Noah Adams interviewed Barbara Cargill on All Things Considered yesterday about the President’s speech to school children. As Media Matters points out (audio and transcript here), Ms. Cargill is on the State Board of Education in Texas and she is very conservative. So conservative in fact that she asks people who are nominated to serve on a board to rewrite curriculum if they consider themselves Conservative. When Ms. Cargill decries the President as someone who perhaps tampering with curriculum, one might laugh at her contradiction. Apparently, Noah Adams didn’t get the joke. He never questioned her about this irony, nor her repeated, and sometimes successful, attempts to put religion in Texas curriculum.
Because I live in Texas and fear for my child’s education, giving a woman like this a national platform to insinuate that her authority is more important than President Obama’s is infuriating. Here is the letter I sent to NPR. (If you find typos, don’t bother pointing them out. I already sent the note anyway and I’ll only be embarrassed.)
I am very disappointed in Noah Adam’s interview with Barbara Cargill. Ms. Cargill acted personally insulted that the President would “insert” his “agenda” into public schools, presumably over her authority. Ms. Cargill is part of a group of State School Board Members who continuously, and sometimes successfully, attempt to insert personal views of faith and politics in our public schools. Yet, Mr. Adams neglected to ask her about these efforts and let Ms. Cargill act as though the President is not important enough to make things a little inconvenient for a day. The hubris with which Ms. Cargill speaks is endemic of Texas conservative idealogues. They wax patriotic about our country’s values but at the moment they give no value to the Office of the President. That you gave this woman a platform to shout her rancor without doing your homework is irresponsible.
I know, I got a little dramatic. But people around the country don’t know what it is like to live in Texas and worry that your kid is going to come home and talk about God in a way that we don’t believe or tell me that some Great Creator designed the Earth and that evolution is against God. And if you think all it takes is saying, “Honey, that isn’t true,” try contradicting your kid’s teacher about anything – sometimes a child believes their teacher in spite of the parents, like a defense against parents always being right.
Perhaps I am just screaming into the void. But I get so mad, I’ve got to scream somewhere.