To the Instructional Quality Commission, CA Dep of Ed

This is my public comment for the meeting concerning the changes in the sixth grade world history textbook. For more information, please check out South Asian Histories for All 

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I’m a recent UC Berkeley graduate and here on behalf of students from over 30 California colleges and universities who don’t want 6th graders learning that caste, a system that slaughtered thousands, provided social stability. We ask you to remove the sentence in Chapter 10, page 220, line 928, that says caste provided social stability and identity.

As an a upper caste Hindu American born who’s financially stable, I am here because what the Hindu American Foundation is proposing is against everything the California educational system has stood for.

Both California and Texas control the textbook market. The Texas textbook erases every reference to the pain and oppression slaves faced. And here we are surprised to see EDUCATED-people openly denying racism in America. We see politicians mock #BlackLivesMatter and deny the existence of filmed-police brutality

You can love your religion while still recognizing structural inequalities within it, I say this as someone from an upper caste Hindu family. Both my parents were able to secure master’s degrees and provide me with financial stability. They were aided by their caste privilege. I went through the CA public education system. But this isn’t everyone’s story, and I cannot in good conscience approve of children thinking otherwise.

We would never say slavery and racism “provided stability and identity,” and we shouldn’t say that about casteism.

Thank you, on behalf of students from 30 California colleges and universities.

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