Education Reform

Texas: Lt. Governor Says State History Museum Should Not Discuss History

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Dan Patrick, Lt. Governor of Texas, usually focuses his efforts on pushing vouchers. But now he has a new cause: blocking discussions of history at the state history museum. He wants the museum to celebrate the great heroic story of Texas, not to permit challenges to that story. He is an exemplar of Republican “cancel culture.”

Mother Jones reports here on Dan Patrick’s success at censoring a book discussion at the state history museum in Bullock.

On Thursday evening, two Texas writers, Chris Tomlinson and Bryan Burrough, were supposed to give a talk at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin about Forget the Alamo, a new book they co-authored with Jason Stanford. The book, which sets out to dispel the myths of the Republic of Texas’ founding, has already made waves—it makes a persuasive case, for instance, that the state’s much-hyped acquisition of Alamo-related artifacts from the musician Phil Collins was actually just a bill of goods.

Hosting an event with the authors of a buzzy new book about the state’s famous but fraught symbol is what you’d expect a museum such as the Bullock to do. But a few hours before the talk was to begin, Tomlinson announced that the event had been cancelled—in the fullest sense of the word.

As Tomlinson explained it, the museum had been instructed by its board—which includes Texas’ Republican governor, lieutenant governor, and speaker of the house—to pull the plug. “I think we’re being censored,” he told the San Antonio Express-News. On Friday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, confirmed in a tweet that yes, that was exactly what happened.

Dan Patrick has set himself up as the official guardian of Texas history. Forget the historians and the evidence.

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