Head of PJTN Laurie Cardoza-Moore Talks About Her New Appointment to the Tennessee Textbook Commission and Backlash She’s Received


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Laurie Cardoza-Moore from Proclaiming Justice to the Nations to the newsmakers line.

During the second hour, Moore discussed her newly appointed position to the Tennessee Textbook Commission to ensure textbooks are historically accurate and unbiased. She also described the threats and intimidation that she’s received from the (CAIR) Council on American-Islamic Relations group.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by our good friend Laurie Cardoza-Moore. Head and founder of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. Welcome and good morning, Laurie.

Moore: Good morning, Michael. How are you?

Leahy: Well, I’m great. You are apparently under personal attack for apparently just you know, living and articulating your very traditional views. Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton has appointed you to the textbook commission. It’s a very important job to look at the textbooks that it gives K-12 in our public schools read. And now you’ve come under attack from the Council on American-Islamic Relations for just being you. what is going on here?

Moore: Well, I will state that yes, this is a very important appointment because as you know, Michael we have been at the forefront since we’ve launched our campaign to review textbooks and the content in the textbooks. We were led to an anti-Semitic book almost a decade ago in Williamson County and a textbook being used, a Pearson published textbook.

And when we read that book cover to cover that, we not only found the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel content, but we found anti-American, anti-Judeo-Christian content that was in and also content that was unconstitutional. It was pro-China. So when we saw this, the story broke Fox News picked it and up ran it for two weeks. We were hearing from parents and citizens all over the country.

And Michael this was a systemic problem then. it’s been going on for a long time, but it’s getting worse. and now with parents being locked in their homes homeschooling their kids because of covid parents are seeing for the first time what we have been trying to warn people about. Now as it pertains to CAIR. Let me we just talked about this organization. This is the Council on American-Islamic Relations. They were listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist fundraising operation in the history of the United States of America. They should have been arrested.

They should have been fined. They should have done their time also. The only reason why they weren’t tried and unindicted basically means that the federal government ran out of money and decided to close the case and not do anything further. This organization has found itself into the halls of government. And now they’re trying to influence. Let me tell you about my record with the Muslim community.

I serve also as a special envoy to the United Nations for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches. I have been invited by Muslim women to serve on a panel. And these are Muslim women who came from Islamist countries. They came to the United Nations asking women in the west to help them obtain their freedoms because of the oppression of their rights as women in Islamic countries. If I am so bad or if I’m supposedly this Islamophobe or anti-Muslim why would Muslim women invite me to participate?

Leahy: The real motivation is that they don’t want you to go in and find all these errors in the textbooks.

Moore: That’s exactly right Michael. There are plenty of errors and it’s not just CAIR. It’s other organizations that don’t want me to see. It’s the publishing companies that don’t want me to see. Everybody knows I have a reputation for being a bulldog. I go and I look for the content because I know something’s in there.

How do I know? Look at what has happened in the streets of our cities this year. We have seen chaos. We have seen our young people destroying and murdering people. Attacking people on the streets. Innocent bystanders. Destroying public and private property. Destroying monuments that they don’t even know who the monuments are or the people and the legacy that they left behind. this is going on in our streets.

And I told people back a decade ago when I realized that this was a nationwide problem I was telling elected officials only not only in Congress but state legislators because I work a lot with the legislators in the department of education in other states as well. But I was warning them that if we don’t get a handle on the education and curriculum and the content we are teaching our children we are going to lose this constitutional republic. Our children will not love America the way we love America. They are not going to be great patriots. They’re not going to care. They’re not going to enlist. We see the number of enlistments going down.

Leahy: And this is a theme by the way that you’ve been talking about for many many years. It’s been a theme of The Tennessee Star since we started almost four years ago.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: I’m going to read this quote from the (CAIR) Council on American-Islamic Relations. They are propaganda people and they don’t like you because you’re going to actually give fix the textbooks so that they’re honest and not dishonest here is their criticism of you.  This individual should not be anywhere near the selection of textbooks in Tennessee or any state.

She clearly has anti-Muslim views that inevitably would negatively impact any textbook selection. We urge the Speaker to rescind the appointment immediately.’ That’s from the CAIR national communications propaganda guy trying to intimidate you and the Speaker. I don’t think it’s going to work. Tell us what the next step is here, Laurie.

Moore: Yeah, definitely not going to work because I want to first applaud Cameron Sexton our Speaker for his bold and courageous leadership. This has been an issue that this legislature has been dealing with as I said for almost a decade. And we passed legislation to ensure the textbooks in Tennessee are historically accurate and that they are unbiased and they must reflect the values of Tennesseans. And that’s my job.

I will serve on that commission as appointed by Speaker Sexton to review those textbooks and instructional materials on behalf of the parents and the citizens of this state considering our values as Tennesseans. It’s interesting that that CAIR is coming after me because another thing I want to add Michael is we published last year a white paper for the Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

We brought on 11 different experts to cover seven different education disciplines. One of those experts happens to be a Muslim by the name of Dr. Zuhdi Jasser who is an American patriot and he is also a Muslim. And guess what his topic was? His essay was about the propaganda that is taught to American kids in public schools about Islam that is being whitewashed and he believes that this is extremely dangerous. He agrees with our premise.

And his essay went into that white paper. So I don’t know what the disconnect is between CAIR and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser because it can’t be both. So we have to look at CAIR and we have to look at their reputation as an organization. I have established a reputation in the state legislature. And the legislators know me. I’ve been down there since 1993 to lobby on behalf of the unborn. Lobbying on behalf of Israel. lobbying on behalf of education as a citizen. And of course, my reputation is based on the work that I have done. It’s not based on what CAIR suggests.

Leahy: So this guy this propagandist is from CAIR, Ibrahim Hooper. Who as far as I know, I don’t know if he’s ever been in Tennessee. He certainly doesn’t live in Tennessee. He wants to tell Tennessee how to run the state in some textbooks.

Moore: Absolutely. No Ibrahim Hooper again, he had a quote years ago where he said that he wanted to make America Islamic and he wasn’t going to do anything violent to do that. He was going to use education. Well, you know, what? Why would you even use the word violence in the same sentence as education or changing America? So tell me why.

Leahy: Tell us about the job you’re going to do at the Tennessee Textbook Commission. When will the next meeting be and what will be the topics you’ll discuss?

Moore: There will be three training programs that I will be going through with the others that will be coming on this year. And then as soon as we get our orders as to what is going to be reviewed next and what subject matter is going to be covered with textbooks and instructional materials. One of the things that I have been asking for and I’ve contacted. I’ve already contacted even though I haven’t gone through the training.

I basically understand the whole process. And so I’ve asked the Department of Education to send me the documents for this new literacy program that Penny Schwinn is going to shove down the throats of our children and the legislature before the legislature convenes. I understand she’s going to put it into place before the legislature convenes mid-January. Well, you know what? Why is the Senate, and House education committees, why are they being bypassed?

Why are they not able to look at this? I have asked and I would like to see this content. I want to see what literacy program she is implementing and I want to see if phonics is part of that. It should be all of that. So I haven’t seen anything with regards to it. I’m waiting to see if I will get access to this literacy program to see what Penny Schwinn has in mind for our children here in Tennessee.

Leahy: The process of textbook review is quite long and laborious I think. And so if you start this process isn’t part of it reviewing the standards for textbooks and then that takes like a year or two?

Moore: Absolutely. You have to review the standards. And once you know what the standards are for that item and that topic of education, then you have to look at those textbooks and instructional materials keeping in mind the state law and the standards.

Leahy: It takes a long time to change the standards and then after the standards are changed, you’ve got to select the textbooks. And then the teachers deliver the content from the textbooks and other sources. That’s a long process I think.

Moore: Yes.

Leahy: And well how long before you the work that you do will have an impact directly in the classrooms?

Moore: Typically it takes about two years before you see it from standards. Because what has to happen is the standards are reviewed and if there aren’t any changes they are adopted. then those standards that are adopted are given to the publishers. The publishers review the content. And then the publishers publish content, textbooks, and instructional materials to submit for approval or adoption for purchase. And so we’re in the middle of that process in reviewing to make sure again that what is in the textbooks reflects the state law and reflects the standards of the state.

Leahy: Why is there such opposition from the groups like CAIR to one person you who’s dedicated to just getting actual history in our history books in the textbooks that the K-12 kids use and read? I mean there are 10 people on the textbook commission? How many people are on the textbook commission?

Moore: I believe there are 12.

Leahy: 12. Okay. So you’re one of 12.

Moore: 12 members.

Leahy: Why are they so afraid of one person on the textbook commission?

Moore: Michael, I think that the reason why is because we have a history at PJTN and me personally in reviewing content and exposing content being used in Tennessee schools. We have changed legislation laws with regards to the content. And that makes the publishers nervous. It makes the people who have an agenda in education nervous. And people who have other stakeholders who have a vested interest like CAIR. I don’t know what their interest is.

But surely they want accurate information about Islam to be communicated because that seems to be where their concern is. Surely they want the information to be accurate. Well, that’s what I am here to ensure. That there is an accurate perspective of history, geography, social studies,  English language arts, and whatever it is that we are reviewing. Whatever textbooks we are reviewing or instructional materials that comply with state law. That they are historically accurate and unbiased and they reflect the values of Tennesseans.

Leahy: Laurie, of these twelve members of the Tennessee textbook commission, how many are appointed by the speaker? How many are appointed by the governor? How many appointed by the head of the Senate? How do you get to be on one of these 12?

Moore: The Speaker and the Senate also each get to submit three individual recommendations from three of the grand divisions of Tennessee. It’s interesting because this commission just to give you a little history Michael this commission or the previous commission was fired by the state legislature.

Leahy: Because they weren’t doing a good job.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Laurie Cardoza-Moore” by Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. 






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