The bills passed by Texas Republicans in the 87th Legislature are a horrendous attempt to reestablish white supremacy and revisionist history in Texas schools.
It’s not a joke.
You know how Republicans are always talking about how, “LiBeRaLs CaLl EvErYoNe RaCiSt,” while denying being racist and simultaneously saying something racist? That’s the best way to sum up, the 87th Legislature.
The Lost Cause of the Confederacy was revisionist history implemented in the South and pushed by the hate group, the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). The UDC in the early 1900s managed to campaign in every Southern state, getting them to rewrite school books to say the Civil War wasn’t about slavery, but it was about Northern aggression, which is not true. The UDC also pushed narratives like Black people were happier and better off under slavery. They also had deep ties with the Ku Klux Klan.
After the Civil Rights Era, we began to correct textbooks in the South. However, to this day, some revisionist history remains in our children’s school books. Millions of children over several generations were lied to and never told the truth about America’s history of white supremacy. This is a huge contributing factor to modern-day racism, especially from Conservative baby boomers in the South.
Why does the GOP have a strong focus suddenly on rewriting history?
Since the George Floyd murder in May 2020, many Americans have become more aware of the realities of police brutality and systematic racism. In turn, much of the Civil Rights Movement in 2020 took a look at America’s past and how it plays into today’s society.
Here, at Living Blue in Texas, we have written many articles telling the stories history, stories we never knew or long forgotten. The reason why is because so much of last year’s civil rights movement was based on history, which I’ve said several times before.
As many Americans have woken up to the realities of our society, the GOP has looked for ways to push back.
About a week ago, we wrote, “GOP To Strengthen White Supremacy Out of Fear of Critical Race Theory,” which was largely about the white supremacist education bill which made its way through the Senate.
This bill was handled in the Senate was docile compared to how it played out in the House. As you’ll see on the various video clips in this article, HB 3979 is a bill based on white supremacy and an attempt for the white-led GOP to maintain control in Texas.
And after watching these clips, you’ll have a greater appreciation for Texas Democrats, who are amazing and stand against this attempted whitewashing of history.
The author of this bill, Representative Steve Toth, from Montgomery County, laid out the bill, saying it was “about teaching racial harmony, by telling the truth that we are all equal in God’s eyes and our founding documents.”
Representative Toth eluded to a society of color blindness, which also can be described as white denialism.
Color blindness as it pertains to race is something American society embraced beginning in the 1970s. The adage, “I don’t see color,” became a prominent phrase used to deny a person’s racism. While color blindness may be well-intentioned, it leaves people without the tools to discuss race and examine their own biases. Color blindness also ignores the realities of systematic racism. However, countless studies and thinking heads have said that color blindness does more injustice towards an equitable American and places obstacles in overcoming racism. While most of us on the left already know this, the right is still pushing to have a society where color blindness reigns king.
Toth continued by talking about Critical Race Theory. He called it Marxism and said it teaches children that the government is racist.
Thank goodness for the amazing Democratic Representative Mary González from El Paso. As it turns out, González’s Ph.D. was based on Critical Theory and Critical Race Theory. She explained to Toth that Critical Race Theory does the opposite of what he explained. She should know since it was what her Ph.D. was based on.
How many Critical Race Theory books has Steve Toth read?
Zero. Nada. Zilch. That’s by his own admission. He said he read a white paper on it, but who published that white paper? As we and many others have pointed out, Republicans don’t know what Critical Race Theory is, nor could they define it. González pointed out how Toth’s bill is a ban on free speech and books. Although he denied it, it’s clear what the bill says.
Representative James Talarico’s interactions with Toth are stunning. Talarico asked if Toth had a degree in education, curriculum development, or instructional practice, forcing Toth to admit that he had none of those, nor did he finish his college degree. Talarico pointed out that most education groups in Texas oppose the bill, the Texas Council in Social Studies oppose the bill, the Texas Social Studies Supervisors Association oppose the bill. The Texas Association of Public Educators opposes the bill.
Toth doesn’t understand what Critical Race Theory is. He lacks the understanding of the amount of damage the bill will do to education. At one point Talarico, even had to ask Toth, “Do you even know what your bill says?”
Representative Nicole Collier made Toth look like a moron.
Which wasn’t a difficult feat.
Part of Toth’s bill was the banning of teachers from talking about the 1619 Project. It also says that teachers have to teach it from a diverse perspective. Both sides. If a teacher wants to teach about America’s history of racism, they must teach both sides.
HB 3979, amendment 2, also forces teachers to lie about America’s founding and the Constitution as it pertains to white supremacy. Toth blamed slavery on the Southern states when America was formed.
When America was founded in 1776, there weren’t Northern states and Southern states, or slave states and free states. When America was founded in 1776, there were 13 colonies where slavery existed in every corner of America’s boundaries.
Steve Toth is a perfect representation of an old white baby boomer who was taught the Lost Cause version of history in the 1960s and 1970s, never went on to learn actual history, and is now trying to reimplement the Lost Cause and take us back to a time before the Civil Rights Era.
Representative James Talarico’s second interaction with Toth.
It truly is something to behold. In this OVERTLY racist exchange, Toth refuses to admit that white supremacy played a role in the founding of this nation. Guess what? The amendment passed, with every Republican voting for it.
Wrap your brain around this, it was called out for being the racist garbage that it is, and every Republican STILL voted for the amendment.
In another absolute WTF moment during HB3979, Rafael Anchía offers an amendment that would allow Texas school teachers to talk about the insurrection on January 6th.
Toth spoke against the amendment in what was an amazing argument presented by Representative Chris Turner. He got Representative Toth to say that if a teacher wanted to talk to her students about January 6th, she would have to tell it from both sides. I kid you not.
Most hilarious was that Kyle Biedermann was standing behind Toth during this exchange. Watch his facial expressions and body language. He was really uncomfortable. If you remember, Biedermann was photographed on the Capitol steps during the insurrection.
The Senate companion bill has already been passed. Now it has to go to Greg Abbott’s desk, which he’ll likely sign as the 87th Legislature has demonstrated in more ways than one, no Republicans left that don’t hold white supremacist values.
The GOP does not want racism to go away, because they benefit so much from it.
This bill that was passed is a Neanderthal, history erasing, racist propaganda bill intended to take Texas back to the 1950s and bring back the Lost Cause.
It’s the Lost Cause 2.0.
We right this wrong by turning the Texas Legislature blue and getting all of the racist bills the GOP pushed erased from the books. If we don’t do that, white supremacy in Texas will stick around for countless decades more.
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