By Bethany Blankley | The Center Square
Although the Texas legislature passed a bill to ban teaching “Critical Race Theory” concepts in Texas K-12 public schools, at least 12 colleges and universities, many of which receive state and federal funding, teach it and some require it.
According to an analysis by CriticalRace.org, the 12 Texas colleges and universities teaching CRT include Abilene Christian University, Baylor University, Rice University, Southern Methodist University, Southwestern University, St. Edward’s University, Texas A&M University, Texas State University, Texas Tech University, University of Houston, University of Texas at Austin and San Antonio.
CRT is currently being taught in 300 colleges and universities nationwide, generally part of “’Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ and ‘implicit bias’ training and programming,” the analysis states. Some CRT training is mandatory, depending on the school.
The website provides information and resources about CRT and allows users to look up information by school by state. It provides information ranging from academic codes of conduct to equity projects funded by schools, as well as contact information for each school.
The analysis clarifies that the list “is not a list of schools to avoid, it is a database to provide parents and students with information from which they can make informed decisions as to what is best.”
It also provides a list of K-12 education resources.
Thomas Lindsay, a distinguished senior fellow of higher education and constitutional studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said that CRT programs are “being instituted down to the third grade, where they’re telling third-grade children that because of the color of their skin, they are oppressors, meaning that because of the color of their skin, they’re bad.”
“That used to be called racism,” he said. “And unfortunately, critical race theory is the new racism.”
According to the UCLA School of Public Affairs, CRT “is an outgrowth of Critical Legal Studies, which was a leftist movement that challenged traditional legal scholarship. It recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of American society.
The individual racist need not exist to note that institutional racism is pervasive in the dominant culture. This is the analytical lens that CRT uses in examining existing power structures. CRT identifies that these power structures are based on white privilege and white supremacy, which perpetuates the marginalization of people of color.”
Once signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, the new law goes into effect September 1. It bans public school teachers, administrators, and employees from state agencies, school districts, and open-enrollment charter schools from teaching students that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex, or that an individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive by virtue of his or her race or sex.
A teacher “may not [be] compelled to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs” in social studies curriculum in Texas history, U.S. history, world history, government, civics, social studies, or similar subjects, the bill states.
However, the law does not apply to Texas colleges and universities.
At Baylor, for example, students, faculty, and staff are required to engage in “diversity training” on an annual basis.
Southwestern University’s Race and Ethnicity Studies program includes an elective course, “COM75-454 Race, Ethnicity, and Communication,” which “introduces critical race theory as it applies to the study of communication.” It explores “the intersection of race/ethnicity, communication, and media as it relates to issues of social justice and identity in America” to “shed light on the historical formation of racial and ethnic identities and their current social and personal relevance” and “integrates questions of identity with those of justice, economics, and law.” It requires “a strong commitment to tolerance and self-reflection.”
Texas State University created an Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Chief Diversity Officer position. It also created a task force to create training for faculty, staff, and student employees to “explore and determine if DEI training should be mandatory for all faculty, staff, and student employees.”
At Texas Tech, “all first year and transfer students are required to complete a new online training course, Voices for Change, that addresses diversity, identity, bias, and inclusion.”
At the University of Texas-Austin, the “Texas Longhorns football team will be wearing a statement against racism on their helmets” and proposed implementing “political litmus tests for hiring, as well as promotions for diversity.” The Department of History also created an “Anti-Racism Action Committee.”
While Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick argues that “Texans roundly reject the ‘woke’ philosophies that espouse that one race or sex is better than another and that someone, by virtue of their race or sex, is innately racist, oppressive or sexist,” these schools do not. Likewise, the Texas AFT, the Texas State Teachers Association, the Texas Legislative Education Equity Coalition, the Texas Council for the Social Studies, and The Education Trust all support the teaching of CRT.