Understanding and implementing what is acceptable and what is forbidden with regard to language with racial connotations has become a highly specialized discipline in today’s politically charged culture. Witness, for example, that one may generously donate to the United Negro College Fund, or stand in solidarity with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, but one must never refer to blacks as “negroes” or “colored people.”
In March of this year, the Texas Board of Education approved a social studies curriculum that touts more conservative principles, including those championing the superiority of American capitalism and the spirituality of the Founding Fathers. The vote was 10 to 5. Predictably, two civil rights organizations are now seeking a federal review of public school education in Texas, claiming that the curriculum approved by the Texas Board of Education violates federal civil rights laws.
Cortney Munna bought the lie, hook, line and sinker. The College Board has been selling it for years: “Over the course of a 40-year career, the average college graduate earns about 66 percent more than the typical high-school graduate.” At age 17, Cortney and her mother, Cathryn, decided they “would do whatever they could to get Cortney into the best possible college, and they maintained a blind faith that the investment would be worth it,” as researcher Ron Lieber told their story: