Texas lawmaker unveils plans for '1836 Project' to commemorate state's independence from Mexico

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Texas lawmaker unveils plans for '1836 Project' to commemorate state's independence from Mexico

A Texas lawmaker has unveiled plans for a committee that would promote 'patriotic education' across the state's schools, parks and museums.  Rep. T

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A Texas lawmaker has unveiled plans for a committee that would promote ‘patriotic education’ across the state’s schools, parks and museums.  

Rep. Tan Parker is pressing for the 1836 Project – named after the year Texas achieved independence from Mexico – according to legislation filed Monday. 

The Republican’s proposal echoes that of Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission. 

That group was established by the former president as a response to The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ which highlights the lasting consequences of slavery in the US.

But Parker insists his plans are unrelated and told The Dallas News they are ‘exclusively about celebrating Texas’. 

His plans primarily target ‘promoting awareness’ of ‘Texas values that continue to stimulate boundless prosperity across this state’, according to the bill. The committee will focus on remembering the Texas War for Independence, the annexation of Texas by the US and Juneteenth. 

The lawmaker said in a news release:  ‘Throughout recent years, we have witnessed the destruction of historical monuments as many attempt to rewrite the past.

‘Many of our children are taught to denounce Texas history and do not understand what it means to be a virtuous citizen.’

Parker said the bill is ‘about making certain we protect our history and share it with future generations’. 

Rep. Tan Parker is pressing for the 1836 Project - named after the year Texas achieved independence from Mexico - according to legislation filed Monday

Rep. Tan Parker is pressing for the 1836 Project – named after the year Texas achieved independence from Mexico – according to legislation filed Monday

Texan students already learn about patriotic symbols and customs; they are expected to learn the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States and the Pledge to the Texas Flag.

They also learn about ‘the history of Texas from the early beginnings to the present’. 

But the lawmaker says he hopes his plans can be implemented across the state by ‘ensuring patriotic education is provided to the public at state parks, battlefields, monuments, museums, installations, landmarks, cemeteries, and other places important to the Texas War for Independence and founding of this state’. 

He said his plans are ‘proactive’ and also plans for a pamphlet to be handed out to new drivers collecting their licenses which will detail how Texas promotes ‘liberty and freedom for businesses and families’.

The Republican’s proposal echoes that of Donald Trump’s 1776 Commission. That group was established by the former president as a response to The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project’ which highlights the lasting consequences of slavery in the US. But insists his plans are unrelated and told The Dallas News they are ‘exclusively about celebrating Texas’

WHAT THE PAMPHLET WILL INCLUDE 

According to Parker’s proposals a pamphlet including the following will be handed to Texans getting their driver’s license. 

The contents must include:  

  • an overview of Texas history and civics
  • the legacy of economic prosperity in this state
  • the abundant opportunities for businesses and families in this state

Parker said he wants ‘patriotic education provided to the public’, adding: ‘Civic education should not be limited to the classroom.’

Academics have long clashed with Texas’ GOP-controlled education board on controversies that include lessons exploring the influence Moses had on the Founding Fathers. 

Governor Greg Abbott said earlier this year that students must learn ‘what it means to be an American and what it means to be a Texan.’     

Joe Biden disbanded Trump’s 1776 Commission and withdrew a report it released in an executive order signed on in his first day in office.  

In its report, which Trump hoped would be used in classrooms across the nation, the commission glorified the country’s founders and played down America´s role in slavery.

It also condemned the rise of progressive politics and argued that the civil rights movement ran afoul of the ‘lofty ideals’ espoused by the Founding Fathers.   

The panel, which included no professional historians of the United States, complained of ‘false and fashionable ideologies’ that depict the country´s story as one of ‘oppression and victimhood.’ 

Instead, it called for renewed efforts to foster ‘a brave and honest love for our country.’

Trump officials heralded the report as ‘a definitive chronicle of the American founding,’ but scholars say it disregards the most basic rules of scholarship. It offers no citations, for example, or a list of its source materials.  

The 1619 project was published in 2019, the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of African slaves. It turned into a popular podcast and materials were developed for schools to use

The 1619 project was published in 2019, the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of African slaves. It turned into a popular podcast and materials were developed for schools to use

Historians widely panned the report, saying it offers a false and outdated version of American history that ignores decades of research.

‘It’s an insult to the whole enterprise of education. Education is supposed to help young people learn to think critically,’ said David Blight, a Civil War historian at Yale University. ‘That report is a piece of right-wing propaganda.’  

Blight, at Yale, compared it to ‘a sixth- or seventh-grade kind of approach to history – to make the children feel good.’ He added: ‘But it’s worse than that, because it comes out of an agenda of political propaganda.’ 

Proposals first reported last month in Arkansas, Iowa and Mississippi would also prohibit schools from using the New York Times 1619 project. 

Georgia colleges and universities have been quizzed about whether they’re teaching about white privilege or oppression. 

And GOP governors are backing overhauls of civic education that mirror Trump’s abandoned initiatives.    

Parker's plans primarily target 'promoting awareness' of 'Texas values that continue to stimulate boundless prosperity across this state'. They will focus on the Texas War for Independence, the annexation of Texas by the US and Juneteenth, he said

Parker’s plans primarily target ‘promoting awareness’ of ‘Texas values that continue to stimulate boundless prosperity across this state’. They will focus on the Texas War for Independence, the annexation of Texas by the US and Juneteenth, he said

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a close ally of Trump’s, in January proposed $900,000 to ramp up her state’s civics curriculum to emphasize the U.S. as ‘the most unique nation in the history of the world.’ 

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves is proposing a $3 million ‘Patriotic Education Fund’ to combat what he called revisionist history.

‘Across the country, young children have suffered from indoctrination in far-left socialist teachings that emphasize America´s shortcomings over the exceptional achievements of this country,’ Reeves said when he announced it. 

The proposals primarily target The New York Times’ ‘1619 Project,’ which examined slavery and its consequences as the central thread of U.S. history. 

The project was published in 2019, the 400th anniversary of the first arrival of African slaves. It turned into a popular podcast and materials were developed for schools to use.  

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