Dear History Teachers,
Sorry for the recent dust-up over Critical Race Theory.
Seems that you are the new target of the red hats for the next few news cycles until they find a new fake crisis to get all irked up about.
Truly I am sorry.
You know and I know that they don’t even know what Critical Race Theory is. You and I both know that you don’t even teach it in any History class in Texas. But that didn’t stop them from telling you that you can’t teach it. They even passed laws that said you can’t teach it.
Heck, our under-indictment Lt. Gov. even got in front of a microphone and said that you shouldn’t teach anything that would make any group feel “uncomfortable.” (I guess that kid with the German grandparents just needs to call in sick during your unit on WWII.)
Because they are none-too-smart about how these these things work, you will probably bring up topics in your History classes that you weren’t going to talk about at all before they told you that you couldn’t.
They don’t understand the Streisand Effect, but you do.
You might just be tempted to bring up things like whether laws are inherently designed to punish particular groups like the poor. Things like the 1619 Project. (I know you won’t even consider downloading the entire 1619 Project Curriculum located here. Shh, don’t tell anyone where you got it from.)
You maybe might just stumble across a discussion in class about why police seem to kill unarmed black males in surprisingly large numbers, even AFTER all the media attention about how police kill unarmed black men.
Or why after 159 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, some groups still face economic and social injustice that far outweighs their demographic numbers. You might just accidentally ask your students to think about whether those early Texas “heroes” were really a bunch of miscreants running from the law in one country and ignoring the laws of another country that they had illegally immigrated into.
In other words, they were illegal aliens. Of course, you won’t ask your students to perhaps look at a book like the recent “Forget the Alamo” because hey, you know that kids don’t need to know that the myths of history should never be looked at critically and that the John Wayne version of the Alamo mythology is the official story. (By the way, here is the link the book that scared the folks at the Bob Bullock Museum into cancelling an author discussion)
Must be some powerful stuff there if even Gov. Farquaad doesn’t want even adults to hear about it. Of course, don’t tell anyone that they can read about the cancellation here.
Shhh. It might upset someone that abhors “Cancel Culture.”
Anyway, welcome to the elite club of teachers whose subjects have come under attack by the radical Right. We Science teachers have been putting up with that stuff for years. Scopes Monkey trial? Remember that? Can you teach that anymore?
We have been fighting the Radical Religious Right, the Creationists, and the east Texas religious zealots for years.
Same with Librarians, who have been putting up with book bans ever since books were invented. Bad: Harry Potter. Good: Any book Franklin Graham tells you is a good book.
You know how we almost ALWAYS win these arguments? We let them talk. We let them say what they have to say. We let them make complete fools of themselves not only on a state but on a national level. We let them spout their ignorance and hate.
Pretty soon, the backlash comes, and finally, when the NCAA or the NFL or MLB cancels a big game because the politicians of the State are so stupid that even giant corporations cant ignore them, then they suddenly change their minds.
Might take a year or so, but it always happens.
Good luck. We are on your side.
Author: Tim Holt
Holt is an educator and writer, with over 33 years experience in education and opines on education-related topics here and on his own award-winning blog: HoltThink. He values your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment, over at his site. Read his previous columns here.
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