Social Studies debate: 3rd-graders to study Don Juan de Onate

Full story: El Paso Times

Texas third-graders will study El Paso's controversial conquistador Don Juan de Onate, but history lessons about Chicano civil-rights leader Dolores Huerta will have to wait until students reach high school.

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EPFAN

New York, NY

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#1
Jan 15, 2010
 

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Civil rights, though important is not as important as our country's entire system of government and its framers. Children today have no appreciation for Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and even Washington. And then we wonder why our children do not value our country. They are too busy looking for resentments and divisiveness instead of the commonality we all share in our love of freedom. Every minority group had difficulty in every country. That we should still be mining hatred and no celebrating our victories and unity is a very sad situation.

Since: Jul 08

El Paso, TX

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#2
Jan 15, 2010
 
EPFAN wrote:
Civil rights, though important is not as important as our country's entire system of government and its framers. Children today have no appreciation for Madison, Jefferson, Franklin and even Washington. And then we wonder why our children do not value our country. They are too busy looking for resentments and divisiveness instead of the commonality we all share in our love of freedom. Every minority group had difficulty in every country. That we should still be mining hatred and no celebrating our victories and unity is a very sad situation.
Absolutely correct. Our children are being taught look at America through the eyes of those who want to destroy it.
Obamanation

San Antonio, TX

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#3
Jan 15, 2010
 
What a complete waste of resources to even debate stupidity like this. We should not allow children to study Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln or George Washington.
Rob

El Paso, TX

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#4
Jan 15, 2010
 
Yes let them study and honor these mass murderers...way to go public education.
El Paso

El Paso, TX

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#5
Jan 15, 2010
 
Obamanation wrote:
What a complete waste of resources to even debate stupidity like this. We should not allow children to study Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln or George Washington.
You can tell a person's personality by the fruit it bears and your fruit is rotten
Mike D

El Paso, TX

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#6
Jan 15, 2010
 
So minorities have only sown discord and are poisoning America? Wow, nice to see that the contributions of anyone that is not white is being reduced in such a fashion by such Doctors of education like Jitney and EPFan. Have you actually seen the qualifications of some of the board members deciding the Social Studies curriculum? There are no qualified historians in the group. These are the experts deciding what your children learn.
Don Juan

El Paso, TX

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#7
Jan 15, 2010
 
Will his vile acts being included in the text? Will they learn of the way he enslaved the indigenous populations and chopped off the feet of the males? How his men raped and murdered the women?

“another mexican from TX...”

Since: Apr 09

New York City

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#8
Jan 15, 2010
 
I never thought I would see the day that parochial education is way better than a public school education.
Good job Texas, don't be surprised when the only schools public school grads can get into are UT, A & M & Tech.
Aud

United States

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#9
Jan 15, 2010
 

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There is no controversy surrounding Onate from the historical perspective. He was a bold explorer that brought European civilization to a large portion of the Americas and he should be learned and recognized.

There is always a clash when an advanced culture meets a primitive and brutal culture like the the one practiced by the Native Americans. Yes, I said brutal.

Native Americans of the desert did not live in peace and harmony with the world or with their neighbors like the revisionist would have you think.

They lived short and brutal lives, where violence was an everyday occurrence, be it within the family, against their women, fighting for control of their own clans or fighting with the tribe in the next valley. Men earned respect and status for how many they killed and how many women they raped. If you were weak, you lived a life of servitude and died at the will of the strong.

Certainly the Spaniards were brutal in conquering this land, but in other ways they brought a more advanced civilization with concepts of humanity, law, justice and eventually freedom. That's what conquest is, the powerful forcing their will on the vanquished.

History needs to teach this, not the "feminized" version that the evil white man came and took the land from the good Indians. That's a lie and if we tell our kids that they grow up thinking their own culture is more evil than others, when it's just a case of the constant struggle and changes in human history where the strong dominate the weak.

Stop telling lies and tell the truth.
Ju no Mon

El Paso, TX

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#10
Jan 15, 2010
 
Aud wrote:
There is no controversy surrounding Onate from the historical perspective. He was a bold explorer that brought European civilization to a large portion of the Americas and he should be learned and recognized.
There is always a clash when an advanced culture meets a primitive and brutal culture like the the one practiced by the Native Americans. Yes, I said brutal.
Native Americans of the desert did not live in peace and harmony with the world or with their neighbors like the revisionist would have you think.
They lived short and brutal lives, where violence was an everyday occurrence, be it within the family, against their women, fighting for control of their own clans or fighting with the tribe in the next valley. Men earned respect and status for how many they killed and how many women they raped. If you were weak, you lived a life of servitude and died at the will of the strong.
Certainly the Spaniards were brutal in conquering this land, but in other ways they brought a more advanced civilization with concepts of humanity, law, justice and eventually freedom. That's what conquest is, the powerful forcing their will on the vanquished.
History needs to teach this, not the "feminized" version that the evil white man came and took the land from the good Indians. That's a lie and if we tell our kids that they grow up thinking their own culture is more evil than others, when it's just a case of the constant struggle and changes in human history where the strong dominate the weak.
Stop telling lies and tell the truth.
whats wrong with you, nobody wants to hear the truth, its too hard for their gentle ears.....much more easier and noncommittal to tell it like " they want it to be or want it to have been" dont you know thinking in the southwest is outlawed, the white man has destroyed the native american culture(yes mexicans fall into this catigory) no one will ever admit the earth keeps turning, all people learn from their mistakes, but only the educated will TRY and not repeat history, when history is received as intolerable.
Mark

Flint, TX

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#11
Jan 15, 2010
 
Someday we'll be teaching kids about Geraldine Miller and her gross right-wing political bias that gives her this irrational hatred of people like Dolores Huerta.
EPFAN

Seattle, WA

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#12
Jan 15, 2010
 

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No one has suggested that we hate Huerta or that we white wash Onate's behavior. It is a matter of importance. As a woman would I want students to know that women did not get the right to vote until the early 20th century. But the importance of this event must be presented in context. It is less important than the creation of this great nation by men with incredible vision. Regarding most current historians, few do not see our history in anything but a negative destructive manner. I do not want them creating curriculum. Our history, like any nation's is not without its warts. Leftists though wish to forget our greatness and emphasize warts and that is not appropriate. They will destroy our great nation.
About History

United States

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#13
Jan 15, 2010
 
Yes, Ornate did commit some vile acts towards the people from that long ago time and place. Laws are different now, for that very reason. That is why history of what happened needs to be taught, if for no other reason, to better inform the next generation. I agree that Huerta is also important, but when it comes to explaining exploration of this continent, Ornate's story must be told. By not telling the story means someone may as well hide the story, which is not fair to our next generation or to the legacy of exploration in this country, or others.
About History

United States

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#14
Jan 15, 2010
 

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Some day there will also be a chapter about the violence in Juarez, about how drugs ruined a city, a nation and the people. Some might blame the US, europeans, drug addicts, etc., but the blame is on who has control (or lack thereof) of the country. Yes, a lot more killings happen now than in Ornate's time, and for different reasons. But history is not about telling a "happy" story, it is about telling historical facts. Deal with it, in hopes you may learn.
jps

El Paso, TX

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#15
Jan 16, 2010
 

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As a historian who for the past 10 years has taught several thousand undergrads, most of whom have graduated from public schools in Texas, I find this debate about our common history very invigorating. Debating history is important: it shows that we are actively thinking about our past and assessing its importance for the present. Whether or not we all agree on the specific content covered in public school is less as important as understanding the significance of the processes tied to debate, argumentation, discussion, and evaluation. This is the stuff of democratic peoples. But let's be clear: all professors are not left wingers, and if they are, they are not trying to indoctrinate students. If anything, they/we, want students to have a healthy skepticism of established beliefs and to approach standard narratives with a balance of respect and caution. This does not mean we trash icons needlessly. The goal is not to mindlessly tear down individuals in the past. Many of us would actually like public schools to focus more on skill building, especially critical thinking, writing, reading, and analysis. In addition, we would like students--as future citizens of a democracy--to have the independence of mind to develop their own worldviews and perspectives while repsecting those who disagree. Finally, as a historian--and not a preacher or ideologue--**I** want students to understand the complexity and contradictions of the past. Yes, Washington, Jefferson, et. al., were great men, but Washington was an elitist and Jefferson held slaves. What does that mean? That means that they lived within a particular era of complex realities, perhaps contradictions. Does that mean we are judging them from 21st century standards? NO. People critiqued Washington for his elitism and there was a robust anti-slavery movement for much of the 18th and 19th centuries. Do people like Huerta and Thurmon have a place in textbooks? Of course. Do we have to agree with their politics? Not at all. Including them and other people who have sought to improve this nation and make it live up to its ideals of equality and liberty is not "feminizing" our past. Many of the "great men" of US history were strong enough to lodge critiques of our nation while embracing its positive accomplishments. In fact, the moral ability to have self-reflection and admit mistakes and then correct them, is a powerful characteristic in individuals and in societies. So, let's keep debating our past, and try to avoid lodging insults at each other...
Ernest

Salem, VA

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#16
Jan 17, 2010
 
As the invasion continues will this 'debate' cease or will it move in the same direction? Diversity is a strength. One of the biggest lies ever told.
Chuck Wallah

El Paso, TX

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#17
Jan 17, 2010
 
What really horrifies me is that 1st graders are taught that it is honorable and good to die for their country, with Nathan Hale used as an example. That just seems obscene to me, to indoctrinate a 6 year old into that kind of thinking...

Also, having Army recruiters come to public schools on career day to try to brainwash tiny children into wanting to become cannon fodder using lies and deceit is also incredibly offensive.
Aud

El Paso, TX

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#18
Jan 18, 2010
 

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Chuck Wallah wrote:
What really horrifies me is that 1st graders are taught that it is honorable and good to die for their country, with Nathan Hale used as an example. That just seems obscene to me, to indoctrinate a 6 year old into that kind of thinking...
Also, having Army recruiters come to public schools on career day to try to brainwash tiny children into wanting to become cannon fodder using lies and deceit is also incredibly offensive.
Luckily traitors like you are few and far between.

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