Fact Check: No, Texas Lawmakers Aren't Stripping MLK, KKK from State Education Requirements

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Posted: Jul 22, 2021 10:25 AM
Fact Check: No, Texas Lawmakers Aren't Stripping MLK, KKK from State Education Requirements

Source: AP Photo/File

Hoping to land a potent counter-blow against Republicans in the 'Critical Race Theory' culture war they initiated, leftists are aggressively misrepresenting an action by state lawmakers in Texas (the ones who are in Austin doing their jobs, and not engaged in a "brave" super-spreader field trip to DC, that is).  This story, written up by various outlets, has been shared far and wide by blue checkmarks, activists, and journactivists.  At face value, this seems...pretty bad:

In a new political low in Texas, the Republican-dominated state Senate has passed a bill to eliminate a requirement that public schools teach that the Ku Klux Klan and its white supremacist campaign of terror are “morally wrong.” The cut is among some two dozen curriculum requirements dropped from the new measure, along with studying Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, the works of United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony’s writings about the women’s suffragist movement, and Native American history.

Minor issue: It's not true. "This story, widely amplified on Twitter, saying that Texas is eliminating a requirement to teach about the KKK is completely dishonest," explains Rich Lowry. "What happened is that Democrats added a bunch of concepts and documents that school kids should know in the anti-CRT bill that passed the House a few weeks ago. The list was incredibly detailed and extensive, when it’s the role of the state board of education, not the legislature, to get into the weeds of the specifics of the curriculum. Besides, many of the items are *already* covered in the curriculum. It was widely expected that the Senate would pare down the House bill, and that’s what it did, including cutting a provision citing the KKK."  More:


Additional, crucial context:


The law is eliminating duplicative requirements from a bill leftists opposed in the first place.  Lowry cites example after example of the Texas state curriculum already requiring teaching about the supposedly "eliminated" subjects -- from the KKK, to MLK, to women's suffrage, to Cesar Chavez, to Native American contributions, all of which were wrongly mentioned as getting axed in the HuffPo piece quoted above.  It's entirely fair to debate anti-CRT bills as they arise in legislatures across the country, and overreach should be called out.  But lying about what is actually being proposed discredits anti-anti-CRT "progressives," who also gaslight parents and citizens about CRT in general.  It's not being taught in schools, they claim, clinging to a very narrow definition (helpfully undermined by America's top teachers union) of the broader term, which describes a widespread and undeniable phenomenon of radically racialized indoctrination.  And on that very issue, here's an intriguing nugget mined by leading CRT critic Christopher Rufo.  The ostensibly very important definitional distinction that progressives are hiding behind in this wider debate doesn't look very important at all to the the literal founder of CRT:

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