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The Source: Mexican American Studies Textbook To Be Denounced, State Senator Says

State Senator Jose Menendez said on TPR's "The Source"  Wednesday he will be working with the Hispanic caucus in the Texas legislature to denounce a controversial textbook the Texas State Board of Education is considering for Mexican American Studies Courses and that many are calling racist and inaccurate.

“In the fields a laborers or construction sites or hotel rooms they don’t have a problem asking for help – but when it comes to representing us in a proper – appropriate – educationally accurate way? They come up with this trash? This is very offensive.”

Last year the State Board of Education approved adding Mexican American studies to the state curricula. But a text book for the course called “Mexican American Heritage” is being attacked by educators and activists for presenting Mexican Americans in an inaccurate negative light.

The associated press has reported that the text book was published by a company owned by Momentum Learning which is owned by Cynthia Dunbar a former member of the Texas State Board of Education and a prominent right-wing activist.

Juan Tejeda – an instructor at Palo Alto College said the text book was not written by experts in the field and denigrates Mexican Americans. 

“It is very offensive to us as Mexican Americans as Chicanos as Latinos in general. There are some historically inaccurate things that are happening – some editorializing that they mention the Chicano movement that wanted to destroy western society.”

Tejeda points out that the book also maligns the Chicano political movement of the 1960’s and 70’s as a negative and disruptive force while in fact it was responsible for empowering Mexican Americans with voting rights and elected representation. 


  • Tony Diaz, writer and activist at el Librotraficante
  • Juan Tejeda, instructor of Mexican American Studies at Palo Alto College
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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi