Texas Governor Greg Abbott listens during a press conference

Texas Tossing Out the Requirement to Teach That KKK Is “Morally Wrong” Says a Lot

When someone shows you their true colors, believe them.

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Texas’ Senate Republican leadership, who continue to prove that they are the worst, just dropped a bill that would remove the requirement—previously set out in HB 3979, set to go into effect on September 1—for educators to teach that the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is “morally wrong,” alongside white supremacy and the institution of slavery. This elimination is a new political low that clearly shows the party is all about promoting an “anti-civics” approach when it comes to its educational measures.

Senate Bill 3, the bill in question—which has not yet passed the legislature nor been signed into law—also drops requirements like studying Frederick Douglass’s writing, the Chicano movement, women’s suffrage and equal rights, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” the life and work of Dolores Huerta, and even the requirement of the history of Native Americans or Indigenous People. It also drops mentions of figures like Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, and other women and people of color, according to Bloomberg Law. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also said, “Parents want their students to learn how to think critically, not be indoctrinated by the ridiculous leftist narrative that America and our Constitution are rooted in racism.”

That’s not all. The bill would prohibit a teacher from discussing particular current events that are “widely debated and currently controversial.” That puts a stranglehold on teachers and makes it harder for them to teach history that is relevant and that their students are absolutely aware of, no matter what the Texas government thinks.

But back to the KKK of it all. Do Texas Republicans really think they are doing a service to their students by not teaching them that the KKK is “morally wrong”? Because this isn’t a group that that gets together on Sundays for a meal and some intellectual discussions. These people are a racist terrorist organization that has targeted people of color.

What does the Texas State think they’re gaining by avoiding talking about the KKK? Because from where I’m standing, Texas is gaining absolutely nothing by standing their ground and making it harder for their students to get a clear and concise picture of what it is to live in the United States of America if you are anything but white.

Of course, at the heart of not teaching students that the KKK is the worst is the fact that there are racists in the Texas government. Simple and to the point. Racism is alive and well in this country despite how those pushing it with moves like this would like us to believe it’s all in the past, and they’re still using it to make strides to keep themselves in a position of power. And because they’re racists, they push this narrative that the world is just out to get white people.

No one can fix the past, but rewriting it and pretending it doesn’t still affect the present—that racism just suddenly ended and everything is perfect now—only ensures that we stop making progress on doing what we can do now to make things better.

And until this anti-education movement sees that—until they see that there is nothing wrong with thinking that things like racism and bigotry are bad—they’re a lost cause who are pulling the United States of America in a direction that could destroy us instead of strengthening us. And that’s the God’s honest truth with a side of truth tea.

(image: Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

Correction: A previous version of this article attributed some of these changes to the wrong bill.

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Lyra Hale
Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.