In recent weeks, GOP officials have launched an all-arms attack against #CriticalRaceTheory. It is the latest attempt by the Republican Party to dismantle the fight against structural racism. It also appears to be a publicity stunt by some mainstream GOP politicians to attack what they call “leftist Democrats”.
However, Texans do support Critical Race Theory in education programs. A recent poll by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler shows that 51% of Texans agree that teacher should be able to discuss historical examples of discrimination in laws are responsible for inequality nowadays. Only 27% of the people polled disagree with this idea.
Within the people polled, 68% of Black support this idea, as well as 57% of Hispanic people. Among white people, 24% of the people polled strongly disagree with this idea.
Critical Race Theory is an academic concept more than 40 years old. The core idea, as Stephen Sawchuck puts it, is that race is a social construct and that racism is not merely the product of individual bias or prejudice, but also something embedded in legal systems and policies.
One good example of this is how in the 1930s government authorities literally drew lines around places thought to be poor financial risks, typically due to the racial composition of the population. Following that, banks refused to lend to Black individuals in particular areas. This led to poverty, homelessness, and less access to credits, which made life a lot more difficult for Black people.
According to the thesis, racism is a part of everyday life, and people of all races, whether white or nonwhite, can make decisions that fuel prejudice. This does not mean that all white people are racist and it is not fueling a clash between Black and White people, as some GOP officials are trying to frame it.
Critical Race Theory has been outlawed in schools in Idaho, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Tennessee. Texas may be the GOP’s next target, but as the poll showed, people will not support this lash against it, especially among minority voters, who are becoming more and more important for Republicans. We will see what legislators in the upcoming special session have to say about it.