The Slaves Were Just Workers Without Choice of Employer, Salary or Freedom

Think Progress reports on the utter stupidity that has come from Texas’ control on textbook content.  Textbook publishers must kowtow to the ultra-right Texas Board of Education in crafting textbooks because Texas is a huge market.

A Texas mother spoke out against part of McGraw-Hill’s textbook, “World Geography,” when she noticed that the language erased slavery by calling slaves “workers” and including them in the section “Patterns of Immigration.” One example of the text:

The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.

Roni Dean-Burren, who taught English for more than a decade and is now a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston, pointed out that the language of “worker” suggests compensation and “immigration” suggests that people weren’t kidnapped and brought to North America against their will. She first learned about the textbook section when her son sent her a photo of the text.

The real political correctness is now coming from the right-wing.  We can’t really mention the inconvenient fact that much of the early U.S. economy was built on slave labor.

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