.

And that's just one example. I can't count the number of times I've experienced doubts about something I read as "fact" somewhere online, went and checked in the Encyclopedia B., and discovered my doubts were justified.

B)
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#14 User is offline   searcher 

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Posted 07 September 2018 - 09:50 PM

One thing I didn't like about History classes growing up was that when the U S Cavalry won a battle with the Indians it was a glorious victory. Any time the Indians won it was a bloody massacre. I always hated that.
Mark
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#15 User is offline   scotsman 

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 12:06 AM

View PostBuckwheat Jones, on 07 September 2018 - 07:25 PM, said:

Not always. I have a textbook from 1898 about the Spanish American war and boy it reeks of jingoism.


Mine jeeks of ringoism.
:P
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#16 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:27 AM

View Postscotsman, on 09 September 2018 - 12:06 AM, said:

Mine jeeks of ringoism.
:P

Well, you got to pay your dues if you're gonna sing the blues and you know it won't be easy...
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#17 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 08:49 AM

View PostSeverian, on 09 September 2018 - 08:27 AM, said:

Well, you got to pay your dues if you're gonna sing the blues and you know it won't be easy...


Hey, back off, boogaloo!

;)
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#18 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:08 AM

No no no, I don't do that no more, I'm tired of winding up on the floor...
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#19 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 09 September 2018 - 09:42 AM

View PostSeverian, on 09 September 2018 - 09:08 AM, said:

No no no, I don't do that no more, I'm tired of winding up on the floor...


Oh yeah? I've got a photograph that says otherwise...

;)
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#20 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 11:54 AM

No Reply?

I guess I'm The Greatest!

("Photograph" - Ringo. "No Reply" - The Beatles. "I'm The Greatest" - Ringo.)

Heeheeheeheeheeheehee!!

;)

This post has been edited by MontyPython: 10 September 2018 - 11:57 AM

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