Textbook vocabulary: Rewriting the history of our nation

Anna Thomas, staff writer

Language is used to label, describe, persuade and sometimes manipulate people, or in this case, history.

The Texas State Board of Education has approved the decision to change words in the history books’ curriculum including changing the “slave trade” into ‘’The Atlantic Triangular Trade,” eliminating the word “capitalism” with “free enterprise” and switch “imperialism” with “expansion.”

With language being such an influence on people’s viewpoints, these changes could quite possibly demote what has occurred in history.

To start off, getting rid of the phrase “slave trade,” mostly just the word “slave,” seems to be hiding the fact that slavery ever happened.

Students won’t be able to relate or understand the severity of Americans enslaving their own people if their quick vocabulary only consists of the “Atlantic Triangular Trade.”

It makes the African Americans seem like another item in the trade, which isn’t what history should be teaching, especially because we abolished slavery.

Some may argue that it is just a title and the information can still be the same but regardless of that, why should the name be changed in the first place?

It’s because America wants the mistakes they have made to look small. That is at least one viewpoint on this language change anyway.

It is also silly, because America already has great nationalism. It might have had slavery at one point but so has everyone else, and at least in America it has been abolished.

There is no need to make the United States look better when no one is saying otherwise.

Now, the whole capitalism and imperialism changes are past reasoning.

Imperialism is somewhat of an understanding because it is a hash word for countries extending their rule over other countries, but capitalism?

Capitalism is just an economy based on private business owners. Everyone uses that term and its widely know that America is capitalist.

History books from Texas companies, are a high selling product. They deliver to many different schools not just in their area meaning these changes could effect not just Texas, but states all over the country.

So while Texas board members might be able to change the word in a history book, that is not going to stop it from being used. It all boils down to why.

It could be that extreme conservatives are trying to voice their opinion through these books to students, but that is not worth changing people’s viewpoints on history or very possibly history itself.

It is like playing that telephone game. When everyone was a kid they sat in a circle whispering different words and laughed when in the end it would be something completely different.

But this time, those Texas board members are whispering around our history and it will not be fun and games when in the end, it is completely different.