On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed one of his party’s into law: a bill aimed at stopping teachers from talking about racism and any current events that may be contentious. The legislation, supported by virtually every GOP state legislator, states that social studies teachers in “may not be compelled” to talk about current events, public policy, or controversial social issues. If they talk about such things, they must present the case “without deference to any one perspective.”
The law specifies all the things that social studies teachers aren’t allowed to talk about. make it part of a course to discuss the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.” They can’t make it part of a course to discuss the idea that someone could “be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race.” They can’t make it part of a course to discuss that “the individual’s race or sex necessarily determines an individual’s moral character, standing, or worth.”
They can’t make it part of a course to discuss the concept that “an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” based on race or sex. They can’t make it part of a course to discuss the concept that “meritocracy or traits such as a ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.” They can’t make it part of a course to talk about the concept that “the advent of slavery” in the United States was central to the founding of the United States.
They can’t make it part of a course to discuss the concept that “slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to” the country’s founding principles. And they definitely can’t make it part of a course to talk about The 1619 Project, an award-winning project launched by The New Magazine that puts the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the center of America’s national narrative.
The doesn’t explicitly use the word “ban” for conversations about racism. But it might as well, according to state Democratic Rep. James Talarico, a vocal . “The bill is written in kind of a clever way,” Talarico, a former middle north of Austin, told HuffPost last month. “You can talk about race in the classroom, but you can’t talk about privilege. … It doesn’t outright ban talking about race, but the idea is to put in landmines so any conversation about race in the classroom would be impossible.”