Texas state lawmakers capped hours of debate on how to teach children about American slavery and subjugation of people of color by advancing a controversial bill that bans critical theory in schools with public charter and open registration.
Texas Republicans on Saturday led Senate approval of Bill 3979, which requires the State Board of Education to draft new curriculum standards on how slavery and racial subjugation are taught in social studies classes. Critical Race Theory is the academic concept that American history is closely tied to racism and any study of its structures should highlight the benefits of white supremacy.
GOP lawmakers have said the bill only guarantees students that one race or gender is not superior to another, but some Democratic critics say it deliberately omits that white Americans created such racist institutions and laws. State Senator Brandon Creighton has joined GOP supporters in backing the bill to “focus on the ideas that make our country great,” the Texas Tribune reported on Saturday.
House Bill 3979 requires that history be taught through “diverse and contradictory perspectives without giving deference,” author and GOP State Representative Steve Toth, arguing that “critical race theory” is not even mentioned in the law.
“He doesn’t mention critical theory anywhere in the bill. He doesn’t mention the three words ‘critical, race, theory’ anywhere in the bill,” Toth told KVUE-TV last week. “It’s just about making sure that when teachers teach, they don’t call or report people based on their skin color or gender.”
“Do we want to talk about the Holocaust? Yes. Do we want to talk about slavery? Yes. We need to talk about all the evils of our past without blaming, without blaming white children just because of the color of their skin. .. Critical Race Theory says, “I am a white supremacist, anyone who is not a person of color is a white supremacist.” So basically if everyone is a white supremacist, then no one is. a white supremacist. It’s ridiculous, ”Toth continued.
But Houston Democratic State Senator Borris Miles, critic of the bill now returning to the House for final approval, says HB 3979 creates glaring historical omissions by not mentioning the role of any specific race, white or black.
“We can’t just pick and choose what we’re going to teach as a story and hope to make a difference and make it better,” Miles said. “It doesn’t work that way. This bill eliminates and excludes certain things, and includes what you mean.
One item prohibited in the Texas bill is The New York Times“Pulitzer Prize-winning Project 1619, which begins the history of the United States from the date that slaves first arrived on American soil. Georgian lawmakers are currently considering similar legislation, Fox 5 Atlanta reported. Idaho passed a similar ban on “critical race theory” earlier this year.
“To suggest that America is so racist at its core as to be irremediable and to suggest that people based on the color of their skin can never overcome prejudice and can never treat themselves fairly is a real problem,” said Senator Bryan Hughes. of the 1619 project and its role in education.
Newsweek contacted Toth and Miles’ Austin offices on Saturday with any additional comments on critical breed theory or pending approval of the legislation.