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Activists, Scholars Tear Into Mexican-American Studies Text Riddled With Error, Offenses

Marjorie Kamys Cotera
The Texas Tribune
Dr. Emilio Zamora, a history professor at UT Austin, discusses factual errors in a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook during a press conference on July 18, 2016.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Professors gathered Monday at the Texas Education Agency to criticize a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook; can you spot the Texas delegate?; Gov. Abbott thinks attacks against police should qualify as a hate crime; and more.


Within the 500 pages of “Mexican American Heritage,”  Texas high schoolers would read that “the Aztecs waged war because of 'bloodlust,' 19th-century Mexican industrial laborers often drank on the job and slavery was in swift decline just before the Civil War” among other concerning content, The Texas Tribune reported.

Activist groups and professors with the Responsible Ethnic Studies Textbook Coalition are calling on the State Board of Education to reject it.

Written by Jaime Riddle and Valarie Angle, "Mexican American Heritage" was the only submission the board received after it issued a call for textbooks in 2015, according to Texas Observer. Activists had hoped that a state-approved textbook would allow the class to be offered in more schools, The Tribune reported. You can download a copy of the book from the state agency under the “Social Studies” tab.

If the board approves the book in November, districts will still be able to use the materials of their choosing. But, many districts, especially smaller ones, would most likely use the state-recommended text. [The Texas Tribune, Texas Observer]

  • Building a wall might be Trump’s campaign centerpiece, but most border residents don’t want one, a poll found. The poll, sponsored by Cronkite News, Univision and the Dallas Morning News, found 72 percent of Americans and 86 percent of Mexicans living along both sides of the border are against a wall. Angela Kocherga, director of the Borderlands Bureau of Cronkite News, said this is the first poll in 15 years to look at the issue from both sides of the border. Read more findings from the poll, and listen to Kocherga’s interview with Texas Standard. [KERA News, Texas Standard]


  • Texas delegates present for the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday were easy to spot, to say the least. The outfits, however kitschy, helped make it clear that Republicans from Texas like to dance. Mashable compiled a list of the best dance moves seen from the convention, and the delegates in Lone Star button-downs and cowboy hats were all over it. [Mashable, NPR]

  • Dallas-based artist Gabriel Dawe is using miles of stretched thread to create an “indoor rainbow” for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. The sculpture, titled “Plexus no. 34” will be an extremely intricate network of threads that give depth to light in the atrium of the Fort Worth museum. Dawe told Art&Seek in 2014 that he thinks the sculptures almost look like they’re coming alive when you see them and move within their space. “Plexus no. 34” will be created onsite and will be open for viewing on Aug. 16 through Sept. 2, 2018. [Art&Seek]","_id":"00000174-20e2-d47e-a1f7-72e794080001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">">","_id":"00000174-20e2-d47e-a1f7-72e794080001","_type":"035d81d3-5be2-3ed2-bc8a-6da208e0d9e2"}">

  • Gov. Greg Abbott is joining a growing number of state lawmakers wanting to make attacks against police officers a hate crime. Abbott announced Monday the Police Protection Act, which would extend hate crime protections to law enforcement officers. Abbott's proposal comes after U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, introducedlegislation on Wednesday that would make killing a police officer a federal crime.“At a time when law enforcement officers increasingly come under assault simply because of the job they hold, Texas must send a resolute message that the State will stand by the men and women who serve and protect our communities,” Abbott said. [The Associated Press]