In an effort to further expand the GOP’s white supremacist hold on power, Carl Tepper introduces a bill to enforce systematic racism on college campuses.
In recent years, Republicans have tried to lump Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs into their Critical Race Theory (CRT) interpretation. Still, we must talk about what DEI really is.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a term used to describe policies and programs that promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals, including people of different ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, religions, cultures, and sexual orientations.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion is a conceptual framework that promotes the fair treatment and full participation of all people, including populations who have historically been underrepresented or subject to discrimination because of their background, identity, disability, etc. DEI matters because they help build a fair society that allows everyone equal opportunities.
What does Carl Tepper’s bill say?
HB 1006 prohibits DEI in higher education. It will prohibit the funding, promotion, sponsorship, or support of any office of diversity, equity, and inclusion; and any office that funds, promotes, sponsors, or supports an initiative or formulation of diversity, equity, and inclusion beyond what is necessary to uphold the equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. And it prohibits the endorsement or dissuasion of, or interference with, any lifestyle, race, sex, religion, or culture.
A person may bring an action for injunctive relief against an institution of higher education to compel the institution to comply with this section. If the person prevails in action, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs to the person. The institution shall pay the fees and expenses from the budget of the office of the chief executive officer of the institution or the institution’s system, as applicable.
This an apparent attack on freedom of expression by Conservatives who claim DEI principles somehow violate THEIR speech.
In 2019 the Republicans in the Texas Legislature passed a bill to protect hate speech on college campuses. This bill came after far-right extremists like Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and Conservative pedophile advocate Milo Yiannopoulos were chased off college campuses in California and Michigan. The Texas GOP wanted to ensure that hateful ideas and white supremacy were given the opportunity to spread on college campuses.
The 2019 bill set a dangerous precedent that paved the way for the right to hate speech. Now this new bill by Carl Tepper takes it a step further. Banning higher education from allowing DEI programs on their campuses while allowing hate speech is a violent act of white supremacy.
During Trump’s reign, the GOP made moves to repeal the 14th Amendment. Although it never came to fruition, Trump planted a seed, and bills like this are a move toward the ultimate repeal 14th Amendment. That’s why Tepper included the language regarding the 14th Amendment. It’s a setup for a future Supreme Court Case.
Christian Nationalists are trying to revive the Confederacy and won’t stop until they reinstitute slavery.
If you think that’s hyperbole, you haven’t been paying attention. Texas Conservatives hate people of color, and their rapid launch into fascism will only continue to escalate.
Only 33% of children born in Texas in 2020 were white. 48% were Latino, another 13% were Black, and 5% were Asian. According to the 2020 Census, Texas is 39.8% white (non-Hispanic), 39.3% Hispanic, 11.8% Black, and 5.4% Asian. Of course, that doesn’t include the half-million Texans who were undercounted.
Texas is quickly becoming one of the least white states in America. However, racist white Republicans still control our government and must come up with new ways to remain in control despite being the minority.
Fairness for all should be part of all Texan’s value systems.
Unfortunately, Republicans don’t appear to have the morality to embrace fairness.
So how likely is it that this bill will become law?
It’s hard to say. Unfortunately, uninformed Republicans will likely lump DEI in with CRT, and last legislative session, they passed a law to ban CRT from Texas classrooms.
Dade Phelan has not appointed committees or committee chairs yet. If he appoints a far-right extremist to the Higher Education Committee, there’s a good chance this bill will pass the committee and go to the floor for a vote.
If the bill makes it to the full House floor for a vote, it’s likely to pass since the GOP has the majority.
The Republicans who will vote for this bill won’t be able to define it, just like they weren’t able to define CRT, and they won’t be able to understand what DEI looks like for higher education.
The GOP’s battle against CRT and DEI is about keeping systematic racism in place.
It’s up to all of us to stand up against what Texas Republicans will attempt to do during this next legislative session. Show up to testify at committee hearings and keep your ears to the ground for impromptu protests. They may have the majority in the legislature, but they don’t have the majority in the state.
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