Cynthia Dunbar

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Cynthia Noland Dunbar
Republican National Committeewoman for Virginia
Assumed office
2016
District 10 member of the Texas State Board of Education
In office
2007–2011
Preceded by Cynthia A. Thornton
Succeeded by Marsha Farney
Personal details
Born June 1964
Place of birth missing
Spouse(s) Glen David Dunbar (born 1963)
Residence Forest, Bedford County, Virginia, USA
Alma mater

University of Missouri

Regent University School of Law
Occupation Law professor at Liberty University
Author

Cynthia Noland Dunbar (born June 1964) is the Republican national committeewoman for the U.S. state of Virginia. She was the state-co-chair for Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential primary race, before she campaigning for the nominee, Donald Trump.[1]

Earlier, while residing in Richmond and Sugar Land in Fort Bend County in suburban Houston, Texas, Dunbar, a lawyer and author, was a Republican who served on the 15-member elected Texas State Board of Education. Her single term ran from 2007 to January 2011. The board on which she sat establishes policy for the state public school system.[2]

Dunbar studied at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri.[3] In 1990, Dunbar graduated from Pat Robertson's Regent University School of Law.[4] During the 2009-2010 academic year, she commuted from her home in Texas to teach in the Liberty University School of Law, established by the late Jerry Falwell.[5] She is now a law professor in residence at the Lynchburg campus.[6]

Political career[edit]

In 2006, Dunbar won the Republican nomination for the Texas State Board of Education for District 10. She polled 32,589 votes (64.3 percent) to intra-party rival Tony Dale's 18,114 (35.7 percent).[7] Dunbar claimed that voters responded to her call for teaching intelligent design in science classes, rather than only the theory of evolution.[8] In the general election that year, she defeated Libertarian Martin Thomen, a clerk, with 225,839 votes (70.38%) to 95,034 votes (29.62%).[9] She did not run for reelection in 2010 and her term hence ended in January 2011.

In her 2008 book, One Nation Under God, Dunbar asserts that the role of the Christian religion in the public square should be increased. She has been criticized for a section of the book that calls public education a "subtly deceptive tool of perversion," and for stating that "The establishment of public schools is unconstitutional and even 'tyrannical'."[10]

In early 2008, Dunbar ran for the Republican nomination for the United States House of Representatives to represent Texas's 22nd congressional district, the district formerly held by Tom DeLay. She eventually withdrew and endorsed Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, who briefly held the seat,[11] now represented by Pete Olson.

In late 2008, Dunbar wrote an article on the Christian Worldview Network website in which she claimed that a terrorist attack on America during the first six months of an Obama administration would more likely "be a planned effort by those with whom Obama truly sympathizes to take down the America that is a threat to tyranny."[12] Though Dunbar was criticized, she refused to retract her claim saying, "I don't have anything in there that would be retractable."[12]

Modifications to Texas K-12 social studies curriculum[edit]

As a sitting member of the Texas State Board of Education, in March 2010, Dunbar proposed and won ratification of a number of modifications to Texas K-12 social studies curriculum, notably the removal of mention of Thomas Jefferson and the Age of Enlightenment (in which reason was advocated as the primary source and legitimacy for authority, rather than revelation from God).

Namely:

According to an article in The Guardian,[14] there are a number of changes such as these:[15]

  • ...sidelining Thomas Jefferson, while introducing a new focus on the "significant contributions" of pro-slavery Confederate leaders during the American Civil War.
  • Study of Sir Isaac Newton is dropped in favor of examining scientific advances through military technology.
  • a suggestion that the anti-communist investigations by U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin in the 1950s may have been justified.
  • One curriculum amendment describes the civil rights movement as creating "unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes" among minorities.
  • ...drop[ping] references to the slave trade in favor of calling it the more innocuous "Atlantic triangular trade"

Dunbar says these are important steps to overturning what she believes is the myth of a separation of church and state in the United States. In 2008, Dunbar published a book, One Nation Under God, in which she argued that the United States was ultimately governed by the Scriptures.

Textbook controversy: Mexican-American Heritage[edit]

Dunbar is the CEO of the educational curriculum supplier, Momentum Instruction, which is publishing the controversial textbook Mexican-American Heritage. The authors are Jaime Riddle and Valarie Angle, with some parts authored by Dunbar herself. As of September 8, 2016, this textbook was under consideration by the Texas State Board of Education for inclusion in its list of recommended titles but encountered much opposition.[16][17][18][19][20]

Quotations:

  • "A foundational premise prescribing that Nature encompasses certain laws, obligations, and reasoning that align with biblical laws and rules by which humans should maintain a certain respect and reverence, first referenced by Lord Bolingbrook [sic] and then his former student Thomas Jefferson." (p. 136)
  • "Chicanos, on the other hand, adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society." (p. 415)
  • "Due to the fact that illegal immigrants fear deportation and involvement with legal authorities, crime and exploitation can circulate unabated in their neighborhoods. Those who have hostile views towards American government and culture may also gain strongholds in immigrant communities because of the difficult challenges they face. This may express itself in various unhealthy ways." (p. 454)

The textbook has been criticized for inaccuracies, which Dunbar said had been corrected before final copies were released. The San Antonio Express-News in an editorial called Dunbar "a right-wing Christian activist" and describes her book as "bad on many levels. It would be an injustice to Texas schoolchildren to allow it in the classroom. Reviewers are blasting the textbook for its bad writing, offensive and shallow content, and factual errors. Some are calling it the most controversial textbook to ever go [sic] before" the state board.[21]

Media outlets were quick to condemn the book including CNN in an opinion piece entitled, "Texas' Mexican heritage textbook a racist travesty".[22]

Bibliography[edit]

  • One Nation Under God: How the Left Is Trying to Erase What Made Us Great (HigherLife Development Services, 2008) ISBN 0-9793227-2-3

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rick Casey, "Mexican-American textbook a study in prejudice", San Antonio Express-News, September 9, 2016, p. A13.
  2. ^ "SBOE Officers, Committees, and Members". Texas Education Agency. 2009. Archived from the original on February 26, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Cynthia Dunbar". intelius.com. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  4. ^ "About Me". cynthiadunbar.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  5. ^ Russell Shorto (2010-02-11). "How Christian Were the Founders?". The New York Times Magazine. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 2010-05-26. 
  6. ^ "Cruz-campaign-leader-rails-against-socialized-education-system-and-homosexualitys-prevention". People for the American Way. September 7, 2016. Retrieved December 28, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Republican primary election returns". Texas Secretary of State. March 7, 2006. Retrieved December 27, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Dunbar wins party's nomination". Dallas Morning News. Mar 8, 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-24. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Republicans hang onto down-ballot state positions". Austin American-Statesman. Nov 8, 2006. Retrieved 2008-05-17. 
  10. ^ "Education official's book attacked: Dunbar calls public education a 'tool of perversion'". Houston Chronicle. Dec 4, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  11. ^ "Bitter battle brewing in District 22 race". KHOU-TV. March 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-24. [dead link]
  12. ^ a b "Education official refuses to retract Obama terror claim". Houston Chronicle. Nov 3, 2008. Retrieved 2009-04-24. 
  13. ^ "Blogging the Social Studies Debate IV « Texas Freedom Network". Houston Chronicle. Mar 11, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  14. ^ McGreal, Chris (Mar 16, 2010). "Texas Schools Board rewrite US history". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  15. ^ "Texas Schools Board rewrite US history". Slashdot. Mar 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  16. ^ Isensee, Laura (6 September 2016). "Scholars Give Controversial Mexican-American Studies Book An F - Houston Public Media". Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  17. ^ "Proposed Mex-Am Studies Text: Chicanos Want to 'Destroy' Society". 11 May 2016. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "Mexican American textbook incites controversy". Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  19. ^ "Proposed Texas textbook says some Mexican Americans ‘wanted to destroy’ U.S. society". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  20. ^ reporter@trcle.com, ASHLEY ROSE. "Mexican American heritage textbook raises concerns". Retrieved 3 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "This textbook a disservice to students" (editorial), San Antonio Express-News, September 9, 2016, p. A12.
  22. ^ Reyes, Raul A. "Texas' Mexican heritage textbook a travesty". CNN. Retrieved 3 May 2017. 

External links[edit]