Stephen C. Smith

May 21, 2021

2 min read

The miseducation of Texas, GQP style

Texas House Bill 3979 is nothing more than an extension of Trumpism despite the naked emperor’s hopefully permanent removal from both the White House and relevancy. State Rep. Steve Toth probably thinks he’s made his GQP bones by introducing this bill when in actuality, he’s making himself the face of ignorance, which in his world means “owning the libs” by any means necessary, win or lose.

Toth’s bill seeks to ban the teaching of critical race theory, which, by the way, has not been proposed in Texas schools as pointed out by Rep. Jarvis Johnson, but it’s a ban on critical thinking. Personally, I’m old enough to remember when critical thinking was looked upon as an essential element in the educational process. Yes, I’m sure I remember someone saying that.

However, this merry band of deluded historical revisionists will tell you the bill is about “teaching racial harmony by the telling the truth that we are all equal, both in God’s eyes and our Founding Documents.” Perhaps the “there’s no racism in America” crowd just happened to skip past the Three-Fifths Compromise in their hasty read of the U.S. Constitution and also forgot that the federal government made the Jim Crow Era possible by turning a blind eye to the South’s blatant violation of the 14th Amendment for 60-plus years.

Naturally, this provides an answer for his rhetorical question of whether “we want Texas kids to be taught that the system of government in the United States is nothing but a cover-up for White Supremacy?” Well, up until Reconstruction, that was certainly the case. Then it was confirmed again after the Compromise of 1877 ushered in the Jim Crow Era. And it was confirmed once again during Trump’s failed, corrupt presidency. Currently, under an actual U.S. President, we’re trying to move beyond it once again.

Another problem with Toth’s proposal to whitewash U.S. History in Texas schools is the added provision to refrain from discussing current events. Again, connecting curriculum to current events allows students to contextualize what they learn in class and makes lessons more meaningful in the process. So basically, in the interest of Trumpism, the Texas branch of the GQP is perfectly willing to academically kneecap our kids all in an attempt to avoid confronting history. Oh, and especially if they can avoid mentioning anything about the January 6th Capital Insurrection in the process. Republicans, you see, opposed an amendment to the bill that would require it being taught.

Hopefully, the direct opposition of democratic lawmakers, both major Texas Teacher unions, and around 70 education, business, and community groups across the state will ensure the bill will meet its end in court if it happens to make it through the Texas Senate.

If not, the successful whitewash of U.S. History in Texas could spread nationwide, representing a significant loss in the battle of truth and reality versus politically convenient GQP lies and fiction.