Texas Democrats are taking issue with a bill passed by the state Senate that removes most mentions of color from mandated teaching curricula and would no longer specifically require students be taught that the Ku Klux Klan is “morally wrong.”
The bill, passed on Friday in the Texas Senate by a margin of 18-4, removes language from a previous bill condemning White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan. However, the bill does expressly prohibit educators from teaching that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.”
Also cut by the bill, requirements that students study Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech or about the work of labor leader Cesar Chavez and feminist Susan B. Anthony.
Democrats immediately slammed the bill accusing the GOP of racism.
“Here’s why Governor Abbott added Critical Race Theory to the special session,” Texas Democratic Rep. Jarvis Johnson tweed. “He doesn’t want our kids to learn that White Supremacy is morally wrong. You read that right. We must trust our teachers. We must defend the truth in our classrooms. SB3 does the opposite #txlege“
Johnson is one of dozens of Texas Democrats who fled Texas for Washington, D.C. in order to avoid voting on an election integrity bill that he has also deemed to be racist.
The education bill now heads to the Texas House, where the absent Democrats are currently preventing Republicans from a quorum vote to move any legislation forward.
Johnson’s criticism of the bill was echoed by several other Democrats, including former Obama official and native Texan Julian Castro who said the bill must be “stopped.”
“Greg Abbott trying to erase MLK Jr., César Chávez, and Susan B. Anthony from the Texas curriculum, and recast the KKK as the good guys,” Castro tweeted. “This is an assault on history and it must be stopped.”
The bill comes as Republicans across the country have been speaking out about Critical Race Theory, a teaching method that has been adopted by schools and corporations nationwide that claims the United States is inherently racist.
Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, proposed a bill banning the curriculum at the federal level and referred to it as a “Marxist ideology that sees the world as a battle, not between the classes — as classical Marxism does — but between the races.”