Archive for the ‘Peter Morrison’ Category

An Anti-Immigrant Group’s ‘Biblical Mandates’

June 24, 2011

The Texas Freedom Network does not work on immigration issues. But we do monitor the deepening extremism — both in rhetoric and action — on the far right in Texas. So let’s take a closer look at an anti-immigrant group behind a Texas Capitol rally during which a speaker expressed her frustration over the fact that voters have elected Hispanics to the state Legislature. The Immigration and Reform Coalition of Texas (IRCOT) has some interesting policy positions and supporters.

IRCOT appears to base its anti-immigrant positions on what it calls a “Biblical mandate for secure borders.” A number of articles on the group’s website try to make a scriptural case against “illegal immigration” and “high immigration.”

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Race-Baiting E-mails

January 10, 2011

One of the state’s right-wing extremists who has been among the most vocal in demanding the replacement of Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, as speaker of the Texas House appears to have a stunningly ignorant understanding of civil rights history. In a new e-mail commentary about the speaker’s race on Friday, Peter Morrison insists that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a “racist” law:

“[T]he Voting Rights Act is a nearly 50 year old law that unconstitutionally discriminates against southern states. It’s a racist law that presumes black people can only be represented by black people, and that white voters in southern states are wicked racists who are always out to deny black people their right to vote.”

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Bigotry and the Texas Speaker’s Race II

November 16, 2010

Has the religious right’s effort to topple Texas House Speaker Joe Straus become an anti-Semitic smear campaign? Quorum Report (subscription required) has now posted various e-mails from groups and individuals opposed to Straus, who is Jewish. Excerpts:

“Straus is going down in Jesus name.”

“[W]e finally found a Christian conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”

Another e-mail calls for replacing Straus as House Speaker so

“…that our nation will again prosper and hold to values that the Christians and Republicans hold so dear in their souls.”

Peter Morrison, who writes a right-wing e-mail newsletter, has also joined the anti-Straus battalion in the increasingly vicious Republican civil war. As Kronberg reports, a Morrison e-mail last week said that Straus’ rabbi sits on a Planned Parenthood board and then pointed out that Straus’ opponents in the Speaker’s race “are Christians and true conservatives.”

Morrison’s e-mail didn’t surprise us. TFN Insider long ago reported about the race-baiting screeds found in “Morrison Report” e-mails. See here and here for samples. Kronberg reports that VDARE.com, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “white nationalist” website, regularly posts Morrison’s e-mails. In one post on VDARE, for example, Morrison suggests that affirmative action is all about “punishing white people” and turning them into “second class citizens.” Now Morrison seems to think that leadership of the state House of Representatives should be reserved for Christians. Big surprise.

Far-Right Rhetoric on Social Studies Heats Up

January 11, 2010

With the Texas State Board of Education set to take up debate on proposed new social studies curriculum standards this week, the far right’s rhetoric is increasingly heated. We told you last week that Texas Tea Partiers are planning a “take back our schools!” rally outside a public hearing on the standards at the Texas Education Agency on Wednesday. Now Peter Morrison, a right-winger who served on one of the curriculum writing teams, is tossing a bomb into the debate. (Click here to read more about Morrison and other far-right extremists who have had a hand in rewriting the standards.) Says Morrison today in an e-mail to recipients of his periodic Peter Morrison Report:

“Social studies is the primary avenue of left wing propaganda into our schools. This is where they portray America as an evil country, bowdlerize our religious heritage and clutter the biographies of George Washington and Sam Houston with scores of marginal, politically correct token figures chosen primarily because of their race or gender.”

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The Year in Quotes: Potluck Nuttiness

December 31, 2009

We heard nuttiness in many forms throughout 2009, including the Texas governor flirting with secessionists and the lieutenant governor criticizing the president of the United States for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. And there was plenty of downright hatefulness. More quotes from 2009:

“There’s absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that.”

— Gov. Rick Perry, discussing the possibility that Texas might secede from the United States, Dallas Morning News, April 16, 2009

“The flip side of Obama’s ‘empathy’ is apparent hatred and contempt for white people, traditional families, small business owners, evangelical Christians, conservatives, and everyone else that liberals call the ‘racist, heterosexist, nativist, Christianist, capitalist, homophobic power structure’ in America. In other words, what most of us call normal people. These radical leftists regard folks like you and me and our children as the enemy, and it’s their mission in life to put us in our supposed place, which to them means at the back of the bus. They’re in charge now, and they fully intend to use their power to remake America in their image. If the Senate approves Sotomayor for the Supreme Court, Obama will know that he has carte blanche to escalate his all out war on traditional Americans.”

— Peter Morrison, a member of the Lumberton Independent School District Board of Trustees in Southeast Texas who serves on a Texas State Board of Education social studies curriculum writing team, reacting to President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, TFN Insider, June 20, 2009

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Social Studies and Xenophobia

November 18, 2009

We told you things would get worse. Sadly, we were right.

Peter Morrison is one of a number of right-wing extremists Texas State Board of Education members have placed on social studies curriculum committees. We have noted Morrison’s nativist and anti-government screeds in the past. Now he is using this month’s mass murder at Fort Hood as an excuse for a shocking, full-throated, xenophobic rant. From Tuesday’s installment of the “Peter Morrison Report” e-newsletter:

“The Fort Hood massacre was the predictable result of decades of massive immigration from third world countries, affirmative action, enforcement of political correctness and ‘celebration’ of diversity and multiculturalism. All of these policies would be bad enough on their own, but when combined they result in a prescription for disaster, on both a small and large scale.”

Morrison also bizarrely uses this horrible event to portray President Obama as a bigot:

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Race-Baiting

September 12, 2009

We told you at the beginning of the month how racially charged rhetoric is becoming more common in the debate over new social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. On Friday we saw another example of race-baiting rhetoric.

Peter Morrison, appointed by State Board of Education member David Bradley, R-BeaumontBuna, to a panel helping revise the social studies standards, appears to be especially obsessed with race. On Friday in a new issue of his e-newsletter, The Peter Morrison Report, he attacked President Obama’s speech to students earlier in the week as an attempt to “indoctrinate” them and “capture the hearts and minds of our kids.” And then he turns to his obsession:

“Obama’s speech contained plenty of propaganda, in both what was said and what was omitted. He told kids that they may face road blocks, such as discrimination. Really? It makes me wonder which kids he’s speaking to, because I’m not sure of where in America minorities are facing discrimination in employment or education. What company won’t hire non-whites? What schools won’t accept minorities? What banks makes loan decisions on skin color?”

“Obama didn’t mention the fact that he’s in favor of racial discrimination against the white students listening. He has already appointed a Supreme Court justice who is a big fan of racial preferences for non-whites and will no doubt make the problem even worse from the high court. Obama has made it clear he intends to do much, much more to expand affirmative action, racial quotas, and other anti-white discrimination.”

We have already heard far-right critics argue that the social studies standards have an “overrepresentation of minorities.” And Morrison makes it clear that we haven’t heard the last word on this.

Wild-Eyed Paranoia

September 2, 2009

This is just nuts.

The Houston Chronicle is reporting that plans by President Obama to address students across the country next week have right-wingers — including Texas State Board of Education members — foaming at the mouth about “political indoctrination” and students being “ostracized” if they don’t agree with the president. One Houston-area parent tells the newspaper:

“I think it’s inappropriate because it smacks of political indoctrination of the worst kind. It’s not just a speech. It’s a specific curriculum to go along with the speech directly from the president of the United States without review.”

Good grief.

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Race and Social Studies in Texas

September 1, 2009

It has been increasingly difficult to ignore the racially charged statements that keep coming from far-right members of the State Board of Education and their appointees to panels helping revise social studies curriculum standards for Texas public schools. In fact, their statements are becoming increasingly incendiary, as if they are hoping to provoke a bitter and divisive backlash.

These right-wing critics have repeatedly complained about “multiculturalism” and what they see as an “overrepresentation of minorities” in the social studies standards. Some have even demanded that historical figures who did so much to advance the cause of civil rights for the poor and minorities — people like Cesar Chavez and Thurgood Marshallshould be removed from the standards because they are “poor role models” or their accomplishments were supposedly inferior.

Taken on their own, these arguments are alarming enough. But one of the people calling for the removal of Chavez and for de-emphasizing the contributions of minorities in American history, David Barton, gave speeches before white supremacist groups in the early 1990s. Barton later claimed that he didn’t know the groups were “part of a Nazi movement.” Well, maybe once. But twice? Really? In any case, does he not realize how that history — innocent or not — colors his arguments now? How his remarks are likely to inflame passions?

The latest troubling example of dragging race into the debate over the curriculum standards comes in an e-mail newsletter last week from one of the curriculum writing team members, Peter Morrison.

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It’s Likely to Get Worse, Unfortunately

August 23, 2009

No one should be surprised that right-wingers are pressuring writing teams to craft new Texas public school social studies curriculum standards that are slanted to the political right. We reported in June that State Board of Education members had seeded the writing teams with far-right extremists who rail against immigration and think new President Obama is a racist who has “hatred and contempt for white people, traditional families, small business owners, evangelical Christians, conservatives, and everyone else that liberals call the ‘racist, heterosexist, nativist, Christianist, capitalist, homophobic power structure’ in America.”

So don’t be surprised if the rhetoric gets even more extreme. Take, for example, a recent e-newsletter from the author of the above quote accusing President Obama of racism. In the newsletter, the Peter Morrison Report, Mr. Morrison suggests darkly that health insurance reform will lead to euthanasia for the elderly:

In 1973 there was a Charlton Heston movie called Soylent Green, which depicted a nightmarish future for Americans, especially the elderly. In the film, America is massively overpopulated and resources are scarce. Food riots are common, and old people are seen as nothing but useless eaters, a burden on society which must be removed. In response, the government opens up euthanasia clinics to solve the problem. Such a bleak future is hard to envision, but some of the rhetoric we’re hearing with regard to Obamacare protesters is truly frightening.

Mr. Morrison also returns to his theme about the president’s alleged racism:

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Political Extremism and Curriculum Standards

June 20, 2009

In March the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) ambushed teachers and others who have been working to revise social studies curriculum standards for the state’s public schools. TPPF charged that the curriculum writing teams — made up of teachers, academics and others — were drafting standards that left out important historical figures such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, holidays like Independence Day and various patriotic symbols like the Liberty Bell.

That was nonsense. As we noted later, Don McLeroy (who was State Board of Education chairman at the time) had leaked early work from the writing teams to TPPF — work that was nowhere near complete. It seems clear that TPPF’s purpose (and McLeroy’s) was to discredit the work of the writing team members. Most of those team members are hardworking educators and academics who know history and understand quite well how to craft curriculum standards for students.

But not all of them. We have already reported about the ideologues the McLeroy faction on the state board has appointed to a panel of so-called “experts” who will help guide the revision of the social studies standards. It turns out that faction members have also embedded fringe right-wingers on the very curriculum writing teams that they were criticizing last March. Here are three:

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