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'The US is systemically racist,' Texas A&M professor discusses why a CRT teachings ban is pushing her to consider quitting

Wendy Moore, a longtime Texas A&M professor, says she is considering leaving higher education due to how controversial the topic of Critical Race Theory has become.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Critical Race Theory became a hot button issue when it got banned in grades K-12 in 2021. Now, it's making its way into universities across the Lone Star state.

Now faced with the effects of a CRT ban, one Texas A&M professor is considering leaving the teaching profession altogether. 

Wendy Moore has been a sociology professor at A&M for 18 years. She holds CRT seminars and teaches courses on Race & Ethnic Relations at the university.

The bill ban has sparked controversy in classrooms across the nation. Critical race theory, by definition, is an academic concept that says that systemic racism is part of American society.

"You know when they're saying we don't want anything that teaches that the United States is systemically racist well that's not, everybody's still teaching George Washington they're just not teaching that he had slaves," said Moore.

Credit: History.com

In fact, Moore believes a politically-driven bias is what drove the bill to ban CRT teachings in classrooms Kindergarten through 12th grade in 2021, which was signed by Governor Greg Abbott. 

Last month, it made its way into universities, which allows college professors teaching the concept--like Moore--to be fired regardless of tenure.

"To me it's just another invitation to the conservative students who disagree with me to take action against me," said Moore.

However, Moore took her own stance against the actions taken against her. It's even resulted in a nine-month legal battle for the tenured professor against Texas A&M. Now, after 18 years, she's considering calling it quits.

"Somebody, had gone to their parents, and their parents had gone to regents and they demand that I be fired," Moore said. 

Moore says she provided students resources on police violence and more post turmoil surrounding racial teachings in the midst, of racial tension following the events around George Floyd's murder, which she was very active in speaking out about.

"It's a social justice project for my life that I was happy to do but it's untenable," she said.

With her teaching chapter potentially coming to a close, she believes what has happened in the Texas legislature to ban CRT is an attack on why she teaches, and the reason she was hired by A&M.

"We don't want people indoctrinating our kids to be right you know whether it's LGBTQ lifestyle, or weather it's Black history, I don't know why that's an indoctrination but that's what they're saying, right?," she said. "Or their saying it using the term critical race theory and none of it's critical race theory."

Moreover, she says that there's an underlying message in the actions that are being taken by Texas legislatures to push through specific bills targeting certain topics.

"That means you can't teach anything that's gonna make white kids feel guilty," Moore said.

However, it's not just teachers who are feeling the pressure. Joshua Baynes, who majored in Sports Management at the university, felt the shift in the classroom as an Aggie alum and a Black man.

"Over time I realized there's so many flaws in the Texas state government in how inclusive it is," said Baynes. "In terms of learning how to navigate different racial spaces within the state, and our country with that ban now all that's taken away." 

In addition, he lost a beloved professor--Dr. Foster--who gave him a deeper understanding of Critical Race Theory and worked to improve viewership of diversity in sports. He says it's an invaluable lesson that has saddened him because he couldn't participate in discussions like in Dr. Foster's courses pre-CRT ban. 

He stated, "It's not just me, knowing I couldn't participate in one of his classroom again but knowing there's gonna be other students who wanted to either major or minor in Sports Management and didn't get to learn for him."

He seconds Moore's motion that the bias being pushed in the bill is an attempt to appease to "white guilt" while covering a deeper underlying issue up. 

"You know they're covering up the guilt when they're trying to take out certain parts in history books and essentially just rewrite history," Baynes said.

Both are now encouraging individuals to take learning about true Texas history and American History into their own hands. As the current bill in regards to teaching in universities is stalled right now in the House, the fallout is still being felt among educators, students, and more across the nation.

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