Some members of the Texas School Board could use some education themselves. In a controversial decision today, the board adopted new social studies and history curriculum that stretches credulity. A core of board members sought to use their position as platform to advance their ideological agenda, which apparently includes some UN-bashing. From the AP:
In final edits leading up to the vote, conservatives rejected language to modernize the classification of historic periods to B.C.E. and C.E. from the traditional B.C. and A.D. They also required that public students in Texas evaluate efforts by global organizations such as the United Nations to undermine U.S. sovereignty.
McLeroy offered the amendment requiring students to evaluate efforts by global organizations including the U.N. to undermine U.S. sovereignty, saying they threatened individual liberty and freedom.
This ‘sovereignty’ canard is something frequently bandied about by ideological opponents of the United Nations. So let’s quickly review how the UN actually operates, shall we?
The United Nations was created by a treaty that the United States signed and ratified. This treaty–known as the United Nations Charter– does not permit the United Nations to violate any of its member states’ sovereignty. There is, however, one big exception. The Security Council can compel states to do things (like impose sanctions) and can permit the violation of a states’ sovereignty. But the thing is, the United States is a veto welding member of the Council. So anytime the Council does do something that violates a UN member states’ sovereignty, it does so at the behest of the United States. It is hard to see how this “undermines U.S. sovereignty.”
Fact is, the decision to work with the United Nations is an expression of American sovereignty. Since 1945, every U.S. administration has chosen to work with the UN and other organizations because they believed doing so woukd advance American interests.
As for this “threatened individual liberty and freedom” business, that’s just baseless fear mongering. Maybe the board members who voted for this ought to put the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (signed and ratified by the United States) on their summer reading list?