A bill passed by the Illinois State House would require schools to teach LGBT history to give students “role models” within the community.
The Illinois House passed HB0246, requiring that all textbooks bought by the district “authorized to be purchased must include the roles and contributions of all people protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act,” and require that they facilitate “the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history.”
State Representative Anna Moeller believes the bill will “give LGBT students a safe inclusive and welcoming environment,” and provide students with “accurate and improved history and understanding of how LGBT individuals and movements have contributed and shaped our world today.”
She also believes it will aid LGBT students by giving them positive “role models” to emulate.
Republican State Representative Tom Morrison questioned the importance of teaching sexuality to students when contacted by local media.
“How or why is an historical figure’s sexuality or gender self-identification even relevant, especially when we’re talking about kindergarten and elementary school history?” Morrison said. “Furthermore, there’s no parental opt-out nor even any notification so the parents can know if, when or how to talk about these topics with their children.”
He also said it the measure would add another unfunded requirement to school districts, which are governed by locally elected school boards.
Additionally, the bill would be immune to balanced budget requirements in order to replace the current curriculum quickly.
City of Denver Unanimously Votes to Rename Columbus Park “La Raza Park”
There might come a time when nothing in the US is named after Christopher Columbus.
The Denver City Council unanimously voted to rename Columbus Park last week Monday, and now it will be named “La Raza Park.”
“La raza” is Spanish for “the race,” which has connotations with Latino identity politics. A Denver Post article tells us that the phrase “viva la raza” (long live the race) was the “rallying cry of the Chicano movement in the 1960s and ’70s.” The Chicano Movement encouraged Mexican ethnic and cultural solidarity with a particular emphasis on their indigenous heritage. The movement, however, rejected assimilation and thus the term “Mexican-American,” essentially branding themselves as the Hispanic version of the Black Power movement.
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval claims that the unanimous vote was an act of officially naming a park that has “always” been unofficially called by its new name. “La raza is a word of unity and about celebrating community,” she said without a hint of irony.
The reason for officially renaming the park is about what you’d expect, namely because Christopher Columbus is irredeemably associated with colonialism and genocide and is thus not fit to be honored in any way, shape, or form.
Arturo Gonzalez, a retired professor, said that “Mexican Chicanos and Indigenous peoples have suffered genocide over the last 500 years. We live with that trauma. We continue to live with that trauma.”
Renaming parks, buildings, and schools that were previously named after so-called “problematic” or “white supremacist” historical figures is nothing new, of course, but the practice has accelerated over the past several months due to the hysteria following the George Floyd riots.
Big League Politics has covered many instances of this phenomenon. One of the most recent instances included a San Francisco school district renaming Abraham Lincoln High School because black lives apparently “didn’t matter” to him:
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