The Racine school district’s use of an eighth grade textbook that includes a chapter on Democrat Barack Obama but nothing on his opponent John McCain is unfair and troubling, the Wisconsin Republican Party argued Thursday.Maybe this is out of the hands of the Obama campaign, but honestly.
A parent complained on an Internet blog about the textbook that includes a chapter on Obama called ‘‘Dreams from My Father.’’
The school district said in a statement that it has received no complaints about the book, which it first used last school year. Even so, the 21,000-student district said it was reviewing its policies regarding the book’s use in a literature class.
The textbook, ‘‘McDougal Littell Literature,’’ is published by an arm of Houghton Mifflin Co. A spokesman for the publisher, Richard Blake, said the book was compiled in 2005 before Obama ran for president.
The latest version of the textbook, with a 2009 copyright, and all future versions will not include the Obama chapter to avoid any appearance that the publisher supports one political campaign over another, Blake said.
Wisconsin Republican Party executive director Mark Jefferson accused the Racine district of being a ‘‘satellite campaign office’’ for Obama. Deciding to use the textbook was at best very poor judgment and at worst intentional indoctrination of students in Democratic politics, he said.
‘‘That offends a lot of people in our party and justifiably so,’’ Jefferson said. ‘‘You don’t have to look very far outside of the Democratic presidential nominee to come up with other stories of inspiration as well.’’
Phil Walzak, spokesman for Obama’s campaign in Wisconsin, declined immediate comment. The chapter in question includes an excerpt from Obama’s 2004 speech at the Democratic National Convention and a portion of his 1995 autobiography.I don't mind the speech excerpt. It was a beautifully delivered speech. But that was in 2004 when the world believed Obama could be a moderate figure for unity.