Leo’s Coronation Tires – A Children’s Book for Belgian-Congolese Friendship!

If you want more information about the problems with this book, read this article from Atlanta Blackstar.

A friend on Facebook shared this article with this caption:

what could be the next installment in the series? “Trail of Smiles”?

I then suggested:

The Happy Rubber Gatherers of King Leopold’s Congo!

A friend of the original poster’s commented with additional details for the story. I thought that contribution worthy of publication on this blog! I wish I had been as clever.

King Leopold wanted new bicycle tires for his birthday – he loved to ride around his palace! Oh no! there was no rubber to be found in all of Belgium! But when his happy subjects in Congo heard this, they headed into the jungle to help the King have the best birthday ever! Follow the adventures of three companions, Bula Matari, Kurtz, and Mr. Native, as they learn lasting lessons about cooperation, depraved brutality, and the meaning of friendship.

Updated January 21, 2016

Relax, Christian Islamophobes! Just Because Jews, Christians & Muslims Worship the Same God Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Be Nasty to Each Other

I’ve previously blogged about parents in Georgia freaking out because their children learn in public schools some basic facts about Islam in their social studies classes. I’ve also written about how the Georgia Department of Education has apparently caved to these bigots’ demands to change the curriculum to preserve their ignorance.

The point which seems to bring about the most horror is that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship the same God. One of the Christian Right’s leading legal organizations, the American Center for Law and Justice, has already published two terrifying articles on its web site about the indoctrination of children into the religion of Islam. Continue reading

Georgia Dept of Education Withdraws Teachers’ Social Studies Guide to Please Anti-Muslim Bigots

Anti-Muslim bigots asked a county in Georgia to allow their children to “opt-out” of learning about Islam in middle school social studies. When the county, correctly, refused the request because it was part of the state curriculum, bigots statewide, including the Southern Baptist Convention, have apparently pressured the Georgia Department of Education into withdrawing a teachers’ guide from all the school districts in Georgia because it included accurate statements about Islam which don’t fit the anti-Muslim polemics the bigots believe.

Updated October 12, 2015. The dumbing down of the youth of the USA continues, this time in Tennessee.

Updated: Walton County School District (Georgia) Resists Anti-Muslim Ignorance

Updated October 5, 2015: Georgia Department of Education accommodates the anti-Muslim bigots. This is a much more serious development.

Updated October 2, 2015: The original title of this blog entry was Walton County School District (Georgia) Enables Anti-Muslim Ignorance. After I sent, the letter below, I did receive a response in which the Supervisor of Schools wrote that no “opt-out” has been granted. A September 30 news report confirmed this. I also recommend the final chapter of Kent Greenawalt’s book Does God Belong in Public Schools?, which covers the question of a public school student opting out of curriculum material for religious reasons.

Here’s a letter I wrote to the Walton County School District Board of Education members urging them to reconsider allowing parents to have their children “opt-out” of social studies lessons that provide accurate information about Islam. I relied on a news report from Fox 10 Phoenix and WSB-TV in Atlanta. Continue reading

Call for Papers: Opposing Quasi-Religious Interference in Public School Social Studies Programs

In response to the Call for Annual Conference Proposals by the Georgia Council for the Social Studies, I am organizing a panel entitled “Opposing Quasi-Religious Interference in Public School Social Studies Programs.” The conference is Thursday and Friday, October 22-23, 2015 in Athens, GA. The proposal deadline is April 30, 2015. Continue reading

Georgia Hearing on Advanced Placement US History Exam, 2015

Updated April 21, 2015: Call for papers for panel addressing this and related issues.

The full hearing lasted more than 2.5 hours. I edited the version above down to 51 minutes. If you have the stomach for the full dose of reactionary political attacks on historians, you can download the video.

For additional background information, read a handout the anti-APUSH lobbyist was distributing in March, 2015.

P.S. The opponents of Advanced Placement US History exam used arguments similar to those who opposed environmental regulation: deny, confuse, relativize. Read Merchants of Doubt to see what I mean.