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State of Embarrassment — Texas

How textbook changes and talk of secession affect the citizen embarrassment level in Texas.

You've Probably Heard About: The textbook changes. The Republican-controlled Board of Education has altered curriculum so that the state’s 4.8 million students are taught to question the United Nations, Social Security and Medicare; closely study the “conservative resurgence” of the 1980s and ’90s; and learn the Judeo-Christian influences on the Founding Fathers. Removed: The suggestion that hip-hop is part of a social movement. Breathe easy, Texas.

But Did You Know: Gov. Rick Perry told tea-partiers last year that Texas could secede from the Union if Washington politicians “continue to thumb their noses at the American people.” That’s a unique reading on the 1845 treaty admitting Texas into the Union, which merely allows for the break-up of the state into five different pieces. (And yes, Austin, you can have your own piece. Good luck.)


They Said It: “The way I evaluate history textbooks is first I see how they cover Christianity and Israel. Then I see how they treat Ronald Reagan — he needs to get credit for saving the world from communism and for the good economy over the last 20 years because he lowered taxes.” — Education board Chairman Don McLeroy, explaining how humans and dinosaurs once roamed the Earth together in perfect harmony.

The Silver Lining: After Perry’s pro-secession rhetoric, a Dallas Morning News poll found that 31 percent of Texans believed (incorrectly) that the state could secede, and 18 percent would vote for it.


Citizen Embarrassment Level: None uh-tall. Come 2012, we’ll have five governors and a President Perry.