(Todd A. Smith)

Usually, what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

But based on recent actions by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, if the goose is Black then they do not get as much love for the gander when the ganders are from another demographic.

Keaton Peters of the Texas Tribune reported, “As tensions have flared in the escalating conflict [in Israel and Gaza] and protests have spread across Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Education Agency would provide resources to schools to counter misinformation and antisemitism.”

While I commend Abbott for his actions to stop the spread of antisemitism and to educate people on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, please keep the same energy when it comes to anti-Black racism and teaching the true history of what happened to my ancestors in this country instead of trying to rewrite history to appease racist White people under the guise of critical race theory.

Like many, I am not as knowledgeable as I should be on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and I try to learn more about the centuries-old conflict as often as possible.

I condemn the violent terrorist attacks committed by Hamas.

Likewise, I condemn Israel for killing innocent children and adult civilians in response.

But my ignorance on the subject matter would welcome all the discussions on the topic if I was still a student.

Abbott wants to educate students so that more prejudice and hatred is not spread amongst young Texas students.

Peters of the Texas Tribune added, “The resources include materials about the history of the conflict from the Institute for Curriculum Studies, an organization that provides instructional materials on Jewish history, and a guide to having ‘conscientious conversations’ from the Anti-Defamation League, an anti-hate organization that works to counter antisemitism.

“Also included is an article on U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinian territories from New York City-based think tank on the Council on Foreign Relations and a resource for how parents should talk to their children about violence from Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that helps parents choose age-appropriate entertainment and media options. These resources will be available for Texas schools in addition to existing curriculum on Israel, antisemitism, genocide and the Holocaust, according to the governor’s statement.”  

Students need to discuss what is going on around the world as hatred towards Jews and Muslims seem to intensify.

However, it seems when students and teachers want to discuss the hatred and violence that Black people have endured at the hands of racist White people, politicians like Abbott want to ban those discussions and terminate the teachers, principals and college professors who want to teach their students the truth about what has happened to Black people at the hands of some White people.

Around 2020, protests erupted around the world as countless unarmed Black people got gunned down by police officers.

At the same time, hate crimes towards Black Americans increased.

Furthermore, many Historically Black Colleges and Universities received violent threats.

When people from various races finally seemed ready to discuss anti-Black racism, many Republican politicians began a mission to rewrite history by banning books on racism, and even books on the Holocaust.

While Texas does allow teachers to educate students on the history of White supremacy, the anti-CRT bill, which went into effect in 2021, seems to limit conversations about current events when it pertains to racism.

However, when antisemitism increases it seems the same politicians want to encourage conversations and education to prevent hate from spreading.

Why is it O.K. to discuss current events that adversely impact our Jewish brothers and sisters, but two years earlier Abbott did not show the same love and empathy for his Black brothers and sisters who deal with hatred and bigotry daily?

On June 15, 2021, Kate McGee of the Texas Tribune reported, “This law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, includes a list of founding documents that Texas students must be taught. It also includes a list of additional historical documents written by people of color and women that House Democrats had added. It also mandates that students be taught ‘the history of White supremacy, including but not limited to the institution of slavery, the eugenics movement, and the Ku Klux Klan, and the ways in which it is morally wrong.’

“Still, many educators and education advocacy groups had opposed the bill, which states that teachers cannot be compelled to discuss current events and if they do, they must ‘give deference to both sides.’ Opponents say it limits honest conversations about race and racism in American society and will force teachers to equivocate on controversial or sensitive topics that will result in less educated students.”

There is no such thing as teaching both sides of hate.

The hater is wrong.

And the one being hated on is right.

That is the only lesson that educators should teach no matter who the perpetrator is and who the victim is.

Not teaching true history, which includes the good, bad and ugly, will not only lead to less educated students.

Ignoring the past might also contribute to more hatred and bigotry, which Abbott is admirably trying to prevent when that hatred is aimed at our Jewish brothers and sisters.

And while many Republican politicians and conservative media personalities will claim that teachers are trying to indoctrinate students with a woke agenda and trying to make White people feel guilty for the actions of some of their ancestors, the opposite is true.

People who advocate for accurate Black history want to educate the next generation so that they will not make the same mistakes of the past.

If students hear how horrific the Middle Passage, slavery, convict leasing and Jim Crow were to Black people, then hopefully they would be determined to prevent it from happening again.

However, when people try to ignore history, like some people try to do when they deny the Holocaust, they open that same community to more hatred as many people saw on Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israelis.

People must realize that actions speak louder than words.

When a person is adamant about stopping hatred towards one group, then not as adamant about stopping hatred towards another group it makes the person appear very prejudiced.

With his different responses to antisemitism and anti-Black racism, Abbott has shown which lives matter to him, and which ones do not, proving that what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander especially if they are of different hues.

Todd A. Smith
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