As a former civics teacher, a current political blogger, and forever white person, with all the privilege that entails, I wasn't the slightest bit surprised to learn that the state of Texas (State Motto: "The Friendly State, As Long As Speak English And Are White!") is about to pass a law that bans the teaching of critical race theory and the 1619 Project.
Just last week, Sen. Tom KKKotton of Arkkkansas tried to levy a tax on institutions that taught such things at what he deemed "elite" institutions (meaning the college level,) but Texas is thinking about the children. The littlest 'uns. Their tender hearts, bless them.
The white ones, that is.
Republicans in the Texas state legislature passed the bill yesterday, and the Senate has already passed its own identical version, so it appears to be on its way to swift signing into law by Gov. Greg Abbott. Civics and social studies teachers would be banned from teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” (well...I mean, they shouldn't be doing that anyhow, right?) But also, they'd not be allowed to imply or say that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
In other words, topics such as white privilege, white supremacy, reparations, historical events and policies such as affirmative action, could not be discussed without violating the law in Texas. Not that we can trust most white people to teach these things with much nuance and sensitivity anyhow, but with training, open hearts, flexibility of thought, and a lowering of our defenses, white people are indeed capable of progress, and recognizing that our privilege can and should be used to elevate the marginalized voices around us — which is what CRT and magnificent, brutally honest pieces of journalism like the 1619 Project do.
These racists are open about their goal, too. Here's eminently punchable Christopher Rufo, of the Manhattan Institute, tipping his poorly shielded hand:
While students in Texas might rejoice, teachers across the nation cringe to learn that current events are also no longer permissible fodder for the social studies and civics classrooms: students “may not be compelled to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs.” And don't even think about teaching them how to write a letter to their local CongressCritter or school board member.
Oh, these kids are gonna grow up to be GREAT citizens. God forbid white students should learn that they don't face the same kind of discrimination as Black or brown kids do. Heaven forfend they feel...I don't know, FEELINGS about the fact that their ancestors might have owned slaves. Don't EVEN teach them to use their power to help others who have less.
Rep. James Talarico is an outspoken critic of the bill, and was a civics teacher himself. “That’s why this debate about civics is so heartbreaking,” he said. “We want students to develop a true love of America…. But they won’t see America as a three-dimensional country with complexities. This kind of superficial patriotism crumbles really easily....It’s a strange dynamic we’re seeing: Florida and Texas are trying to outcompete each other to see who can pass the most far-right Neanderthal legislation. The focus is not children. The focus is on scoring points with old, white voters who see the country slipping away from them demographically.”
WATCH: Rep. @jamestalarico grills Republican Steve Toth about his terrible civics bill.
Talarico: “Would you be open to an amendment requiring that we teach the history of white supremacy and teach students that it’s morally wrong?”
Toth: “No, I’m not.” #txlege #HB3979 pic.twitter.com/BJCNwZwPr0
— Mason Reid (@Masonreid54) May 11, 2021
Something tells me that the anti-freedom, anti-education legislators pushing these pro-white supremacy bills would be just fine with prayer in the classroom. I'm also guessing they wouldn't have liked the 4-week-long propaganda unit I developed for my 8th-graders, wherein the introductory lesson demonstrated that the Pledge of Allegiance is state-sanctioned indoctrination.
You can view the Texas
abomination document below.