By now you have read reports that among the “crucial” issues outlined by Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was House Bill 3979, which forbids the teaching of critical race theory in Texas public schools.

As a retired college teacher with over a half-century of teaching experience, my thoughts on this bill range from “so” to “why?”

Critical race theory emerged in the 1970s to examine the intersection of race and laws developed by the white majority in the United States. The purpose of this discussion isn’t to attempt to explain or defend the theory, but to question why Republicans in a number of state legislatures, including Texas, has sought to pass laws both proscribing and prohibiting what may be taught in the classroom and what the impact on public education may be in the future.

It’s ironic that many of the documents mandated to be included in Section 28.002 of the Texas Education Code could also be cited by supporters of critical race theory as examples of how the nation’s and state’s legal codes support the theory’s arguments.

There’s insufficient space in this commentary to give a detailed analysis of that point, but one example should suffice: Article I of the U.S. Constitution allocates the representatives in the House of Representatives on the basis of population, except that slaves (other persons) were only counted as three-fifths of a person.

There are two questions to be considered: First, does the Legislature have the legal authority to proscribe what can be taught or not taught? The answer is yes. Secondly, is this a wise idea? My answer to this is no. The Legislature must remember that those in the majority today may well be in the minority tomorrow.

According to the Texas Education Agency, the racial and ethnic makeup of students in the public schools in Texas is as follows: Hispanic, 52.8 percent; non-Hispanic white, 27 percent; African American, 12.6 percent; Asian, 4.6. percent; and mixed race, 2.5 percent. This means in the future, about three-quarters of the population of Texas will be decidedly different from the racial and ethnic balance of today’s Texas Legislature.

Once the precedent of having the Texas Legislature dictate what can be taught has been established, who knows what the result may be?

When I first started teaching at Galveston College over a half century ago, the number of students in the “minority” communities was so small that the percentage was less than 1 percent of total enrollment. In 2020, the figures are as follows: Hispanic, 42 percent; African American, 15 percent; and Asian, 3 percent. This is a total of 60 percent.

Finally, my closing comment. Attacking critical race theory is a boogeyman exercise. Legislating what can or cannot be taught in Texas public schools is a slippery slope. Just because a particular party is in the majority today doesn’t mean that it will continue to be in the majority forever.

M. T. “Bujo” Waddell lives in Galveston.

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(30) comments

Carlos Ponce

What is taught is prescribed in the Texas TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills). It tells teachers what should be taught but that doesn't stop any individual teacher from supplementing. CRT is a mess. It takes real history and distorts it. I'd say stay clear of it. There's already enough in the curriculum. Why toss in something that undermines truth?

Carlos Ponce

"many of the documents mandated to be included in Section 28.002 of the Texas Education Code could also be cited by supporters of critical race theory as examples of how the nation’s and state’s legal codes support the theory’s arguments."

Which documents?

Texas Education Code Sec. 28.002

https://texas.public.law/statutes/tex._educ._code_section_28.002

Carlos Ponce

M. T. “Bujo” Waddell doesn't identify his politics but he doesn't have to. Citing identity politics is clearly on the Left.

M. T. “Bujo” Waddell has worked for Democrat politicians. From the GCDN: "M.T. “Bujo” Waddell, a retired professor at Galveston College, who worked as an assistant for [Lloyd] Criss during four legislative sessions....." The early 1980s GDN lists Waddell as Galveston County Democratic party chairman.

Since M. T. “Bujo” Waddell likes identity politics, color him Leftist. [yawn]

Bailey Jones

Thanks for your common-sense analysis, Mr. Waddell, and your service as an educator.

The example you cite from the constitution is one that I've been thinking about lately. The inclusion of the 3/5 clause illustrates a couple of things - how important slavery was to the country, and how much power the slave states wielded in the drafting of our constitution. The fact that representation was allocated on the basis of property is the pudding that proves the hold that slavers held over the nation.

Northern states weren't granted representation based on their property - the number of factories, or canals, or ships, or farms, or banks, or mills, that each possessed, or even the number of laborers. Then why were slave states granted representation based on their capital assets? The obvious explanation is that slavery was a fundamental and founding principle upon which our nation was created. One which, in its absence, the nation could not have been created.

The Great Compromise that resulted in our bicameral congress was not only a political compromise, but a moral compromise as well. At a moment when the founding fathers had the opportunity to enshrine in our founding law the greatest political sentiment of all time - that all men are created equal - they instead chose instead to craft a document that rewarded slave owners for their slavery. The more slaves a state owns, imports, and breeds, the more representation - the more political power - that state will gain. Little wonder that 10 of the 15 pre-civil war presidents were slave owners from slave states. It's also worth noting that once the US finally rejected the moral abomination of slavery in the Civil War, it was almost a century before we elected another southern president.

But, back to the point of the letter. Yes, it's all political theater. Nothing motivates voters like fear. And there's nothing that white conservative Americans fear more than American history.

Carlos Ponce

"The inclusion of the 3/5 clause illustrates a couple of things - how important slavery was to the country, and how much power the slave states wielded in the drafting of our constitution."

You do understand the 3/5 rule was included to reduce the power of slave states. Counting each slave as 1 individual, each slave state would have a greater number in the House of Representatives.

"Then why were slave states granted representation based on their capital assets?"

The alternative was to not count any slave at all. From 3/5 to ZERO. Is that what you wanted, Bailey?

Allow me to correct your closing statement:

And there's nothing that Americans fear more than teaching FAKE American history to promote a political ideology.

Bill Broussard

The alternative was to not count any slave at all. From 3/5 to ZERO. Is that what you wanted, Bailey?“

You say that like not counting would be some kind of atrocity Carlos.

Since these men and women could not vote, could not walk away or change locations on their own volition and otherwise lived as a financial return on their cost, why count them ? Bailey’s point is 3/5 gave a representational boost to slave states but not to plows and mules in non slave states….and you knew exactly what he meant but chose to jump in and spin it.

Most of the junk coming out of Austin has Dan Patrick written all over it. I think based on performance, Patrick should be considered 1/5 of a person for the census

Carlos Ponce

So Bill Broussard would not count slaves as human. Very Progressive of you.

Gary Scoggin

I'll let Bailey speak for himself but in response to Carlos' question, "The alternative was to not count any slave at all. From 3/5 to ZERO. Is that what you wanted, Bailey?" I would answer. "I wasn't around to "want" anything. But if I had a preference, the Constitution would have outlawed slavery altogether."

Bailey Jones

Yes, Gary, you get it, exactly.

The choice between 3/5th representation and 0% representation is irrelevant when you have no more political rights than a donkey. The 3/5ths clause stole the political power that should have been afforded to enslaved Americans and gave it to their enslavers. I'm not surprised that Carlos can imagine nothing else but to defend it.

Carlos Ponce

You forget, Bailey, many slaves were freed, some even "bought" their families. That's where the 1619 project falls short of facts. They were slaves but the Jamestown people didn't believe in slavery so they were treated as indentured servants and after a few years were freed of that "obligation".

Bailey Jones

Carlos - here's a tip. Never start a sentence with "They were slaves, but..." The proper conjunction is "and".

Example -

They were slaves and subjected to lives of brutal depravity, sexual abuse and physical torture.

They were slaves and robbed of their families, their language, their religion, and their culture.

They were slaves and bred and sold like cattle.

They were slaves and "had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold, and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever a profit could be made by it."

They were slaves and yet, Carlos still seeks to legitimize the horrendous crimes committed against them by America's founding fathers.

Ed Buckner

Right you are, Gary Scoggin. Carlos Ponce's hero is probably powerful South Carolinian James Henry Hammond, who explained on the floor of the US Senate just how critical race theory should be. And Hammond was a Democrat. See http://www.sewanee.edu/faculty/Willis/Civil_War/documents/HammondCotton.html

Bailey Jones

Ed, that link doesn't work for me, but I found the speech elsewhere.

https://teachingamericanhistory.org/document/cotton-is-king/

"In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air, as to build either the one or the other, except on this mud-sill. Fortunately for the South, she found a race adapted to that purpose to her hand. A race inferior to her own, but eminently qualified in temper, in vigor, in docility, in capacity to stand the climate, to answer all her purposes. We use them for our purpose, and call them slaves."

He sounds amazingly like another frequent GCDN commenter. (I won't mention his name, lest he appear.)

Gary Scoggin

“He sounds amazingly like another frequent GCDN commenter. (I won't mention his name, lest he appear.)” - I was thinking much the same thing.

Carlos Ponce

They were slaves but the Jamestown people didn't believe in slavery so they were treated as indentured servants and after a few years were freed of that "obligation".

THAT'S A FACT.

Carlos Ponce

"They were slaves and yet, Carlos still seeks to legitimize the horrendous crimes committed against them by America's founding fathers." No, I do not.

Carlos Ponce

Ed Buckner, my HERO is the Lord Jesus Christ......and He loves you!

Ed Buckner

Professor Waddell lays it out well, and I agree with him pretty much across the board. A relevant (supportive) comment from today's blog post by Professor Jerry Coyne:

"What, exactly, is critical race theory?

by whyevolutionistrue

All of us bandy about the term "critical race theory", or use its initials, CRT. But how many of us really know what it is? And IS there really a widely-accepted canon of thought called CRT? If you were to ask me, I'd say CRT is the view that all life is a fight for power and hegemony of socially-constructed "races" that have no biological reality, that all politics is to be viewed through the lens of race, that the "oppressors" are, by and large, all biased against minorities and fight endlessly to keep them powerless, with many of the oppressors not even knowing their bias, and that different kinds of minority status can be combined into an "intersectionality" so that someone can be oppressed on several axes at once (for example, a Hispanic lesbian).

But not everybody agrees with that, and in fact there are widely different versions of CRT depending on the exponent (Ibram Kendi is perhaps the most extreme in his pronouncements), and also on the country. In the article below at Counterweight, Helen Pluckrose, co-author with James Lindsay of the good book Cynical Theories, tries to parse a meaning of CRT from all the diverse construals.

It turns out that because there are so many versions of CRT, perhaps (in my view) it's best to stop using the term at all."

william boney

Mr. Waddell, I'm sure you realize that as a representative form of government, our legislature represents citizens. Granted, you may not agree with the state "interfering" but it was public outcry and support that resulted in the change. But Instead of teaching a theory, how about reaching civics? How about if the majority of students who graduate high school or college could actually name their congressional representative, they state senator and state rep? How about students actually understanding the role of local, state and federal government?

Carlos Ponce

"It isn't so much that liberals are ignorant. It's just that they know so many things that aren't so." Ronald Reagan

Ted Gillis

william, I did graduate from college knowing who my government representatives where and knowing how civics works thanks to Bujo. He was already doing his part long before you were ever concerned about it.

william boney

Mr Gillis, Congratulations, you are among the minority. Since you understand and taught civics, you know too that the bill that inspired this column was in response to public outcry. I am curious though, have we met? Do you know me? or was your statement merely trying to diminish my previous post? It was a high school teacher who pointed out to me, when I point my finger at someone or something, three fingers point back at me. And what I know, is that what makes the United States exceptional is not looking to justify/promote victimhood or divide races - it's curiosity, ambition and a willingness to fail - three items rarely taught/encouraged.

Walter Dannenmaier

Mr Bujo,

In my lifetime spending on public education goes up and up and up, while the performance of our students declines. I would prefer that we teach them how to read, do arithmetic and think critically, rather than fill their head with notions that every last damned thing under the sun is about race. If YOUR work as an educator to contributed to the muddle-headed thinking we see these days, I suggest you try a period of critical self-reflection.

Charles Douglas

Mr. Dannenmaier! You are the man! What a post! You slapped that rock outta the ball park, across the highway, and into the alley! The things you said are my sentiments exactly! It is completely useless and unconscionable for these schools, and those advocating "CRT" to be taught there, .. to focus on what was done to slaves back in the 1700-1800s. We are NOT responsible for other people's behaviors and sins! We are responsible under God, to treat others as we want them to treat us! ( Matthew 7:12 ).

I never wanted anybody teaching my sons to hate the WHITE Race, or to think because God made them BLACK they were inferior! I wanted my sons to learn Math, Science, Physics, Chemistry, and a curriculum in school which would prepare them for the challenges of the future which they would encounter as they progressed through their adult lives!

That period of planing & preparation was used to catapult them into their chosen careers which helped them ascertain the American dream. That allowed them to show their families what their priorities should be! That is called "Opportunity" & " Success!" One of my son's kids is graduating with an Engineering Degree soon!

I doubt very seriously after receiving that Engineering Degree that kid will be sympathetic to someone teaching her future children venomous hatred concerning SLAVES, Jim Crow, and Segregation! On top of being morally wrong, it would be a waste of precious time! Everybody should cherish this nation and the freedoms we have been blessed with, for at the rate Biden, AOC, OMAR, CLYBURN, & Pelosi are going, we might not have it long! They all are Socialist/Communist Sympathizers, and are out to destroy America as we know it! It has gotten tight on the HILL in DC! Two people are standing in between this country being destroyed or hanging on as a Democratic Nation! It is time to get real & pull your heads out of the sand. All Hell is Going to Break Loose If These People Are Not Stopped!

David Hardee

Some in this thread of comments profess the CRT (a theory) is a wonderful creation that makes society a petri dish where progressives, lawyers and the media can tinker by spreading their reimaginations. CRT along with the other reimaginations deserve being deposited on the garbage dump with history's other failed social engineering and socialist debacles, i.e. The Communist Soviet Union, Venezuela's Socialist Government, and will soon include the still floundering socialist Great Society which ballooned the swamp of Federal Bureaucracies size and usurped the control over health, education and welfare of the citizens.

Conjecture, but a reasonable conclusion is that any article authored by an active member of the Democratic Party, and a professor that was tutoring our country's youth by projecting a liberal based conclusion education is worthy of critique. Also, instead of projecting a conclusion all professor should stimulate the pupils to be a CFT (Critical Free Thinker).

Critique of article:

Waddell’s article waddles through the, at that time, (250 years ago) every citizen’s identity with the Constitutions appropriateness. These current day pretenders to understand the intentions of 250 year ago citizens, as being wicked racist, is a concoction that is used today - 250 year later - to claim victimization as a civic crisis requiring CRT adoption. To that CRT adoption Mr. Waddell says, “The purpose of this discussion isn’t to attempt to explain or defend the theory (critical race theory), but to question why Republicans in a number of state legislatures, including Texas, has sought to pass laws both proscribing and prohibiting what may be taught in the classroom and what the impact on public education may be in the future.”

Waddell then does some statistical evaluation to support his theoretical proclamation which Waddell sums up his entire recitation by saying “Just because a particular party is in the majority today doesn’t mean that it will continue to be in the majority forever.” or specifically Waddell’s conclusion is, “So what, let time fix it. “

This statement by Waddell describes CRT saying, “the critical race theory is a boogeyman exercise.” Bogeyman definition is "an imaginary evil spirit, phantasm." The author considers the threat of CRT as ,”so what” , ridiculously.

CRT is a dangerous imaginary evil that needs to be examined and exposed for its corruption. "CRT originated in the mid-1970s in the writings of several American legal scholars," - "CRT concept is intersectionality, which emphasizes that race can intersect with other identities (such as gender and class) to produce complex combinations of power and advantage." - Given these are the WHO and WHY of CRT it is obvious that lawyers wanted to broaden their concepts to create litigation on the relationship of the minorities to the established traditional democratic standard that majority rules. CRT segments society into every conceivable victim that is able to be or perceive it is an oppressed minority. Any portion of society that is not represented/included in the power of the majority will using CRT be able to claim themselves victims and lawyers can, based on CRT, battle the natural order of majority rule, as being discrimination. This CRT distortion of the universal natural order fact is an attack on NATURE’S creation of the way order is. A majority in a society does not have a prerogative to NOT be the biggest and most powerful.

The majority, in an intellectual human society, can be benevolent, Both benevolence and evolution is what is happening in the USA. The benevolence by the majority, is what has made the USA the greatest hope of humanity. The evolution from a density of traditional to progressive is occurring naturally in the USA. But this CRT theory is pressing to make a majority from all those minorities perceiving victimization. The multitude of victimized minorities have gathered in the progressive liberal Democratic Big Tent is a cabal of mishmash squabbling minorities and crated a “tower of babel” and bane of any form of order in the USA.

Natural order is a product of the reality that is an undeniable value across the universe and every element including all the species on earth - including even irrational humans - that the bigger and more powerful - individually or collectively is privileged. That natural order occurs across the universe, and is and always will be, practiced by every species on earth. Because it is so prominent it has no need to have been codified. The planets and animals have conducted themselves in concurrency that the bigger and or more powerful will have privileges, forever.

Humans instinctively perform in accordance with natural order and then intellectually modify the natural order with a logical scale of distribution of privileges under what is called a pecking order. CRT is a construct of convoluted imaginary logic effort to quantify, qualify and codify (make laws) the pecking order as unlawful discrimination even if the victims claim is an irrational perception.

CRT is another intention to segment society perpetrated under a motto of “justice” that has killed "E Pluribus Unum".

CRT is only one among many of the insidious movements pushed upon the American society by the Democratic Party’s progressive liberals. The Democratic Party’s progressive liberals gave genesis to the mantras and movements they propagated including -( BLM that evolved into riots and Defund Police, to remove statues, to take a knee, To claiming racist, the names of schools and sport teams, to Systemic White Superiority, etc.,) - each of which is causing chaos and segregation in our society. Radical liberals created gender dysphoria movements that attack traditional pronouns as discriminations, push the WOK debacle and are so evil they corrupt childhood by introducing sexual perversions into their innocent lives.

There is brilliance in the cabal of progressive liberal’s insidious plan. Alinsky and Nietzsche would praise the timing of using” President Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008. “ to increase the social chaos and destroy what was once the “great Hope of Humanity.”

It requires aggressive renunciation of the progressive liberals social diseases that these radicals have been infecting our society with for the USA to restore the status of being the “Best Hope of Humanity.

David Hardee

Here is exactly what, President Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

This statement by Rahm gives a gist of what is fomenting in the progressive liberal agenda.

Gary Scoggin

The first time I heard that quote it was attributed to Republican campaign operative Lee Atwater.

Carlos Ponce

Similar quotes

"Never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis" Niccolo Machiavelli. But he probably wrote it in 16th Century Italian.

Winston Churchill - "Never waste the opportunity offered by a good crisis. A crisis energizes the electorate trying out many new ideas in a frantic effort to find something that works."

Lee Atwater? No reference.

David Hardee

Gary produced a “gotcha.” Should I have listed all those that ever used that phrase, Gary?

Well let’s consider why it is appropriate to use Rahm’s mimicking Alinsky’s quote in the context/theme of my comment.

I said, “There is brilliance in the cabal of progressive liberal’s insidious plan. Alinsky and Nietzsche would praise the timing of using” President Obama's chief of staff Rahm Emanuel famously said in 2008. ““You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." This statement by Rahm gives a gist of what is fomenting in the progressive liberal agenda.”

So Gary - this is the context for appropriately using Rahm’s quote - “There is brilliance in the cabal of progressive liberal’s insidious plan.” It is appropriate to quote Rahm and Obama as involved in the “cabal of progressives' liberals insidious plan.”

Additionally what make it appropriate is -

Obama taught students the Alinsky Principles when he was a professor at the University of Chicago Law School and even wrote about Alinsky in his books. Hillary Clinton wrote her college thesis on Alinsky’s writings. Therefore both Obama, Hillary were advocates of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, and by his quote Rahm is included as significant principles in the “cabal of progresssive liberals insidious plan.”, right?

These quips appeared in this thread -

Bailey quips “He sounds amazingly like another frequent GCDN commenter. (I won't mention his name, lest he appear.)” And Gary repeats, “He sounds amazingly like another frequent GCDN commenter. (I won't mention his name, lest he appear.)” - I was thinking much the same thing.” - wonder who it is that y’all feared to have to encounter?

Just curious.

David Hardee

Carlos Ponce

"What is Critical Race Theory?

An outgrowth of the European Marxist school of critical theory, critical race theory is an academic movement which seeks to link racism, race, and power."

https://criticalrace.org/what-is-critical-race-theory/

Marxist..... that explains why our liberal pundits like it.

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