Today's Cannon: Black History Month
by TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION
Feb 28, 2019 | 526 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Connecting today’s news with the research and opinion you need from TPPF experts.
 

Black History Month

What to Know: Texans celebrated Black History Month in February; Lt. Col. Allen West (retired) participated at an event in East Texas.

“Joan Hubert, a Texas Southern University music professor, spoke about tracing her family lineage to the slaves who worked on Roseland Plantation,” the Tyler Paper reports. “Hubert said she spent the past 30 years researching her ancestry. She said she discovered her ties to the plantation through talking to relatives and coming to Roseland, where she discovered she was the great-great-great-grandniece of a woman listed as one of the original plantation owner’s slaves. She said she finally felt like she had roots when she was able to trace the woman's history to Madagascar.”

 

The TPPF Take: West read from Booker T. Washington’s famous “Cast Down Your Bucket” speech, and spoke of how Washington valued education and self-reliance above victimhood.

“Booker T. Washington, a former slave who became an advisor to presidents, knew that education and honest labor would put his race on an equal footing with whites,” says West, who leads TPPF’s Booker T. Washington Initiative. “He also focused on unity—something we need more of today, in a time when so many forces are trying to divide us.”
For more on TPPF’s Booker T. Washington Initiatives, click here.
 

Failing Grade

What to Know: Most Texans can’t pass a basic citizenship test.

“Texans, it turns out, don't know their U.S. history,” KUT reports. “A new study from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found 63 percent of respondents in Texas failed a quiz based on questions from the U.S. citizenship examination. The 41,000-person survey found roughly four in 10 respondents nationally couldn't pass the 20-question test. Vermont was the only state in which a majority of respondents passed. Texas ranked 40th overall.”

 

The TPPF Take: This survey demonstrates that Texas (and other states) must strengthen civics education.

“A functional knowledge of how our government works—including a clear understanding of our foundational documents—is vital for ensuring that we can address some of our nation’s most intractable problems,” says TPPF’s Tom Lindsay. “From what does government derive its power? Where do rights come from? Are there checks and balances on government authority? We must make sure that future voters learn these important principles.”
For more on civic education, click here.
 

Climate Change

What to Know: A new editorial in the Houston Chronicle calls on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to save the planet.

“Of course, we all wish this warming stuff really was nonsense, that our great-grandkids would some day stroll down a sidewalk in downtown Houston without needing galoshes, maybe even take an Alaskan vacation and spot a real live polar bear — in the wild,” the editorial says. “Nice fantasy. But we can’t stake our future on wishful thinking. Seems better to err on the side of caution — on the side of science.”

 

The TPPF Take: TPPF’s Life:Powered project has sent a letter to Abbott agreeing on one point, at least—Texas should heed the science, and hold a balanced debate on both costs and benefits of policy changes.

“It is important to note that predictions of increasing costs and lives lost due to a changing climate are far from certain and the premise that Texas can somehow prevent the climate from changing, let alone prevent severe weather, is ludicrous when confronted with empirical climate science and measurements,” says the letter.
To read that letter in full, click here.
 
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