Thursday, 20 May 2010

When I see a slave, I call it a slave ...

But in Texas, it seems that all this talk of slaves and slave rades and slavery and so on has been judged a bit too strong for school children.
Tempers are flaring in Texas over controversial proposed changes to the US state's public school curriculum.

The changes, put forward by the Board of Education's conservative members, include referring to the slave trade as the "Atlantic triangular trade".

Critics say the changes are ideological and distort history, but proponents argue they are correcting a long-standing liberal bias in education.

The conservatives are expected to prevail in Friday's final vote. (1)
"Atlantic triangular trade" - is this some weird new racial epithet? Can you refer to people of colour as 'triangles' at dinner parties without identifying yourself as an execrable racist? Or is it more street than that. Does it contrast with 'square' white people? Are Asians hexagonal?

Inverted political correctness is the new tool of the conservatives.

And yes, I'm quite away of the 'logic' behind the term 'triangular.' The ships went from Britain to Africa and then to America and then back to London. But that ships sailed these routes is not at all remarkable. Ships have always sailed in all sorts of directions and usually end up where they started. That the ships set out seeking slaves, transported slaves, and then carried the commodities produced by slaves back to Europe was.

Which is why we called it the slave trade.
1 - "Texas schoolbook fight heats up," unattributed article. Published by the BBC, 19th of May, 2010. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8693397.stm)

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