Texas Legislature Says You Can't Teach About Racism In Schools, But Social Media Sites Must Host Holocaust Denialism
from the these-things-might-be-connected dept
Everything is bigger in Texas, even the act of unconstitutional spitting on the 1st Amendment. We’ve already talked about the blatantly unconstitutional bill, HB20, that picks up where Florida’s already-declared-unconstitutional bill leaves off, and makes it even worse. Well, that bill was voted on Friday and Texas Republicans approved it by a vote of 76 to 44.
But, as Adam Kovacevich noted on Twitter, some Democratic legislators wanted to make sure that the Republicans supporting such a gross infringement of the 1st Amendment were on the record for what they supported. So they introduced amendments to carve out the “must carry” rules for Holocaust denialism, terrorist content, and vaccine disinformation. And Republicans made sure to reject all three amendments, thereby explicitly admitting that with their bill they want to make sure that websites are forced to carry vaccine disinformation, terrorist content, and Holocaust denialism.
Now, to be clear, all three of those things are (mostly) protected under the 1st Amendment. But so is the right for a website to remove them and not be associated with them. Anyway, 73 Texas legislators said that websites should not be able to takedown “vaccine misinformation.” Literally, that’s what they voted against:
And, reading the amendment on terrorist content, it appears that no website will be allowed to remove ISIS-promoting content any more, which is an interesting choice by Texas Republicans.
And then there’s the Holocaust denialism bit. Social media sites will have to include it as well. I’m kind of surprised that the legislators introducing this amendment didn’t also do one explicitly about “critical race theory.” Now that really would have tested things. After all, this very same Texas legislature that, earlier this year, passed an equally unconstitutional bill that says teachers in Texas can’t openly talk about America’s racist past.
And, I guess that is at least consistent. You must post stuff denying the holocaust, but suggesting that there is systemic bigotry? Well, that’s beyond the pale.