U.S. Representative Steve King, an Iowa Republican, sparked uproar earlier this week when he claimed on MSNBC that non-white “subgroups” have not contributed to “civilization.” For many viewers, his comments were offensive and extreme.
But a school textbook now under review in Texas provides a troubling window into how education can reinforce and justify minority stereotypes. The text, Mexican American Heritage, has raised the ire of Mexican-American advocates thanks to lines like this one:
Industrialists … were used to their workers putting in a full day’s work, quietly and obediently, and respecting rules, authority, and property. In contrast, Mexican laborers were not reared to put in a full day’s work so vigorously. There was a cultural attitude of ‘mañana,’ or ‘tomorrow,’ when it came to high-gear production.
The book also argues that the U.S. Constitution is based on the Bible.
The Texas State Board of Education plans to review public feedback on the text in September.