One of my readers questioned the validity of the assertion in my blog post regarding Tea Party activists calling for a change to textbooks in Tennessee on the subject of slavery and other issues. On my Facebook page, she said that no such thing happened. I offer for any skeptics the following link to the Memphis newspaper the Commercial Appeal, from a January 13 article which describes the legislative demands that members of Tennessee’s Tea Party presented to the state’s legislators.
According to the article, about 24 Tea Party activists held a press conference and then met individually with legislators to present their list of ‘priorities and demands’ for the 2011 legislative session that recently opened. Among their five ‘priorities’ were rejection of the federal health reform act, establishing a ‘chief litigator’ for the state, and ‘educating students the truth (sic) about America.’
Material handed out at the press conference called for lawmakers to amend state laws governing school curriculum, and for textbook selection criteria to say that “No portrayal of minority experience in the history which actually occurred shall obscure the experience or contributions of the Founding Fathers, or the majority of citizens, including those who reached positions of leadership.”
The group also want to either have the state attorney general popularly elected, or have a new position established that is directly elected and which will have much of the litigation authority currently held by the attorney general who is appointed by the state Supreme Court. Their justification is that the current attorney general has ‘reflected views of the U.S. Constitution that conflict with those of the people of Tennessee,” referring primarily to federal health care reform measures.
So much for this being a ‘non-story,’ which, had it been, I would have retracted my previous posting without hesitation. My previous comments still stand, reinforced by the additional ‘priorities’ of the Tennessee Tea Party activists. Furthermore, I’m now caused to wonder just how many of the ‘people’ of the state of Tennessee these people actually represent.