Texas Senate Discovers Martin Luther King Was One Of Those Awful Critical Race Theorists All Along!
The Texas Senate voted 18 to four on Friday to ban the teaching of “critical race theory," a conservative umbrella term for any acknowledgement of racism in America's history and ongoing present. The bill now moves to the state House, which is stalled like a 1972 Ford Pinto because Democrats left the state and denied Republicans a quorum so they couldn't pass a Big Lie-fueled voter suppression bill. This is all something that would later turn up in history books if they hadn't banned critical race theory.
The Senate vote came after hours of public comment on Thursday, primarily from people opposed to the bill. Republicans have little interest in democracy or actually serving the public, so the expressed concerns from educators and parents didn't faze them.
Senate Bill 3 reportedly "prohibits teachers from being compelled to talk about current events or controversial issues, among other things." Soon every Texas schoolroom will be less provocative and informative than the average barber shop. That's good news for Republican state Sen. Bryan Hughes.
"Our classrooms should be places for fostering a diverse and fact-based discussion of various perspectives," said Hughes. "They're not for planting seeds for a divisive political agenda."
Conservatives believe discussing race at all is “divisive," but you don't need The 1619 Project to understand that race has been at the core of every major social and political movement in US history. Race is often the answer to why certain laws exist or why there's no decent public transportation in Atlanta.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick crowed over the GOP's apparent victory over reality.
Texans roundly reject 'woke' philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another and that someone, by virtue of their race or sex, is innately racist, oppressive or sexist
Conservative keep repeating this lie that schools are somehow teaching kids that white people are “innately" racist, oppressive, or sexist. Critical race theory, usually taught at the graduate level, doesn't regard race as an inherent quality and instead argues that certain systems are racist, oppressive, and sexist.
The Right actively denies that systemic racism and sexism currently exist, and they're now refusing to accept that racism and sexism were ever core elements of American society. The catch here is that this historical revisionism promotes white male supremacy. Children are indoctrinated to believe that white men were uniquely gifted and most fit to rule while the ladies and men of color slowly “caught up." Black people were freed and women eventually gained the right to vote when they were “ready," but we were always ready for the full citizenship white men actively denied us for centuries.
Rush Limbaugh, who I can report is still dead, often “joked" that there were no “Founding Mothers," the implication being that women played no role in the nation's founding. That's untrue, but to the extent that only white men signed the Declaration of Independence or wrote the Constitution, that's not a reflection of a meritocracy but evidence of a crime.
American children used to take white male supremacy as a given, but the world only spins forward: Students today will ask “uncomfortable" questions and teachers will have to promote a bigoted myth if they want to keep their jobs.
Patrick went on to say:
Senate Bill 3 will make certain that critical race philosophies, including the debunked 1619 founding myth, are removed from our school curriculums statewide. Texas parents do not want their children to be taught these false ideas. Parents want their students to learn how to think critically, not be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism.
Patrick claims he wants students to “learn how to think critically," but he'd prefer students learn about young George Washington chopping down a cherry tree rather than discuss how he owned human beings. The 1619 Project obviously hasn't been “debunked," as slavery did in fact happen. Conservatives treat minor corrections in the text as if Nikole Hannah-Jones suggested that dinosaurs co-existed on Southern plantations with enslaved people who shouted, "Yabba Dabba Doo!" after the end of a grueling 14-hour day. Jim Crow, segregation, and redlining aren't “false ideas." They are historical events that are critical to understanding what's happening in America today.
Senate Bill 3 isn't even that subtle in its ultimate objective. The bill's text would remove the requirement to teach that slavery happened and was morally wrong, the Emancipation Proclamation, the women's suffrage movement, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Yes, the speech that distinguished Republicans (if there are such) love to cite when attacking critical race theory.
Senator Tom Cotton said a few weeks ago that he wanted to ensure the “woke" military truly subscribed to “those very basic principles that are outlined in our Declaration [of Independence] or [Dr. Martin Luther] King's '[I Have a] Dream' speech."
Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed "critical race theory goes against everything Martin Luther King Jr. taught us — to not judge others by the color of their skin. The Left is trying to take America backward."
If Dr. King had actually taught McCarthy anything, he'd have given him an “F" on the final. Dr. King declared just three paragraphs into his famous speech:
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
Conservatives considered Dr. King divisive when he was alive, so perhaps adding him to the same racial unpersons list as Nikole Hannah-Jones better honors his memory. Republicans can pass more absurd laws like SB 3 but they can't hide for long from the truth they want to bury.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."