The Texas legislature has approved a bill that would ban the teaching of concepts associated with Critical Race Theory and “action civics.”
The bill has now been sent to Gov. Greg Abbott (R).
In an interview with Yahoo News published Friday, Texas state Rep. Steve Toth (R), the primary author of House Bill 3979, said the bill is in keeping with the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“This bill is a direct reflection of the 1964 Civil Rights Act,” Toth said. “It echoes Dr. King’s wish that we should judge people on the content of their character, not their skin.”
The bill prohibits teachers from discussing concepts related to Critical Race Theory (CRT), a Marxist philosophy that embraces the notion that all social and cultural issues should be viewed through the lens of race.
The legislation particularly bans teaching or discussing the ideas that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or that “an individual, by virtue of the individuals’ race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
The bill prohibits teaching that “an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual ’s race or sex.”
Additionally, the measure states teachers cannot be forced to discuss current events in their classes. If they do so, they must “strive to explore the topic from diverse and contending perspectives without giving deference to any one perspective.”
“The more people learn about critical race theory, whether Republican or Democrat, the more they oppose it,” Toth said.
In another interview with the Houston Chronicle, Toth said CRT is “about profiling our children to promote strife and anger at one another and hatred.”
The Texas lawmaker said that while the name of Critical Race Theory does not appear in the bill, what it prohibits are “prejudicial things that were outlawed in the 1964 Civil Rights movement, like discriminating against someone because of their race or sex.”