Activists, Educators Rally Over Controversial ‘Mexican-American Heritage' Textbook

Protesters say the book is filled with inaccurate claims and promotes offensive stereotypes

Activists and educators protested outside a Texas State Board of Education meeting Tuesday over a controversial textbook about Mexican-American history.

The board is considering the textbook, titled "Mexican American Heritage," for use in the 2017-2018 school year. Protesters said the book is filled with inaccurate claims and promotes offensive stereotypes.

Democrats, who are outnumbered 10-5 on the board, pushed unsuccessfully two years ago to create a full Mexican-American studies program. Instead, publishers were asked to submit textbooks on a variety of ethnic studies topics that the board could consider for use.

"Mexican-American Heritage," which was submitted by Virginia-based publisher Momentum Instruction, is the first Mexican-American history book being considered for adoption.

A rally was held in Austin Tuesday morning against a controversial Mexican-American textbook.

The book is now being decried as racist and inaccurate by many of the same advocates who had wanted a broader Mexican-American studies course.

"They depict the Mexican-American community in stereotypical terms, as lazy, as threats to American society. It's not only disturbing for me as a historian but I find it very offensive that they should be speaking so carelessly," Emilio Zamora, a University of Texas Professor of History, told NBC affiliate KXAN.

The education board will vote in November on whether to approve the "Mexican American Heritage" textbook. State schools are not required to use state board-sanctioned classroom materials.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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