One of the biggest political stories in the country right now is the defection of the Texas Democrats in the House and the Senate to deny Republicans a quorum to pass laws in the lower chamber. Sixty legislators are currently in Washington D.C. attempting to force the federal congress to pass voter rights and access protection legislation that would counter the bill in the Texas legislature that would make it harder to vote. In the meantime, the work in the House has stood still as the clock ticks down on Governor Greg Abbott’s special session.
However, work is continuing in the Senate where the chamber does still have enough members to vote and debate on bills. One of the most contentious is Senate Bill 3, the so-called “critical race theory” bill.
The term “critical race theory” does not appear in the final text that passed the upper chamber on July 16, but a careful reading between the lines shows its full intent.
“A teacher may not be compelled to discuss a particular current event or widely debated and currently controversial issue of public policy or social affairs.” Also, a teacher may not require the teaching of a concept that “meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race, the advent of slavery in the territory that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the United States; or with respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.”
We’ve written before about how “controversy” can be used in the law to empower the discrimination of certain concepts in the classroom, most notably any social issue for which conservatives can sufficiently and loudly argue against. The rest of the language is meant to enshrine the idea that white supremacy was not a foundational concept in the creation of America, which flies in the face of all available evidence.
The Senate is also passing other bills high on the Republican priority list. These include Senate Bill 2, a transphobic bill requiring high school students to only compete in sports based on their birth gender, and Senate Bill 5, the “cancel culture” bill. It would make it illegal to “censor” content on social media platforms based on the users’ views. Basically, the bill is a backdoor attempt to undo the account suspension of figures like former President Donald Trump on platforms like Twitter.