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Critical race theory is essential to public education

Critical+race+theory+is+essential+to+public+education

Lt. Gov Dan Patrick has stated that he wants to end tenure for professors who continue to teach Critical Race Theory (CRT). This is not the first time that the lieutenant governor has attacked CRT in public school systems, as he has joined Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in supporting legislation that would remove CRT from public K-12 education. 

In a tweet on Feb.15 Patrick said “I will not stand by and let looney Marxist (University of Texas) professors poison the minds of young students with critical race theory. We banned it in publicly funded K-12 and we will ban it in publicly funded higher ed. That’s why we created the Liberty Institute at UT.”   

The fact that the lieutenant governor thinks this has anything to do with Marxism goes to show he has never talked to an actual professional about CRT, 

Critical race theory is a college level law study that aims to understand why racism seems to continue to be embedded into systems in America through legislation such as redlining. It is not teaching that someone of the Caucasian race is inferior as some conservatives believe, but it does state that race is not a biological issue but a social construct. The topic of race, and how to talk about it in classrooms, has continued to be a taboo subject in most public schools. As someone who went through the entire public school system in Texas, I can assure anyone who is scared that CRT is being taught in classrooms that it simply isn’t. CRT is a college-level concept!  

What the lieutenant governor is trying to implement in higher education is a direct violation of academic freedom. On Jul. 30, 2021, The Prospector published an article on CRT where Socio-Cultural Foundations of Education Director and Chair Cesar A. Rossato, Ph.D., talked about the importance of academic freedom.   

“I was hired to teach CRT. Now you are passing laws trying to silence professors from doing their work – their scientific work. It is a violation of academic freedom, as you are trying to block people from doing their research,” Rossato said in the article.  

The idea that a professor could lose tenure, something that is seen as the highest form of academic achievement in your respective university. Because they chose to educate students about the truth of the foundations that America was built upon and continue to affect people of color like myself and my classmates attending UTEP today. As students, those of us who attend this university to grow in our pursuits of academia have a right to learn about topics such as CRT. With that being said, I call on UTEP President Heather Wilson to speak out against this trespass on academic freedom and ensure that professors are protected.  

 

Alberto Silva Fernandez is the Editor in-chief and may be reached at [email protected]; @albert.sf08 on Instagram; @albertosilva_f on Twitter 

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About the Contributor
Alberto Silva Fernandez
Alberto Silva Fernandez, Contributor/Photographer
Alberto Silva Fernandez is a sophomore, majoring in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a photographer for The Prospector and freelances covering the borderland. When he isn’t covering events Albert likes to study politics, play video games, and listen to music.
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Critical race theory is essential to public education