Texas really is great about one thing: They yell the quiet parts out loud, making it much harder for the genteel insurrectionists to try to explain it all away. It’s kind of the way that former president but current crybaby Donald Trump says out loud that corporate donations are bribes and that racism is what the Republican Party is really all about, just as Mitch McConnell was trying to obfuscate those facts.
Many have already explained that the attacks on Critical Race Theory are coming from folks who couldn’t explain it to save their lives. But I want to add two points to that.
One is that we should remind people to be wary of listening to the same people who told you that women shouldn’t be able to vote, that rock ‘n roll would destroy America, that fluoride would make you a communist, and that gay marriage would end marriage itself. Last time I checked, suffrage, rock, fluoridation, and gay marriage all triumphed, and I’m still married and with pretty teeth. If anything is going to destroy America, it’s not going to be Chuck Berry records or Pete Buttigieg and his husband.
Secondly, look to Texas. Thanks to The Texas Tribune, we know that the Lone Star State has its own answer to the 1619 Project: the 1836 Project. Said Governor Greg Abbott, when signing this thing into law: “To keep Texas the best state in the United States of America, we must never forget WHY Texas became so exceptional in the first place.”
So, what kind of “Texas is exceptional” does 1836 show us?
1836 is the year Texas seceded from Mexico to briefly become its own nation. The reason Texas became its own nation was because Mexico wanted these gringo interlopers to pay taxes and emancipate their slaves. I’m sure lots of us take exception to that.
Don’t believe me about the reasons for the Texas Revolution. It’s in every history textbook, except presumably the ones used in Texas. It’s so well-known that even I learned the real reasons for the Texas Revolution in high school, and that was back when high-school history books whitewashed everything!
Abbott tweeted, “I signed a law establishing the 1836 project, which promotes patriotic education & ensures future generations understand TX values.” It also forces schools to promote “the Christian heritage of this state.” Just remember that those God-fearing Christians kept slaves and specifically excluded Blacks and Indians from citizenship in the 1836 constitution.
Indeed, Section 9 of the 1836 Texas constitution said that free Blacks had to get permission from the Texas Congress to even remain in Texas. The following year, the Texas Congress removed citizenship from anyone who was 7/8 white or less, and stripped those folks from the right to vote, own property, testify against Whites in court, or marry Whites.
Those are the Texas values that Abbott and his GOP think we should celebrate. I think I’ll pass.