Last week, Gregg Abbott, the governor of Texas, signed major legislation restricting the teaching of Critical Race Theory, as well as allowing Texans to carry handguns without a license.
According to Texas Legislature Online, the bill prescribes how educators can talk about current events and America’s history of racism. Many teachers and educational advocates oppose the new bill, which goes into effect on September 1. Their concern is that House Bill 3979 will muzzle teachers’ ability to appropriately and accurately discuss current events and teach about America’s treatment of people of color. It also blocks the teaching of the New York Times’ 1916 Project, which examines U.S. history from the date when enslaved people first arrived on American soil.
Supporters of the bill claim that they are trying to combat biases that are instilled in public education. Sen. Bryan Hughes spoke about what he hopes the bill will accomplish.
“We want to do our part to preserve the system and yes to talk about our history, warts and all,’’ he said. “But present it truly and accurately, especially those founding principles, which have made Americans so special.”
According to the Texas Tribune, “It also mandates that students be taught the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.”
In addition to the censuring of critical race theory, the new law allows anyone 21 or older to carry a gun without a license or training. Abbott also announced that he is planning to build a U.S. Mexico Border Wall.
”Homes are being invaded, neighborhoods are dangerous, people are being threatened on a daily basis with guns of people either coming across the border or those working with those who are coming across the border,” he stated during a press release.
President Donald Trump, who has already endorsed Abbott’s reelection campaign, will appear with him along the U.S.-Mexico border next week. Brendan Steinhauser, a Republican strategist based in Austin, thinks Abbott’s actions politically expedient.
“With Trump’s endorsement and his trip down to the border, and frankly what [Abbott] has said on the border the last couple of weeks, I think it’s a stroke of, maybe not genius, but … I just think it’s really smart, and I think it’s going to help him politically.”