Elections 2022Statewide NewsAbbott Challenger Don Huffines Alleges Texas Agency Trainings Include Critical Race Theory

The training materials aim to foster an attitude that “is able to see positive and negative aspects” of other racial groups.
November 5, 2021
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A former Republican state senator looking to unseat Governor Greg Abbott has accused the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) of promoting critical race theory under Abbott’s watch.

Don Huffines, one of Abbott’s Republican primary challengers for the 2022 election, issued a press release yesterday claiming to have received diversity training materials from a DFPS worker.

The 28-page document and accompanying slideshow, if accurate, were part of a course for DFPS employees in September 2020.

The training materials aim to shift participants away from “relative unawareness,” in which “ethnicity has little meaning and is not considered an important aspect of life,” towards an attitude that “is able to see positive and negative aspects” of other racial groups.

Commensurate with critical race theory, an academic discourse that studies racism as a structure instead of discriminatory belief or action, the document defines “institutional racism” in systemic rather than interpersonal terms.

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“Any institutional activity that creates racial inequalities and results in the subordination or oppression of people of color is institutional racism,” the document reads.

The course also includes activities meant to scrutinize race-blind or race-neutral attitudes. A “Heart, Mind, Body, Spirit Self-Assessment” asks participants to gauge their agreement with statements such as “I seek to better understand the realities of our society regarding institutional racism, including issues of disproportionality and white privilege.”

Huffines accused Abbott of subsidizing critical race theory with taxpayer money.

“Critical Race Theory is a disgusting Marxist ideology dedicated to pitting Texans against each other and dividing our state. It has no place in Texas, period, let alone in our state agencies,” Huffines stated.

“Greg Abbott must immediately call a special session of the Texas Legislature to weed out this poison from the Department of Family and Protective Services and every agency and university in our state.”

Huffines also referred to another recent critique he made against DFPS that resulted in the agency changing its website.

The agency formerly maintained a resource page for “LGBTQIA+ youth” that included suicide hotlines and health resources and distinguished gender identity from sexual orientation. Since the page directed visitors to The Human Rights Campaign, “celebrated… transgender, queer, questioning” youth, and included resources for sex information, Huffines accused the page of brainwashing children.

The page was taken down minutes after Huffines’ press release went public. Emails later revealed that staff took the page down in direct response to Huffines.

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Isaiah Mitchell

Isaiah Mitchell is a reporter for The Texan, a Texas native, and a huge Allman Brothers fan. He graduated cum laude from Trinity University in 2020 with a degree in English. Isaiah loves playing music and football with his family.