As if the Tea Party hasn’t butchered American history enough since their creation, the Tea Party in Tennessee is demanding the immediate removal of any mention of slavery as it applies to the Founding Fathers because they want schools clean up their image and teach students “the truth about America.” Tennessee now wants to join Texas in changing American history as it is presented in textbooks and how it is taught by teachers in school.
Multiple Tea Party members, including lead spokesman Hal Rounds, say they want the state legislature to force teachers to teach history in the way they see it. In other words, they want to re-write history to exclude the fact that the Founding Fathers owned slaves, because according to The Memphis Commercial Appeal, the group wants to address “an awful lot of made-up criticism about, for instance, the founders intruding on the Indians or having slaves or being hypocrites in one way or another.”
The group wants to change 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.” It’s a fancy way of saying let’s take the role of minorities out of our American history textbooks so our past leaders will look good.
The Tea Party wants to whitewash American history as if the Founding Fathers were perfect in everything they ever did, which simply isn’t true. The Founding Fathers were great men but they had flaws. They owned slaves, they allowed slavery to be legal and yes, they did that despite hypocritically writing that all men are created equal. They also took part in the removal of Native Americans from their homelands, an action that resulted in the deaths of thousands. This information is well documented and acknowledged by professional historians and should not be censored. Students have the right to learn the entire truth about our history and not just the parts that conservatives want them to learn. Hiding knowledge is tantamount to lying and that’s what the Tea Party wants our teachers to do.