Christ, Texas.

Florida is pretty bad, and Arizona is working its way down the rankings, but I’m going to say it: Texas is the very worst. It’s a shithole state run by horrible people. I’m sorry if you live there, you’re either going to have to flee or elect better representatives.

The latest example of Texan villainy: their house of representatives passed a law to silence teachers.

Republicans in the Texas House passed a bill Tuesday that effectively bans public school teachers from talking about racism, white supremacy or current news events.

The bill, which is being fast-tracked to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to sign into law, states that social studies and civics teachers aren’t allowed to discuss the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or the idea that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”

It also states that social studies and civics teachers “may not be compelled to discuss current events or widely debated and currently controversial issues of public policy or social affairs” as part of a course.

Oh, also…

The legislation also states that teachers don’t have to take professional training ― like cultural proficiency and equity training ― if it makes them feel any “discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” because of their race or gender.

If you’re a white man, you can’t be allowed to feel any guilt about your race and gender’s role in American history. At least it’s something that they know they should feel shame, so they have to pass laws to prevent anyone from confronting them.

Just this week, Philosophy Tube posted an appropriate video on ignorance and the state sponsorship thereof. She’s very timely.

Speaking of fleeing Texas, I have one son who has been living there…but he’s getting out this very week to move to the much more progressive state of Washington. A wise move — and I really am sorry for all of you stuck down there in America’s rectum.


  1. William George says

    There’s theory floating about that one of the reasons the Qpublicans are going for these big legislative overreaches is because they can see the writing on the wall for them as both a cultural movement and as an electable party. It’s also why they’ve been pushing these new Jim Crow laws. They’re Hail Marys.

    I’m too much of a pessimist to believe this since it took an attempted coup to turn them and their voters even mildly against Trumpism, but if it’s a sign of a dying animal lashing out then it couldn’t happen to a better monster.

  2. lumipuna says

    Is there a town named Christ in Texas? Probably several, actually.

    See also, “Corpus Christi on a stick!”

  3. raven says

    Not the only law passed by horrible people in power.

    Texas “heartbeat bill” becomes law, banning abortions as … › 2021/05/18 › texas-hear…

    4 days ago — The bill bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat has been detected. It includes cases where the woman was impregnated …

    Texas effectively banned all abortions 4 days ago.
    This drops the time for an abortion down to 6 weeks, often before a woman even knows she is pregnant.

    Of course, this isn’t legal for now.
    If the US Supreme court overturns Roe versus Wade in a few weeks, which is quite possible, then it will be the law in Texas.

  4. tacitus says

    @1: Or, critical race theory is just the next in a long line of targets Republicans have used to gin up the outrage on the right to get their base to turn out at the polls and thwart this new existential threat to the nation.

    It’s working too. Just mention CRT in conservative circles these days, and they might consider you the spawn of Satan.

  5. says

    “…if you live there, you’re either going to have to flee or …”
    Funny you should say that, ’cause we just did!
    Just finishing our ten days of quarantine* in the UK!

    Interestingly our dog didn’t need quarantine, which is as it should be.

  6. kome says

    Ta-Nehisi Coates had a segment recently on MSNBC’s Cross Connection discussing the twisted need for white people (white men in particular) to mythologize the past, portraying white people and only white people as saviors and only as saviors, and how right-wing white culture serves to protect that mythology at all costs: link

  7. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Jade Helm 21 should include drone-strikes on gun shows terrorist arms depots in the Ungovernable Tribal Region of Outer Dumbfuckistan, formerly known as Tejas.

  8. raven says

    Texas abortion bill proposes death penalty for women … › politics › politics-news › te…

    Apr 10, 2019 — Tony Tinderholt proposed a bill that would ban abortion in the state and charge women who have abortions with homicide, which can carry the …

    The cruelty is the point.
    And nothing shows xian power like killing a few hundred thousand people.

    This even makes sense. If a zygote is a person, then abortion is murder 1 homicide.
    There are ca. 54,000 abortions in Texas a year.
    Which means the state of Texas would be killing up to…54,000 women a year.

    It’s all so very xian pro-life.

  9. Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD says

    Technically 6 weeks after last period. Which is not the same as having a fetus that is 6 weeks old, and really really sucks for those of us with PCOS or other conditions with irregular periods.

    How long before people start lying to their doctors about when their last period was out of desperation?

  10. raven says

    Strangely enough, a state run by horrible people is selling very well.
    It doesn’t look like much of anyone is taking PZ’s advice here.
    The population of Texas grew by 4 million in the last decade. This is a lot.

    Texas gains 4M residents, 2 congressional seats in Census › article › health-census-2020-electi…

    Apr 26, 2021 — AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas’ torrid growth over the past decade is paying off with a major boost in political clout — two additional …

  11. tacitus says

    Central Texas had four out of the top ten fastest growing counties in the entire country last decade, many of them transplants from California. With major tech companies like Apple and Google continuing to increase their footprint in Austin, that growth isn’t slowing down any time soon.

    The result has been a bluing of the electorate in Central Texas, but there’s still a long way to go to defeat the entrenched Republican majority. When I got here in 1996, Texas was being projected to be a Democratic state by 2020 — then it was 2030 — but it’s going to take longer than that.

  12. davidc1 says

    @5 Don’t know if you are planning to stay in the UK for good ,I would think there are better places to flee to .
    England is turning into a nation of vile spiteful mean petty racist moronic cretins .
    Some of it’s citizens are so thick they are too thick to realise how think they are ,they narrowly voted to leave the
    World’s biggest trading block ,right on our door step ,and because we are now out of the EU ,the young Europeans who used to pick out fruit and veg ,can no longer come over here ,so it is going to rot in the fields .
    The farmers and fishermen who are suffering at the moment because of britshit voted to bring this on themselves
    And as well as having the US forcing their chorine washed chicken on us ,the aussies are going to send us hormone injected beef .,yum yum .
    Plus for the last 11 years the bastard tories have been cutting public spending ,and we have a lying lazy cretin of a prime minister ,I scoop things out of my cats litter box that would make a better job of running the country .
    Sorry to sound like a misery guts ,welcome to the UK .

  13. drew says

    Consider where the quotes were in this:
    aren’t allowed to discuss the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,”
    and note that “discuss the concept” wasn’t quoted. That smells fishy. And the source is HuffPo, so not entirely credible. What was the actual text and what did it mean? The HuffPo piece reads like teachers are disallowed from discussing racism and sexism, but I bet their curricula include those topics.

    Also, what kind of training does not involve discomfort? Is it even training then?

  14. kome says

    @14 – that’s usually because the legal technical language of bills makes it hard to do full direct quotes in a news article to get at meaning.

    For instance, here is an exact quote from the bill that corresponds to that section of the HuffPo article (found here:
    “(4) a teacher, administrator, or other employee of a
    state agency, school district, or open-enrollment charter school
    may not:
    (A) be required to engage in training,
    orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex
    stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex; and
    (B) require or make part of a course the concept
    (i) one race or sex is inherently superior
    to another race or sex;
    (ii) an individual, by virtue of the
    individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or
    oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously;”

    To me, that does seem to strongly imply that teachers are prohibited from discussing the concept. Basically, using ellipses to get at the point: “a teacher… may not… make part of a course the concept that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex.”

    It also explicitly forbids teaching the demonstrably proven scientific notion that people have and are motivated by thoughts that are not fully conscious and that some of those implicit thoughts/motivations may in fact ultimately be racist, sexist, or otherwise oppressive in nature.

    This is, as is usual for Republicans, an anti-science bill as much as it is an anti-history bill.

  15. brucegee1962 says

    We are coming up on the centennial of the Scopes Monkey Trial, and what better way to celebrate than with a rerun?
    I’m trying to imagine how this law could be tested. The sad way would be some smug conservative student secretly recording a disliked teacher. The brave way would be a state-wide teach-in, a day when progressive teachers across the state all agreed to put their jobs on the line to present the same lesson on the same day about some unpalatable part of our nation’s history. That would provide all kinds of education.

  16. raven says

    This is, as is usual for Republicans, an anti-science bill as much as it is an anti-history bill.

    It’s also a thought police bill.
    George Orwell would be laughing and appalled if he was still alive.

  17. luka says

    These are the very same people who whine, and whine, and whine about cancel culture, and about how sad left-wing snowflakes are when they add trigger warnings.

  18. says

    @#1, William George:

    They’ll get away with it, because the Democrats are controlled by centrists who are unwilling to confront them about it. Does anybody else remember how we were warned about right-wing militias back in the 90s, and the Clinton administration bravely did… nothing about it. Then under Obama we were warned that right-wing, largely white nationalist terrorists were a much larger threat than any other form of anti-government violence, and the result was… nothing. Cliven Bundy did an early test run for the 1/6 riot and got kid-gloves treatment and basically no punishment (but the national guard was called out to beat down the Ferguson protests, and Obama was okay with that). Biden will obviously do his best to put his head in the sand and pretend the wheels are not falling off the bus, because that’s all his kind knows how to do, the same way he backs Israel unilaterally in the face of growing opposition because that’s the only foreign policy he understands.

    @#17, brucegee1962:

    You mean the Scopes Monkey Trial which made everybody laugh at conservative Christians, but which in fact they won, which meant that they continued their shenanigans for years thereafter? Yeah, that sounds like the sort of thing the US is going to repeat.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    The Vicar @21: History as ‘interpreted’ by the monomaniacally blinkered, simplistic and clueless. You and Susan Montgomery should start a club.

  20. says

    My high school civics class happened at the same time as the Clinton impeachment. No Republicans objected back then.

  21. Pierce R. Butler says

    kome @ # 16: … [No] training, orientation, or therapy that presents any form of race or sex stereotyping or blame on the basis of race or sex; and (B) require or make part of a course the concept that: (i) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (ii) an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously …

    Sounds like Critical Race Theory and radical feminism are fully in the clear, by those criteria.

  22. kome says


    Not quite. You can’t teach about racism without teaching the concept that “one race… is inherently superior to another race…”
    The text of the language is not restricted to prohibiting teaching a concept in order to endorse or promote it, it is broadly about prohibiting teaching about a concept entirely.

  23. Pierce R. Butler says

    kome @ # 25: … prohibiting teaching about a concept entirely.

    I look forward to Escherian convolutions of words and logic from the majority in SCOTUS when this law arrives in their laps.

  24. chigau (違う) says

    This means that anyone who was trained as a “teacher” in Texas is unemployable everywhere else on Earth..

  25. R. L. Foster says

    No need to over analyze this. My take is that this is some scary shit.

  26. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    The bill, which is being fast-tracked to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to sign into law, states that social studies and civics teachers aren’t allowed to discuss the concept that “one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” or the idea that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”

    The embolded can be interpreted as going after the standard trope of blaming all Muslims for the actions of Bin Laden, and all Asians for Pearl Harbor, etc.
    We know it is a subterfuge to avoid any discussion of reparations for the descendants of slaves in America.

    The first part is carefully phrased to make it sound that it is forbidding the avocation of white supremacy. It is a clever disguise forbidding discussing any aspect of it as an awful concept. IE don’t even try discussing how awful it is. <– NB: discussion is distinct from teaching

  27. birgerjohansson says

    Never mind fleeing Texas to Washington. I have heard good things about Canada.
    And if that place get filled up I recommend the European Union (or Norway, which is technically not a member state but closely integrated).

    Having followed the situation in USA since Nixon, I tend to agree with the Vicar. The Dems turned their coats to neoliberalism during Reagan and never really turned back. Trying to turn the ship around in the four years until next presidential election is not possible, so you will get another too-small stimulus package (remember Obama and change we can believe in?) that disappoints the voters down the road. The GoP bloodsuckers will rise from the grave and deliver a new Trump.
    (Please prove me wrong. I hate being right)

    One small glimmer of hope is the appalling incompetence of the current batch of republicans. Several ‘safe’ states are up for grabs and in 2022 people will still recall the shitstorm of 2020. This can to some degree offset the voter intimidation tactics by corrupt states.

  28. says

    Someone on Twitter mentioned the Discovery Institute in this context recently, so I looked into it a bit more.

    Boston Review – “The War on Critical Race Theory”:

    …A small circle of conservative outlets appears to be responsible for the bulk of the messaging. One of them is City Journal, a voice of the Manhattan Institute long committed to defending and defining the conservative and anti-anti-racist values of the day. The Heritage Foundation, decades-long coordinator of attacks on progressive critical thought, provides the cement, insisting that CRT “seeks to undermine the foundations of American society”—implicitly admitting the racism at the country’s basis. The groups Campus Reform and Turning Point USA weaponize these criticisms to spy on faculty and students across the country they take to be too liberal for the national good. Freedom of expression is cancelled for all but those shouting their agreement with them. National Review gets in on the act by publishing a dismissive review of what they take to be the founding texts of whiteness studies—three decades after those texts were published. These are contemporary extensions of the practices conducted by David Horowitz’s Freedom Center over the last couple of decades; all that is new are the terms of indictment. The critics, NGOs and politicians alike, are mobilizing the very tactics for which they excoriate CRT.

    City Journal has published a growing number of articles attacking CRT, many by [Christopher] Rufo—a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and former director of the Center on Wealth and Poverty at the Discovery Institute, best known for its unstinting advocacy of intelligent design. Rufo pits a self-styled disenfranchised right against a supposedly out-of-control government set to impose dogma on the unsuspecting…

    It would be interesting to look through these organizations’ past literature on the supposed “agendas” of Marxists, secular humanists, evolutionists, environmentalists, etc. I suspect the tropes have remained largely constant regardless of the specific bugbear of the moment.

  29. magistramarla says

    So very glad that we fled Texas for California two years ago!
    Two of our daughters got out long ago.
    I’m also glad that one daughter and her family have a plan for fleeing soon.
    I wish that my son and his family would do the same, but he’s fairly entrenched in his job in Houston.
    I’m glad that they are much more involved in his gorgeous wife’s Mexican culture there than the good-old-boy Texas culture.
    I have no hope at all for the youngest daughter, since she married a Trump supporter and is involved in that culture – sigh.

  30. magistramarla says

    I taught in Texas, and I know that teachers have to be very, very careful about what they say or do in front of students.
    I was once reprimanded by the principal because I returned a student’s high-five on the day after President Obama was elected. Apparently, that offended a super-conservative student and her busy-body mother complained.
    I also saw a science teacher being harassed by parents “observing” in his classroom because he taught evolution matter-of-factually. The same thing happened to his wife, who was teaching in a middle school. Their “contracts were not renewed”, and they promptly left for another state.
    Most teachers there just “teach to the test” and don’t make waves. Classroom discussion and critical thinking is frowned upon. The students are just expected to regurgitate the acceptable answers on the standardized tests.

  31. GerrardOfTitanServer says

    Let me add on one more thing that I didn’t see discussed yet. I might be disagreeing with others, but I think it is correct to ban the teaching that people are responsible for the wrongs of their parents or other ancestors. No one is responsible for the sins of their parents or other ancestors. Ex: original sin is an abominable concept. Ex: Reparations for slavery is immoral.

    Having said that, everyone is responsible for fixing problems that exist today in their society no matter the historical cause. “All it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.”

    The framing is very important because it will lead to similar but different conclusions. The framing is also important because I guess that the proper framing will be less off-putting to certain groups and make it more likely for the necessary changes to happen.

  32. says

    Don’t be so quick transferring to European Union – Europe is much more diverse than United States and some parts of it could stand toe to toe with Texas.
    Do you want to hear about country where president died in plane crash in Russia 11 years ago and currently rulling party claims it was a russian assasination? Special comittee “has a proof” because plane on photos looked like boiled sausage that broke due to internal perssure while heating.
    Country ruined from behind the scenes by twin of the deceased president, with nepotism being practically open, localities getting money depending on who the population voted for, useless projects started only to get money for politicians friends and helpers. Country with highest excess death rate in Europe during covid, country which opens new coal mines and declares coal as strategic resource. Place where localities declare to be “lgbt ideology free zone”, politicians choose judges and procurators and openly attack those who don’t want to cooperate.
    Country where in the height of 3rd covid wave above mentioned authoritarian pupeteer mentioned that instead aborted deformed fetuses it would be better to birth them and baptize them, so fetal defects are no longer allowed as a reason to perform abortion – now only rape, incest and life of the mother is acceptable cause to allow abortion.

    Yeah, even if European Union there are worse places to live than Texas.