The author of a Texas bill that would restrict the teaching of critical race theory in schools said claims that his bill would strip lessons on the Ku Klux Klan, civil rights, and other topics from the state curriculum were outright false.
Sen. Bryan Hughes (R) responded to critics of his bill on "The Glenn Beck Radio Program" Wednesday, explaining that the legislation he's offering would not make a single change to requirements in Texas administrative code for the teaching of slavery, the civil rights movement, the Ku Klux Klan, and other topics Republicans have been accused of trying to "cancel" by passing bills banning critical race theory in schools.
"Anyone can go to Chapter 113, of the Texas administrative code. That's where our curriculum elements are found," Hughes told BlazeTV host Glenn Beck. "Chapter 113, Texas administrative code. That's before my bill. That's after my bill. It's still there, and you will find many specific references to difficult subjects, like slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, eugenics. Things like the women's suffrage movement. A lot of that, Dr. King, we adore and look up to Dr. King so much. You'll find many references to him, to Susan B. Anthony, to the civil rights movement. The underground railroad. The very things -- the very things that we're accused of removing — are specifically set out in the curriculum standards today."
Hughes' bill, S.B. 3, is legislation that would follow-up and amend a House bill signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in May that restricts the teaching of critical race theory in schools. The law specifically prohibits teaching that one race or sex is inherently superior to another; that an individual, by virtue of race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; that an individual bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of their race or sex; that the advent of slavery in the United States constituted the true founding of the nation; and other tenets of critical race theory that Republicans across the nation have sought to remove from school curriculums.
The House bill that became law was amended by Democrats to require teaching "the history of white supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong," along with readings related to "the civic accomplishments of marginalized populations," including Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and writings by Susan B. Anthony.
The Senate bill would amend the law to remove several of the specific requirements Democrats added, a change that Hughes explained was requested by teachers and the State Board of Education, who asked for the law to cover broad topics and let schools decide which specific documents they should teach.
But a report from the Huffington Post seized on S.B. 3 and accused Republicans of trying to "eliminate a requirement that public schools teach that the Ku Klux Klan and its white supremacist campaign of terror are 'morally wrong.'"
The report said that 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."
What followed was a wave of backlash and outrage from journalists on social media falsely accusing Republicans of trying to ban teaching about the Ku Klux Klan.
"We've dealt with media bias for a long time. Everybody gets that. But to falsely state objective facts, and to do it again and again. And to have this echo chamber ... it is remarkable." Hughes said.
He told Beck that what S.B. 3 actually does is "teach our students to judge people, based on the content of their character, not the color of their skin."
"It specifically says, in Texas public schools we do not teach that one race is inherently superior to another. That one sex is inherently superior. It specifically rejects white supremacy, or any racial supremacy. Or inferiority. It also says, one race -- members of one race are not inherently racist, and unable to overcome their racism," Hughes said.
"Do we have problems in America's past? Of course. And we teach American history. And Texas history. Good, bad, and ugly. But we teach our students how we overcome it, by coming together as Americans, not by being racists," he added.
The lawmaker went on to criticize critical race theory as a "toxic, evil doctrine" that "attacks the very heart of the American dream."
"In critical race theory, they're teaching little white children that they should feel guilty about bad acts by previous generations of white folks," he said. "Even worse, they're telling little children, from the Nordic communities, little black children, brown children. They're telling them, oh, you can never make it in America. It's so against you. You'll always be second class.
"What a horrible message to teach those children. Let's teach them, that we can all succeed. Are there problems? Yes. We'll overcome them as Americans. But everyone gets a chance. Everyone can succeed in America. And critical race theory, as you said, undermines, the very heart of the American dream."