The United States of America has struggled heavily with the issue of racial injustice over the past year. One of the most debatable topics that has emerged is critical race theory. Critical race theory, also known as CRT, is a concept with the idea that racism is a social construct found in legal systems and policies, not just individual bias/prejudice. Conservatives and liberals are arguing over whether or not to ban critical race theory discussions from school. This argument has emerged in the Texas legislature after Rep. Steve Toth proposed a bill regarding CRT.
Authored by Steve Toth, the Texas legislature proposed House Bill 3979 earlier this year. Under this bill, teachers would be restricted on what events can be discussed within a classroom, meaning that America’s treatment towards POC will be filtered. If a teacher chooses to discuss a current event, they must explore it from all points of view and ensure they stay neutral. Supporters of this bill claim they are trying to protect education from personal biases and argue that those who oppose the bill are unfairly blaming white people and disregarding the founding father’s accomplishments. However, those who oppose the bill, including many teachers and historians, believe that it is impossible to teach American history without mentioning racial injustice. One teacher states, “Part of his bill that kind of makes me freeze up is like feeling like I can’t talk about race or feeling like I’m going to say something that’s out of my lane, out of my professionalism as a teacher… If kids aren’t able to make those connections [about] why this [lesson] matters to them here sitting in the classroom right now ... we’re really losing a piece of making school matter to kids.”
Both sides are passionately expressing their sides, especially 20 state generals that sent a letter to the US Education Secretary, Miguel Cordona. This letter that highlights the generals’ concern over CRT mentioned important events such as the 1619 Project. The 1619 Project was a journalism project conducted by the New York Times that examined US history from the time when slaves first arrived, marking that as the founding date of the nation. The state generals, including the Texas state general, emphasize that important information like this would be banned if the bill were to be passed.
It is crucial to note that during Trump’s presidency, he had banned diversity and inclusion programs, labeling them as “propaganda.” If House Bill 3979 is passed, it is a possibility that the state of Texas continues this legacy, even with President Biden now in office. Though it would filter out personal bias in the school system, the bill would also filter out important events in American history. It would filter out the tragedies that POC have gone through in this nation. House Bill 3979 would filter out the truth.