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Texas Republicans Plot Path Toward Segregation
From CRT to DEI: The GOP's ongoing assault on Black and brown communities.
It’s difficult to convey my concern regarding certain realities I wish were untrue. While some may dismiss it as hyperbole, a comprehensive analysis of the GOP’s words and actions over the past few years provide undeniable evidence of the significant impact Republicans are currently having and the troubling positions they are espousing. I encourage you to look beyond my words and objectively asses the GOP’s actions for a clearer understanding.
When the Texas Legislature debated the DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) ban, Republicans made it clear it was about hiring more white faculty and fewer Black and brown professors. And the same day that SCOTUS overturned affirmative action, Representative Carl Tepper filed a bill to limit Black and brown college admissions.
While it appeared that the GOP’s actions aimed to push more whiteness into Texas colleges and universities, recent developments by Texas oligarchs prove what we all feared and show Republicans’ willingness to go so much further.
The DEI ban in action.
A few months ago, Texas A&M hired Professor Kathleen McElroy to revive its journalism program. McElroy, a respected journalist with a lengthy career, is also a Black woman. In June, the Texas Scorecard wrote a piece on her, saying that she focused on race and its intersection with journalism in her Ph.D. program.
The Texas Scorecard is a far-right, pink slime website that pushes narratives of white supremacy and Christian Nationalism and is funded by Texas Oligarch Tim Dunn.
As a result of the Texas Scorecard’s assassination piece, Conservatives feigned outrage and pressured the A&M board of reagents to recent their offer to McElroy. While Conservatives claimed that their hatred of Elroy was because she taught about intersectionality, it’s hard to ignore that she is the first person attacked under Texas’ new DEI ban, and she also happens to be Black.
McElroy told the Texas Tribune that she felt judged because of her she felt judged because of her race and gender. Considering Republicans explicitly stated that the DEI ban was about hiring more white professors, her feelings are valid.
Because of the Conservative outrage, led by the Texas Scorecard, Texas A&M rescinded her offer and replaced it with an offer of a one-year contract. She declined. Rightfully so. But this is only the beginning. Republicans want to end the employment of Black professors in Texas universities, and we should expect to see continuing attacks on Black and brown faculty in the coming months and years.
And after nearly 60 years, Conservatives have finally found a way around Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. But, by labeling Black and brown employees as DEI hires, they’ve crafted a go-around for this long-standing legislation.
This week, they’ve expanded their focus beyond the faculty of Texas universities and colleges and turned it toward the Texas Department of Transportation. They’ve allegedly uncovered a “woke agenda” within the Department of Transportation, pointing to a flier highlighting efforts to hire more diverse staff.
The actions of the Texas Scorecard matter because of their influence and the significant funding they receive from some of the wealthiest individuals in Texas. The financial backing provided by these donors not only empowers the Texas Scorecard but also directly supports the Republican legislators who are instrumental in crafting and passing discriminatory laws.
The financial support from Texas oligarchs such as Tim Dunn and others gives the Texas Scorecard a platform and amplifies its influence within the political landscape. The ability to shape public opinion through media and propaganda strengthens their grip on the narrative and allows them to push their agenda forward with substantial resources at their disposal.
By targeting Black and brown government employees, the Texas Scorecard signals a worrisome expansion of its discriminatory agenda, which threatens to undermine the principles of equality and fairness. Over the next year, we should expect to see people of color removed from their jobs as government employees as the far-right continues to ramp up their attacks under the guise of DEI and CRT.
Remember last year when the GOP called Ketanji Brown Jackson “Critical Race Theory?”
During the 2021 legislative cycle, Texas Republicans banned so-called CRT (critical race theory) from being taught in Texas schools. They were screaming at the top of their lungs about how Black history was “Critical Race Theory,” and we had to ban it from schools because they were afraid it would make their white children feel bad.
After the GOP in Texas banned CRT, Republicans evolved their position from saying CRT was about Black history to calling Black people “Critical Race Theory.” In 2022, this was concrete proof that the Republican Party’s Critical Race Theory hysteria was about demonizing Black people.
During this year's DEI debate, politicians and talking heads referred to DEI as an extension of CRT. And what Texas Republicans did this month, by dehumanizing Professor Kathleen McElroy and forcing A&M to rescind their offer, is further proof that the GOP’s actions are not only targeting specific policies like CRT or DEI but are part of a broader agenda to undermine and discriminate against Black and brown individuals.
The GOP hasn’t been the Party of Lincoln since the Southern Strategy. This is not what a post-racial America looks like.
Banning Black and brown students from Texas universities will be on the agenda in the next legislative session.
During the DEI debate, Senator Brandon Creighton made it clear that once SCOTUS overturns affirmative action, the Texas legislature will focus on reducing the number of students of color admitted into Texas colleges.
On the same day that SCOTUS overturned affirmative action, the Missouri Attorney General, Andrew Bailey, fired off a letter to school leaders insisting that all programs that so much as ‘hinted’ at racial preference must immediately stop. And in the wake of the SCOTUS decision and Bailey’s letter, the University of Missouri announced it would immediately eliminate all race-based scholarships.
That’s right, Missouri Republicans are eliminating college scholarships for Black students. And even though this is Missouri, not Texas, you have to know that what one Republican Party does, they all eventually follow.
If the Republican Party isn’t stopped, within the next few years, they would eliminate Black and brown faculty in colleges, employees of color in the Texas government, and a diverse student body.
We are going backward and going backward at a rapid pace. I wish it could tell you that it ends there.
This week, Texas Republicans are in Austin discussing ways to implement a school voucher program.
Greg Abbott made “school choice” one of his top priorities for the 88th Legislature, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stated they were willing to have multiple special sessions to get a “school choice” bill passed. The House Select Committee on Educational Opportunity and Enrichment met this week to consider the three charges given to the committee by Dade Phelan.
Ensuring all Texas youths enjoy equal educational opportunity and the freedom to obtain a quality education, regardless of circumstance.
Improving outcomes for Texas public school students and meaningfully supporting educators and educational institutions.
Modernizing assessment and accountability measures for Texas schools educating K-12 students.
The issue that took up most of the two-day hearing was vouchers. They heard from multiple panels on both sides of the issue on the potential impact of vouchers on public schools and student achievement.
In a recent commentary from the San Antonio Report, they explained why private school vouchers are modern-day segregation. Vouchers will worsen the wealth gaps existing in Texas schools, and they used real-world examples of how vouchers have already caused segregation.
Another 2021 report from the Washington Post explains the history of school vouchers and how “school choice” was developed to protect segregation and abolish public schools.
The school voucher issue has been discussed and disseminated by dozens of reputable sources, each pointing to how “school choice” always leads to segregation.
In Texas, 70% of Black and 75% of Hispanic elementary students live in poverty, as opposed to only 42% of white elementary students. The various voucher programs that Republicans have proposed include having the parents pay the total cost of private school tuition, then be reimbursed, or having the state pay for 75% of the tuition, leaving the parent to pay the other 25%. In either case, people who live in poverty will be unable to afford the program since Black and brown students live in poverty more than white students. It’s most likely that the majority of students who can afford it will be white.
From kindergarten to the university and into the workforce, Republicans are plotting a path toward racial segregation in our communities.
Only 33% of children born in Texas in 2020 were white. 48% were Latino, another 13% were Black, and 5% were Asian. Texas is now a majority-minority state. According to U.S. Census data, Hispanics are the largest demographic group in Texas, outnumbering non-Hispanic white people for the first time since the mid-19th century.
Although Anglos (white, non-Hispanic) people only make up 38% of the population in Texas, during the 2022 election, they made up 62% of the vote. That was higher than in the 2020 election when Anglos made up 60% of the vote.
White fear of demographic change is a powerful psychological force. The increasing diversity in Texas has made white Republicans more hostile toward the changing demographics. The reason that they are so focused on turning back the hands of time and reimplementing segregation is the fear that they will lose power.
White Texas Republicans live and breathe the white replacement theory and are aggressively taking steps to fight against it. The threat of demographic change and the loss of status that comes with it is provoking them to want to hunker down.
The only way to end this madness is for Texas Black and Hispanic communities to take back their political power. Until they do so, it will only get worse.
We all need to support and elevate diverse political leaders willing to go head-to-head with the white supremacist government that currently breathes down our necks.
Black, brown, and their white allies outnumber Republicans in Texas. I don’t have to tell you that for you to know it. You see it in your schools, jobs, neighborhoods, and towns. Texas has the potential to be everything we already know and love as a state, but we’re living under minority rule, and the minority happens to be the people who want to hurt us most.
We outnumber them in every way. All we have to do is show up and vote. Vote in every single election, vote early and vote in person.