MEXICO'S TEXTBOOKS IN AMERICA'S CLASSROOMS
President Bush, in a significant reversal of his administration's 5-year-long indifference to this country's porous borders and runaway illegal immigration problem, announced in a well-publicized speech at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona, on November 28th, that, among a number of new initiatives, his administration would address immigrant assimilation:
Our nation has been strengthened by generations of immigrants who became Americans through patience and hard work and assimilation. In this new century, we must continue to welcome immigrants, and to set high standards for those who follow the laws to become a part of our country. Every new citizen of the United States has an obligation to learn our customs and values, including liberty and civic responsibility, equality under God and tolerance for others, and the English language. (Applause.) We will continue to pursue policies that encourage ownership, excellence in education, and give all our citizens a chance to realize the American Dream.
What American taxpayers need to understand, and especially those with school-age children attending public schools, is that the government of Mexico is striving to imbue American school children and the offspring of illegal aliens sharing classrooms with them with Mexico's culture and its nation's history. That's right ... you read that correctly. Fox News reported yesterday that a public school student in the Santa Ana School District in southern California is not only studying American history, but is receiving textbooks from Mexico via its Los Angeles-based consulate on Mexico's history. American school children in possession of Mexican textbooks!
If your gut tells you that something is rotten in Denmark so-to-speak, trust your instincts. Mexico has absolutely no business doing this -- interfering in American public education -- and the Bush Administration, which champions its No Child Left Behind educational initiative, is altogether disingenuous in not sharing this fact with American voters. Fact is, the U.S. Department of Education is a co-conspirator!
Read the following excerpted from a must-read piece by Heather MacDonald, published this past autumn in "City Journal":
The gall of Mexican officials does not end with the push for illegal entry. After demanding that we educate their surplus citizens, give those citizens food stamps, deliver their babies, provide them with doctors and hospital beds, and police their neighborhoods, the Mexican government also expects us to help preserve their loyalty to Mexico.
Since 1990, Mexico has embarked on a series of initiatives to import Mexican culture into the U.S. Mexico’s five-year development plan in 1995 announced that the “Mexican nation extends beyond . . . its border”—into the United States. Accordingly, the government would “strengthen solidarity programs with the Mexican communities abroad by emphasizing their Mexican roots, and supporting literacy programs in Spanish and the teaching of the history, values, and traditions of our country.”
The current launching pad for these educational sallies is the Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior. The IME directs several programs aimed at American schools. Each of Mexico’s 47 consulates in the U.S. (a number that expands nearly every year) has a mandate to introduce Mexican textbooks into schools with significant Hispanic populations. The Mexican consulate in Los Angeles showered nearly 100,000 textbooks on 1,500 schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District this year alone. Hundreds of thousands more have gone to school districts across the country, which pay only shipping charges. Showing admirable follow-up skills, the consulates try to ensure that students actually read the books. L.A. consulate reps, for instance, return to schools that have the books and ask questions. “We test the students,” explains Mireya Magaña Gálvez, a consul press attaché. “We ask the students: what are you reading about now? We try to repeat and repeat.”
The article continues with this galling example of what our school children are being taught by the Mexican government:
Immigrants have often tried to hold on to their native traditions, but not until recently did anyone expect American schools to help them do so. And it is hard to see how studying Mexican history from a Mexican perspective helps forge an American identity. The Mexican sixth-grade history book, for example, celebrates the “heroism and sacrifice” of the Mexican troops who fought the Americans during the Mexican-American war. But “all the sacrifices and heroism of the Mexican people were useless,” recounts the chronicle. The “Mexican people saw the enemy flag wave at the National Palace.” The war’s consequences were “disastrous,” notes the primer: “To end the occupation, Mexico was obligated to sign the treaty of Guadeloupe-Hidalgo,” by which the country lost half its territory.
And this corroboration from "National Review" (published October, 1998) underscores that this is not a recent, but rather a long-standing initiative of the Mexican government:
Indeed, through its 42 consular offices and 23 cultural institutes in the United States--the most extensive presence here that any foreign country maintains--Mexico directly influences U.S. education policy at every level of government, making the assimilation of Hispanics in the United States that much more difficult.
The U.S. Department of Education actively welcomes the intervention of the Mexican government in American schools. As the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs regularly boasts, it provides, among other things, teacher-exchange programs and free instructional materials in support of bilingual education in the United States. Roughly three hundred thousand Mexican textbooks--gifts from the Mexican government--are used in American schools today.
This blog has pointed previously to the determined interference in America's internal affairs by Mexico's U.S.-based consulates.
American taxpayers, including parents of public school students, need to tell President Bush that "excellence in education" shouldn't embrace studying textbooks published in Mexico that promote Mexico's culture and distort American history. The President should move to withhold federal funding to public school districts that are disseminating Mexican textbooks to its students. The president should also come clean that this sort of thing is going on as a result of his cozying up to Mexico's presidente Vicente Fox.
Porous borders are but one significant problem facing this country owing to Mexico's concerted effort -- el Plan De Aztlan -- to reclaim portions of the southwestern United States. Worrisome, as well, are Mexico's determined efforts to lay claim to the porous minds of American school children via the patent propaganda in textbooks it distributes to them.
With all of the shortcomings of America's struggling public educational system and the myriad ways in which it is shortchanging American students, this is one problem that could be rectified if only the president of the United States would just walk the talk.
FOLLOW-UP: The Houston Chronicle's online "Opinion" section has linked to my blog under its "Blog Watch" heading. Many thanks to HC's editors.
FOLLOW-UP II: For those ACSOL readers unfamiliar with el Plan De Aztlan (or confused by the link I provided), I suggest you begin reading up on Mexico's "Reconquista Program" (courtesy of the good folks at VDARE). I also suggest this article published by Americans For Legal Immigration.
FOLLOW-UP III: Lorie Byrd of Polipundit was kind enough to link to this post and I encourage my readers to read her well-thought viewpoints on the subject of Mexican textbooks in American classrooms, as well as her firsthand observations on her daughter's teacher's prudent use of Spanish in the classroom.
FOLLOW-UP IV: The Dan Stein Report has linked to my post as well (scroll down to the bottom under "All of Today's Headlines"), for which I am most appreciative. If you're interested in staying abreast of immigration and border security issues, you would do well to make this a daily read.
FOLLOW-UP V (12/14/05): This blogger is flattered to find a link to ACSOL in the prestigious "City Journal" today. Just as I quoted her in this post, I earnestly recommend that you read articles by Heather Mac Donald, as she's a terrific writer-journalist and her insights are important to all concerned Americans.