In a unanimous 71-0 vote last Thursday, with no debate or discussion, the California State Assembly passed a bill that would require the state’s board of education to teach students the racial “significance” of Barack Obama’s presidency as part of the standard history-social science curriculum in the Golden State.
The bill, AB-1912 (reprinted below), also makes a number of factual findings, such as that Obama’s election in 2008 was “a historic step in the effort towards equality in the United States” and that he won the Nobel Peace Prize less than a year later because of “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” At the time, President Obama had been in office for less than nine months.
The legislature also finds that President Obama’s work to register voters in Chicago in the 1990s was an effort “to to fulfill the spirit of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.” As Stanley Kurtz notes in his book Radical-in-Chief: Barack Obama and the Untold Story of American Socialism, Obama’s voter registration efforts in Chicago were tied to ACORN and other radical community organizing groups, a fact that the Obama campaign attempted to cover up in 2008. They were also closely tied to efforts to elect Democrats, not to expand voting generally.
The California bill, which now heads to the state Senate, requires state authorities to consider ways of teaching “the significance of the United States electing its first African American President, as appropriate.” It describes that election in the context of the civil rights movement, and casts Obama in a heroic light. If the bill becomes law, state authorities could include Obama in the curriculum framework provided to local school districts.
AB-1912 (as amended and passed)
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The election of Barack Hussein Obama to the office of President of the United States was a historic step in the effort towards equality in the United States.
(b) Before the Civil Rights Movement, intimidation and physical violence prevented millions of African Americans from voting and alienated them from the electoral process.
(c) The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was a civil rights victory that inspired more ethnic minorities to register to vote and pursue elected office.
(d) Barack Obama attended Harvard Law School where he became the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review.
(e) After law school, Barack Obama worked to fulfill the spirit of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by encouraging people to register to vote.
(f) Barack Obama was first elected to the Illinois State Senate in 1996 and to the United States Senate in 2004.
(g) Senator Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States and first African American President on November 4, 2008, and was sworn in on January 20, 2009.
(h) In honor of this milestone in civil rights his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples, President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
(i) President Obama was reelected on November 6, 2012, and was sworn in for his second term on January 20, 2013.
Section 33543 is added to the Education Code, to read:
The commission and the state board shall consider including, in the history-social science curriculum framework adopted in the course of the next submission cycle following January 1, 2015, instruction on the election of President Barack Obama and the significance of the United States electing its first African American President, as appropriate.