‘An Understanding of the 1619 Project’ Cannot be Required According to Proposed Texas Law

Here is a portion of the official bill analysis filed on July 15, 2021 (first special session of the Texas Legislatue), in support of S.B. 3 “Relating to certain curriculum in public schools, including certain instructional requirements and prohibitions.”

(4) a teacher, administrator, or other employee of a state agency, school district, or open-enrollment charter school is prohibited from:

(A) requiring or making part of a course inculcation in 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;

(iii) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of the individual’s race or sex;

(iv) an individual’s moral character, standing, or worth is necessarily determined by the individual’s race or sex;

(v) 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;

(vi) an individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of the individual’s race or sex;

(vii) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race;

(viii) the advent of slavery in the territory that is now the United States constituted the true founding of the United States; or

(ix) with respect to their relationship to American values, slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality;

(B) teaching, instructing, or training any administrator, teacher, or staff member of a state agency, school district, or open enrollment charter school to adopt a concept listed under Paragraph (A); or

(C) requiring an understanding of the 1619 Project.

Editor’s Note: Here is a self-description of the 1619 Project from the New York Times Magazine:

“The 1619 Project began with the publication, in August 2019, of a special issue of The New York Times Magazine containing essays on different aspects of contemporary American life, from mass incarceration to rush-hour traffic, that have their roots in slavery and its aftermath. Each essay takes up a modern phenomenon, familiar to all, and reveals its history. The first, by the staff writer Nikole Hannah-Jones (from whose mind this project sprang), provides the intellectual framework for the project and can be read as an introduction.

“Alongside the essays, you will find 17 literary works that bring to life key moments in American history. These works are all original compositions by contemporary black writers who were asked to choose events on a timeline of the past 400 years. . . .

“In addition to these elements, we partnered with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture to create a brief visual history of slavery. That is as good a place to start as any.

“A word of warning: There is gruesome material in these stories, material that readers will find disturbing. That is, unfortunately, as it must be. American history cannot be told truthfully without a clear vision of how inhuman and immoral the treatment of black Americans has been. By acknowledging this shameful history, by trying hard to understand its powerful influence on the present, perhaps we can prepare ourselves for a more just future.

“That is the hope of this project.”

Editor’s Note: Under the proposed Texas law, here are some things that will be required:

(h-2) Requires SBOE, in adopting the essential knowledge and skills for the social studies curriculum for each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12, to adopt essential knowledge and skills that develop each student’s civic knowledge, including:

(1) an understanding of:

(A) the fundamental moral, political, and intellectual foundations of the American experiment in self-government;

(B) the history, qualities, traditions, and features of civic engagement in the United States;

(C) the structure, function, and processes of government institutions at the federal, state, and local levels;

(D) the founding documents of the United States, including:

(i) the Declaration of Independence;

(ii) the United States Constitution;

(iii) the Federalist Papers, including Essays 10 and 51;

(iv) excerpts from Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America;

(v) the transcript of the first Lincoln-Douglas debate; and

(vi) the writings of the founding fathers of the United States; and

(E) the history and importance of:

(i) the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. Section 2000a et seq.);

(ii) the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Nineteenth Amendments to the United State Constitution;

(iii) the complexity of the historic relationship between Texas and Mexico; and

(iv) the diversity of the Hispanic population in Texas;

(2) the ability to:

(A) analyze and determine the reliability of information sources;

(B) formulate and articulate reasoned positions;

(C) understand the manner in which local, state, and federal government works and operates through the use of simulations and models of governmental and democratic processes;

(D) actively listen and engage in civil discourse, including discourse with those with different viewpoints;

(E) responsibly participate as a citizen in a constitutional democracy; and

(F) effectively engage with governmental institutions at the local, state, and federal levels; and

(3) an appreciation of the importance and responsibility of participating in civic life, a commitment to the United States and its form of government, and a commitment to free speech and civil discourse.

QED: “The controversy surrounding CRT is not about the verifiability of its claims or the accuracy of attributing social inequities to anti-Black racism. The debate over CRT is at its heart the assertion, through censorship and punishment, that Black people do not—and should not have—the ability to indict the historical legacy of white civilization and the virtue of white individuals. Insofar as the dissent of Black peoples and other non-white victims of white violence become popularly endorsed, the white managerial structures of American and British societies demand a limit on the discussion of racism and critiques of white societies. As such, the failures of Black people—their poverty, death, and under-representation—cannot be attributed to their history of exclusion and oppression, only their cultural inadequacies or personal failures. In short, the white managerial classes have decided that censorship is necessary to curb not only undesirable speech, but unwanted social empowerment among Black, Brown, and indigenous populations who seek a redistribution of power and economic resources. The effect of which is that Black peoples, despite the rhetoric of equality, remain subject and not a citizen within white democratic societies.”

–Tommy J. Curry. “Racism and the equality delusion: The real critical race theory.IAI News: An Online Magazine of Big Ideas, 16 July 2021.


Young American Scholars: Give Them Their $6.25B Already

By Greg Moses


While small business owners and individual workers are well aware that the first round of fiscal stimulus is not enough to keep them going through the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s college students are just now discovering that they are owed $6.25 billion in federal emergency relief funding to help them cover “food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care.”

When they do the math, of course, 20 million college students will see that the money nobody is rushing to give them will evaporate in a week, just like the small business loans did. Maybe it will be this week, if the Department of Education is finally up to it.

But there may be some value in the foot dragging and delayed disbursement. It may afford college students precious time to rise up.

Students are not friendless. Congress allocated those billions to students already, in the CARES Act of Mar. 27. And while the nation’s attention was drawn to more rapid velocities for small business loans and treasury checks, the American Council on Education (ACE), a coalition of high powered interest groups, in a letter of Apr. 9, already has asked leadership of the US House of Representatives to fund another $23 billion in emergency grants to students “as rapidly as possible.”

Still, students seem to be affected by an iron-lidded contagion of resignation across America’s campuses. The ACE letter to House leadership estimates that 25 percent fewer foreign students will return to American campuses, subtracting their share from an expected 15 percent decline in overall enrollment next Fall.

A Google search of things said by college presidents indicates that austerity, layoff, and furlough are the talking points that address our national campus crisis. If anyone is declaring war against the boring out of college life, they must be working in bunkers darker than the dark web. We would need weapons-grade bots to search out their buried dreams, and rescue them from delete.

If there is a college campus near you, then you see clusters of small businesses nearby, selling pizzas, sandwiches, t-shirts, coffee, tacos, or gas. Oh, and this electronic device that you are reading with right now? Try to tell the complete history of it without giving credit to some college campus.

Fighting off a 15 percent downdraft in college enrollment is not a battle unrelated to a war for economic vibrancy. As for national security or the future of democracy, it is exactly the time for forging swords into ploughshares. More college–not more bullets–must be the essential motto of fiscal planting this Spring. Keep the dedicated, contingent faculty who are already working cheaply. Fund bargain basement discounts for student tuition and fees.

Look to Twitter for what college students are saying, and you’ll find plenty of notice that treasury checks evade them. Perhaps their parents get a check, but even if the student is working at a job, they are often declared a tax dependent, which makes them ineligible for a treasury disbursement.

Or, as one student explained, their father is self-employed, which brings us back to the small business mess. Other students are children of workers who use ITIN numbers, not Social Security numbers. Their parents get laid off without any relief.

How many students are finishing the Spring semester while working to bring home food and rent to parents swallowed up by the pandemic sink hole? Based on stories that I’ve been told, you can say at least two percent, which comes to at least 400,000 families nationally. Those students should get hero’s pay and gold medals, God bless them, one and all.

This crisis should not catch us so stupid as to forget the value of higher ed. Along the many fronts that COVID-19 is attacking, it will be a dumb mistake to let it steal the breath of the Fall semester. Where are the educators who will impress the nation as the health care workers have done?

Time is short, but we must find creative strategies that will transform our college campuses overnight into fundable basic research projects, experimenting in higher forms of life. Give our students their $6.25 billion down payment already, and let’s get scrambling, stat, to make higher ed well again. Like the future depends on it.


Greg Moses is a member of the Texas Civil Rights Collaborative and editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review.


For the Record: Condemning President Trump’s Racist Comments

4 Congresswomen at press conference
Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) respond to the President’s racist comments.

Introduced in House (07/15/2019)

1st Session
H. RES. 489

Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

July 15, 2019

Mr. Malinowski(for himself, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. García of Illinois, Mr. Carbajal, Ms. Omar, Mr. Krishnamoorthi, Ms. Mucarsel-Powell, Mrs. Torres of California, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Ms. Tlaib, Ms. Pressley, Mr. Raskin, Ms. Jackson Lee, and Mr. Espaillat) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


Condemning President Trump’s racist comments directed at Members of Congress.

Whereas the Founders conceived America as a haven of refuge for people fleeing from religious and political persecution, and Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison all emphasized that the Nation gained as it attracted new people in search of freedom and livelihood for their families;

Whereas the Declaration of Independence defined America as a covenant based on equality, the unalienable Rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and government by the consent of the people;

Whereas Benjamin Franklin said at the Constitutional convention, “When foreigners after looking about for some other Country in which they can obtain more happiness, give a preference to ours, it is a proof of attachment which ought to excite our confidence and affection”;

Whereas President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists”;

Whereas immigration of people from all over the Earth has defined every stage of American history and propelled our social, economic, political, scientific, cultural, artistic, and technological progress as a people, and all Americans, except for the descendants of Native people and enslaved African Americans, are immigrants or descendants of immigrants;

Whereas the commitment to immigration and asylum has been not a partisan cause but a powerful national value that has infused the work of many Presidents;

Whereas American patriotism is defined not by race or ethnicity but by devotion to the Constitutional ideals of equality, liberty, inclusion, and democracy and by service to our communities and struggle for the common good;

Whereas President John F. Kennedy, whose family came to the United States from Ireland, stated in his 1958 book “A Nation of Immigrants” that “The contribution of immigrants can be seen in every aspect of our national life. We see it in religion, in politics, in business, in the arts, in education, even in athletics and entertainment. There is no part of our nation that has not been touched by our immigrant background. Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.”;

Whereas President Ronald Reagan in his last speech as President conveyed “An observation about a country which I love”;

Whereas as President Reagan observed, the torch of Lady Liberty symbolizes our freedom and represents our heritage, the compact with our parents, our grandparents, and our ancestors, and it is the Statue of Liberty and its values that give us our great and special place in the world;

Whereas other countries may seek to compete with us, but in one vital area, as “a beacon of freedom and opportunity that draws the people of the world, no country on Earth comes close”;

Whereas it is the great life force of “each generation of new Americans that guarantees that America’s triumph shall continue unsurpassed” through the 21st century and beyond and is part of the “magical, intoxicating power of America”;

Whereas this is “one of the most important sources of America’s greatness: we lead the world because, unique among nations, we draw our people — our strength — from every country and every corner of the world, and by doing so we continuously renew and enrich our nation”;

Whereas “thanks to each wave of new arrivals to this land of opportunity, we’re a nation forever young, forever bursting with energy and new ideas, and always on the cutting edge”, always leading the world to the next frontier;

Whereas this openness is vital to our future as a Nation, and “if we ever closed the door to new Americans, our leadership in the world would soon be lost”; and

Whereas President Donald Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) believes that immigrants and their descendants have made America stronger, and that those who take the oath of citizenship are every bit as American as those whose families have lived in the United States for many generations;

(2) is committed to keeping America open to those lawfully seeking refuge and asylum from violence and oppression, and those who are willing to work hard to live the American Dream, no matter their race, ethnicity, faith, or country of origin; and

(3) strongly condemns President Donald Trump’s racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color by saying that our fellow Americans who are immigrants, and those who may look to the President like immigrants, should “go back” to other countries, by referring to immigrants and asylum seekers as “invaders,” and by saying that Members of Congress who are immigrants (or those of our colleagues who are wrongly assumed to be immigrants) do not belong in Congress or in the United States of America.


Ramsey is Free!

After more than two decades in federal prison, Ramiro “Ramsey” Muñiz was granted a Petition for Compassionate Release on December 10, 2018.

Because of previous drug convictions, Muñiz was among the first to be subjected to the Three Strikes federal law that sent him to prison for life without parole in 1994. Due to his age, poor health, and constant community support, he has finally been released.

Muñiz was an outstanding student, athlete and attorney prior to his legal problems. In the early 70s he advocated for equality, justice and political representation on behalf of Chicanos, Mexican Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, and people of color. At the age of 30, he became one of the youngest candidates to ever run for Governor of Texas. Muñiz was instrumental in bringing positive social change and political representation for Mexican Americans throughout the Southwest, as is evident today. Due to this impact, the government brought multiple felony drug charges against him.

Dr. Andres G. Guerrero, Jr., author and graduate of Harvard Divinity School, has announced Freedom, Justice, and Love, his newest book about Ramsey Muñiz. He describes Muñiz’s life and the circumstances which led to this accomplished man serving a sentence of life without parole. Muñiz experienced pain, suffering, and illness which he continues to battle to this day.

Family members, congressmen, and supporters are grateful to God for his long-awaited release. For more information visit

[source: email from Ruben Botello, Esq., Mar. 11, 2019]


Texas Placed “Undue Burdens” on Women’s Right to Choose

Following are excerpts from the Syllabus of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in WHOLE WOMAN’S HEALTH v HELLERSTEDT. Some paragraph breaks have been added for readability:

In 2013, the Texas Legislature enacted House Bill 2 (H. B. 2), which contains the two provisions challenged here. The “admitting- privileges requirement” provides that a “physician performing or inducing an abortion . . . must, on the date [of service], have active admitting privileges at a hospital . . . located not further than 30 miles from the” abortion facility. The “surgical-center requirement” re- quires an “abortion facility” to me et the “minimum standards . . . for ambulatory surgical centers” under Texas law.

. . .

(b) The record contains adequate legal and factual support for the District Court’s conclusion that the admitting-privileges requirement imposes an “undue burden” on a woman’s right to choose. The requirement’s purpose is to help ensure that women have easy access to a hospital should complications arise during an abortion procedure, but the District Court, relying on evidence showing extremely low rates of serious complications before H. B. 2’s passage, found no significant health-related problem for the new law to cure.

The State’s record evidence, in contrast, does not show how the new law advanced the State’s legitimate interest in protecting women’s health when compared to the prior law, wh ich required providers to have a “working arrangement” with doctors who had admitting privileges.

At the same time, the record evidence indicates that the requirement places a “substantial obstacle” in a woman’s path to abortion. The dramatic drop in the number of c linics means fewer doctors, longer waiting times, and increased crowding. It also means a significant increase in the distance women of reproductive age live from an abor- tion clinic. Increased driving distances do not always constitute an “undue burden,” but they are an additional burden, which, when taken together with others caused by the closings, and when viewed in light of the virtual absence of any health benefit, help support the District Court’s “undue burden” conclusion.

(c) The surgical-center requirement also provides few, if any, health benefits for women, poses a substantial obstacle to women seeking abortions, and constitutes an “undue burden” on their constitutional right to do so. Before this requirement was enacted, Texas law required abortion facilities to meet a host of health and safety requirements that were policed by inspections and enforced through administrative, civil, and criminal penalties.

Record evidence shows that the new provision imposes a number of additional requirements that are generally unnecessary in the abortion clinic context; that it provides no benefit when complications arise in the context of a medical abortion, which would generally occur after a patient has left the facility; that abortions taking place in abortion facilities are safer than common procedures that occur in outside clinics not subject to Texas’ surgical-center requirements; and that Texas has waived no part of the requirement for any abortion clinics as it has done for nearly two-thirds of other covered facilities.

This evidence, along with the absence of any contrary evidence, supports the District Court’s conclusions, including its ultimate legal conclusion that requirement is not necessary. At the same time, the record provides adequate evidentiary support for the District Court’s conclusion that the requirement places a substantial obstacle in the path of women seeking an abortion. The court found that it “strained credulity” to think that the seven or eight abortion facilities would be able to meet the demand.

The Fifth Circuit discounted expert witness Dr. Grossman’s testimony that the surgical-center requirement would cause the number of abortions performed by each remaining clinic to increase by a factor of about 5. But an expert may testify in the “form of an opinion” as long as that opinion rests upon “sufficient facts or data” and “reliable principles and methods.” Fed. Rule Evid. 702. Here, Dr. Grossman’s opinion rested upon his participation, together with other university researchers, in research tracking the number of facilities providing abortion services, using information from, among other things, the state health services department and other public sources. The District Court acted wi thin its legal authority in finding his testimony admissible.

Common sense also suggests that a physical facility that satisfies a certain physical demand will generally be unable to meet five times that demand without expanding physically or otherwise incurring significant costs. And Texas presented no evidence at trial suggesting that expansion was possible. Finally, the District Court’s finding that a currently licensed abortion facility would have to incur considerable costs to meet the surgical-center requirements supports the conclusion that more surgical centers will not soon fill the gap left by closed facilities.

Also see Justice Ginsburg’s concurring opinion:

” . . . it is beyond rational belief that H. B. 2 could genuinely protect the health of women, and certain that the law ‘would simply make it more difficult for them to obtain abortions.'”