Texas Legislature Bans Critical Race Theory From Public Schools; Needs to Pass ‘1836 Project’ Bill

Late Saturday night, the Texas Senate passed H.B. 3979. That bill would ban critical race theory from classrooms in the state’s public schools.

It states:

No teacher, administrator, or other employee in any state agency, school district, campus, open-enrollment charter school, or school administration shall be required to engage in
training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex.

(6) No teacher, administrator, or other employee in any state agency, school district, campus, open-enrollment charter school, or school administration shall shall require, or make part of a course the following concepts: (1) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (2) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (3) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex; (4) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex; (5) an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (6) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (7) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or (8) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a members of a particular race to oppress members of another race. (h-3) No private funding shall be accepted by state agencies, school district, campuses, open-enrollment charter schools, or school administrations for the purposes of curriculum development, purchase or choice of curricular materials, teacher training, or professional development pertaining to courses on Texas, United States, and world history, government, civics, social studies, or similar subject areas.

The bill enjoys the support of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the Republican who presides over the state’s Senate. In April he offered the following statement.

“Texans reject critical race theory and other so-called ‘woke’ philosophies that maintain that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex or that any individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist or oppressive. These divisive concepts have been inserted into curriculums around the state, but they have no place in Texas schools. SB 2202 will ensure that they cannot be taught.

“When Texan parents send their children to school, they expect their students to learn to think critically without being forced to consume misinformation about our country’s founding and the biases of advocacy groups that seek to belittle our democracy and divide us. I congratulate Sen. Creighton and the Texas Senate for passing this critical legislation for our children and our schools.”

The legislature’s move follows recent elections in a Dallas suburb, where parents revolted against the public school district’s attempt there to push the divisive and controversial Marxist theory into classrooms. The parents won big, and the media promptly smeared them as being “anti-diversity” despite the fact that Hispanics were among the leaders of the anti-CRT parents. Asians have also typically led battles against critical race theory. This battle is typical of both school administrators’ machinations to insert CRT into classrooms, and the media’s consistent misinformation and misdirection about what is really going on.

H.B. 3979 was approved by a who’s who of conservative senators including Sens. Bettancourt, Buckingham, Creighton, and others, and earned support from Democrats including Sens. Lucio and Menendez. It awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature, and he is expected to sign it. Taking Texas off the critical race theory playing field would have effects far beyond the Lone Star State. Academic book publishers tend to look to Texas and California when adopting and publishing titles. California has gone all the way with critical race theory to the point that it is teaching that even math is racist. Texas’ ban of critical race theory would pave the way for alternative points of view to survive in academic book and online instruction publishing.

The Texas legislature is also considering another bill that the media has done its best to smear. That bill, H.B. 2497, would launch an “1836 Project” to improve the teaching of Texas history and civics in public schools. 1836 is the year Texas won its independence from Mexico, and that revolution has come under critical race theory and leftist assault over the past couple of years, to some extent following the pattern set by the 1619 Project. That project falsely posits that America’s real founding was in 1619, which New York Times staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones states was when African slaves first arrived in colonies that, more than 150 years later, became the United States. The reality is that African slaves had unfortunately been imported into North America more than a century prior to 1619. The U.S. Constitution included compromises over slavery’s existence that ultimately led to slavery’s abolition. Hannah-Jones’ Project was also not properly peer-reviewed by historians (she is not a historian herself) and historians who did review it say on the record that the NYT ignored them — and then attacked its critics. Despite these serious problems with the 1619 Project, and the NYT’s heavy-handed behavior, many in the media continue to run interference for it by criticizing its critics. The Biden administration is pushing the 1619 Project into the nation’s public schools via offers of federal grants.

The debate over 1836, the year of Texas’ founding as a republic, is similar, with some in academia and media now arguing that slavery was the cause of the Texas Revolution. This ignores key facts: that the Texas Declaration doesn’t even mention slavery among its grievances; and that the war in 1835-36 was by no means confined to Texas. Multiple states including Texas rebelled after Santa Anna jettisoned the federalist 1824 constitution and became dictator of Mexico. The debate is even affecting the redevelopment project at the Alamo in San Antonio, a debate increasingly hinging on a number of false choices, myths, and misconceptions.

The 1836 Project bill would not, as some have accused, “limit” public school teachings about the Texas Revolution just to a one-sided view of the war. Critical race theory, which falsely states that the revolution centered on slavery, would do that. It would also oversimplify the conflict and likely erase the contributions of Tejano revolutionaries to makes its thesis stand. I am normally loath to give government any role in, say, what a museum may provide as content in its museum or programming. But the reality is that critical race theory is being pushed by governments and it oversimplifies history to buttress its racist narrative. The 1836 Project would serve as a guide to keep the teaching of Texas history and civics out of the hands of critical race theory proponents. Plus, the Alamo is owned by the state of Texas. Government is and will always be involved in its preservation and in the stories it tells.

Critical race theory backers are clear in what they want: to “burn” the Constitution and “dismantle” all of our nation’s institutions.

While the debate may seem to be literally academic, the stakes are high. If they were not, the left and media would not be pushing so hard for their point of view to dominate, and ultimately eliminate all other points of view. The fight for the facts of the past is very much the fight for our future as a free and diverse republic.

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