It’s not every day that you hear someone use the “F-word” when they testify in a Senate Committee hearing. I am quite sure that I am the first one to do it in Alabama. Some of you may remember me as the TEA Party leader who testified before Congress last summer about the IRS targeting. Yes, I was the one who told Congress “they had forgotten their place."
I recently had the opportunity to testify before an Alabama Senate Education Committee in favor of a bill that would allow local school districts to opt out of Common Core.
My testimony focused on the most widely used 11th grade literature textbook in Alabama. It’s called The American Experience: 1900-Present by Prentice Hall. It clearly states “Common Core Edition” on the cover. Most likely, it’s being used in your state as well.
Dr. Terrance Moore, professor of History from Hillsdale College, dedicated an entire chapter in his book called Story Killers to this very textbook. He does a superb job detailing the misrepresentation of America’s founding, its anti-American themes, and its obvious political bias, as well its mediocre methods of teaching literature. During my testimony I listed a few of these examples.
I then went on to mention something that was not covered in Dr. Moore’s critique of textbook and that was its promotion of pornography. Author Toni Morrison and the titles of several of her books are promoted on page 1095. One of her books listed is called The Bluest Eye. It’s recommended reading for 11th graders.
The Bluest Eye is the story of an 8-year old black girl. This book is about rape, incest, and pedophilia. One of the characters is a priest who likes having sex with little girls and the scenes are graphically described.
The depictions are from the perpetrators point of view. The author wanted the reader to feel as though they were a “co-conspirator” with the rapist. She describes the pedophilia, rape, and incest as “friendly,” “innocent,” and “tender,” but never as wrong.
For years, we’ve been telling our legislators that many of the Common Core recommended books are inappropriate, but they have refused to listen. So I decided to read six sentences from an edited excerpt of The Bluest Eye.
By this point, I was half way through my testimony but the longer I spoke the more nervous I became. You see the “F-word” is absent in my daily vocabulary. Call me a prude if you like, but pornography is altogether foreign to me. Knowing that I was just seconds away from reading out loud, before a standing-room-only crowd, a VERY graphic sex act between a pedophile and a young child was making my heart begin to race. I did my best to hide it and I was determined to go forward. I heard myself say, “A bolt of desire ran down his genitals…and softening the lips of his anus. . . . He wanted to f*** her—tenderly. But the tenderness …….” I heard a few gasps from the people sitting behind me and then I heard someone loudly interrupt me. I looked up and one of the senators was waving her hands telling me to stop. Then the Chairman chimed as well. I argued, “No, let me finish”. For few seconds we argued back and forth, it was quite tense and uncomfortable for everyone in the room. I relented and did not read the next 5 sentences. I then made the point that the content is so vile that it couldn't be uttered at a public meeting room full of adults, yet this filth is recommended under Common Core to our minor children to read and discuss in class.
By this time, I was visibly shaken and I quickly sputtered out the last words of my testimony stating that, “We want EXCELLENT, not common standards, and we want EXCEPTIONAL curriculum filled with rich literature, not smut, not politically biased revisionist history, and not boring government documents!”
As painful and humiliating as it was to deliver that speech, I believe it was worth it. People need to know that Common Core is not good for our kids. I am so proud to work with the amazing people involved at Alabamians United for Excellence in Education and Stop Common Core in Alabama on Facebook, as well as other Stop Common Core groups all across the nation. Together we can rid our states of this cancer and deliver higher standards to our students that are written by actual teachers at the local level.
You can view my entire testimony here. (WARNING: SEXUALLY EXPLICIT MATERIAL)