Texas Republicans: Upholding White Supremacist Mythology with the Power of Law

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.

Source: Texas GOP Passes Bill To Stop Teachers From Talking About Racism | HuffPost

Texas is awash in bills aimed at fending off critical examinations of the state’s past.

Source: Texas Eyes Laws to Limit Teaching Slavery in Classrooms – The New York Times

The Republican Party habitually inverts American history and the moral universe while quelling speech about actual American history. I grew up in Texas public education. We learned the Southern Strategy, the Confederate Catechism, the Lost Cause, and the Traditional Segregationist Discourse. We were taught a pile of racist, revisionist nonsense. I still recall a 7th grade history teacher yelling at us for saying the Civil War was about slavery, drilling “states’ rights” into us instead. Texas schools teach such white supremacist mythology to this day.

Critical Race Theory, a bogeyman and straw man for White evangelicals and the GOP, is rooted in Traditional Civil Rights Discourse. Both are necessary parts of K-12 curriculum. “The Front Porch” has a great series on CRT framed for White Christians that I wish my toxic Christian representatives would read in good faith.

But there is not a drop of good faith in my Republican representatives, nor in groups like the College Republicans, who direct the conservative outrage machine against institutions who haven’t hardened against it, resulting in the firing of journalists, teachers, and professors.

If you belong to, report on, or teach about a marginalized group, you’re an “activist” who will be harassed and hounded out of work.

Institutions must harden against Republican bad faith and protect us as we tell the truth and lay bare the mythology.

Previously,

Power, Justice, and Professionalism in the Tech Workplace

This account is based on interviews with six Basecamp employees who were present at the meeting, along with a partial transcript created by employees. Collectively, they describe a company whose attempt to tamp down on difficult conversations blew up in its face as employees rejected the notion that discussions of power and justice should remain off limits in the workplace. And they suggest that efforts to eliminate disruptions in the workplace by regulating internal speech may cause even more turmoil for a company in the long run.

Source: 🚨 How Basecamp blew up – Platformer

Right-wing narratives of woke capitalism are so off. Tech leaders aren’t remotely woke, as evidenced here, yet again. Over and over, tech leaders fail to rise to the 101 level of analyzing power and confronting injustice. The “disruptions” eliminated by suppressing internal speech are marginalized people. The silence is suffocating.

“Racism [and] white supremacy are not things that are so convenient that they only happen when full intention is present, or true malice is present,” the employee said. “Evil is not required. We’re not so lucky as for this to come down to good and evil. It’s as simple as creating a space where people do not feel welcome.”

The employee continued: “The silence in the background is what racism and white supremacy does. It creates that atmosphere that feels suffocating to people. It doesn’t require active malice. It’s not that convenient.”

Source: 🚨 How Basecamp blew up – Platformer

Marginalized groups are tired from the exhausting work of coaching white men to understand their world. The leadership at Basecamp, and pretty much every tech company, are so far behind at understanding worlds outside their own that their professionalism is in question.

For this reason, I would suggest a renewed focus on MESH education,which stands for Media Literacy, Ethics, Sociology, and History. Because if these are not given equal attention, we could end up with incredibly bright and technically proficient people who lack all capacity for democratic citizenship.

Source: Forget STEM, We Need MESH. The importance of media literacy… | by Tim Wise | Our Human Family | Medium

The price of relevance is fluency,” and these leaders are not fluent.

Worse, that visibility of critique means that powerful people now have to do work that they didn’t want to do. They can’t stand it.

Suddenly, even the most powerful people in society are forced to be fluent in the concerns of those with little power, if they want to hold on to the cultural relevance that thrust them into power in the first place. Being a comedian means having to say things that an audience finds funny; if an audience doesn’t find old, hackneyed, abusive jokes funny anymore, then that comedian has to do more work. And what we find is, the comedians with the most privilege resent having to keep working for a living. Wasn’t it good enough that they wrote that joke that some people found somewhat funny, some years ago? Why should they have to learn about current culture just to get paid to do comedy?

Similarly, CEOs keep fussing about how it’s hard to not offend people these days. (Being a CEO myself, this one ends up on my radar a lot.) Now, every person in marketing knows they have to try to stay culturally relevant, and certainly every ordinary worker knows they constantly have to be learning new skills and developing professionally. But if a CEO has been in his seat long enough, he’ll often get deeply resentful of being told that he has to learn new ways of being respectful to the people who were systematically obstructed from reaching his awareness in the past.

Source: The price of relevance is fluency

Previously,

“Those Burning Crosses Are Symbols of Evangelicalism”

Those burning crosses are symbols of evangelicalism.

Source: ‎Exvangelical: White Evangelical Racism with Dr. Anthea Butler on Apple Podcasts

I’m not here to fix evangelicals. That’s the job of those who still find value in it. My purpose in writing was to hold up the historical mirror to the movement, and show them who they really are.

Source: I’m Not Here to Fix Evangelicals, But to Show Them Who They Are: An Interview With the Author of ‘White Evangelical Racism’ | Religion Dispatches

Dr. Butler brings the hard truth about evangelicalism in her book and on the Exvangelical podcast.

White Evangelical Racism tells a concise history of the evangelical movement and-here is the hard part-the racist and racial elements that imbue its beliefs, practices, and social and political activism. It is racism that binds and blinds many white American evangelicals to the vilification of Muslims, Latinos, and African Americans. It is racism that impels many evangelicals to oppose immigration and turn a blind eye to children in cages at the border. It is racism that fuels evangelical Islamophobia. It was evangelical acceptance of biblically sanctioned racism that motivated believers to separate and sell families during slavery and to march with the Klan. Racist evangelicals shielded cross burners, protected church burners, and participated in lynchings. Racism is a feature, not a bug, of American evangelicalism.

“To a great extent, the evangelical church in America supported the status quo. It supported slavery; it supported segregation; it preached against any attempt of the black man to stand on his own two feet.” These words, uttered in 1970 by Tom Skinner-the son of a Black preacher and a former gang member turned evangelist-still ring true today.

Evangelicals’ support for current-day policies that seem draconian and unchristian is linked inescapably to a foundational history that we will uncover in this book. American history chronicles evangelical support for and participation in racist structures in America. Skinner got it right.

Source: White Evangelical Racism | Anthea Butler | University of North Carolina Press

Why did you choose the subtitle The Politics of Morality in America?

The subtitle is about the thesis of the book: simply put, morality isn’t a religious issue for evangelicals, but a political tool they hide behind that allows them to obscure the racist and sexist pronouncements and laws they often back and promulgate. From the ways in which white women were put on a pedestal by white men in the Reconstruction and Redemption era, to the lifting up of the “family” as a way to disparage Black families as not being “moral” if there wasn’t a two-parent household, evangelical moral issues about sex, family and money have never been applied stringently to themselves or their leadership the same way they’ve applied it to other religions or ethnic groups.

One of the book’s theses is that evangelicals’ unwavering Trump support cost them a lot. But has it? What would you say to someone who suggests that their reputation with the general public hardly matters, given both the short political memory of white Americans and that the Electoral College, Senate representation, filibuster, gerrymandering, and voter suppression grant them disproportionate power anyway?

It may not matter to evangelicals that their reputations are shattered—after all they are used to saying that they’re persecuted. It fits their narrative. It does matter that the news media and voters keep believing that they actually care about moral issues. They care about power. And many of them are in power, so that is a concern for all sorts of policy issues, especially for reproductive and sexual rights.

It matters that the media and voters understand that moral issues are a tool for wielding power, and for obfuscating evangelicals’ need for access to it. It may be that they have power because of patriarchy and whiteness, but the pendulum swings, always. While their ascension has seemed to be a steep, uphill climb, I think the jig, as they say, is up.

One more note. There isn’t much about Trump in this book, for one particular reason: evangelicals didn’t become this because of Trump. Trump was simply the apotheosis of who they have been for a long time. He was close to the pinnacle of all they could want in a leader. He was just a bit too crass for the more refined evangelicals.

Source: I’m Not Here to Fix Evangelicals, But to Show Them Who They Are: An Interview With the Author of ‘White Evangelical Racism’ | Religion Dispatches

On the Atlanta spa killer:

The terrorists, the sheriff, and the church are all working together.

Source: ‎Exvangelical: White Evangelical Racism with Dr. Anthea Butler on Apple Podcasts

Spot on.