Texan Time Warp "1836 Project" Spurs Debate Over State's Storied Past Amid Critique of Glossing Over Racial History

Texan Time Warp "1836 Project" Spurs Debate Over State's Storied Past Amid Critique of Glossing Over Racial HistorySource: Another Believer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Matt Mitchell
Published on December 04, 2023

The Texas State has embarked on a mission to unfurl the tapestry of its identity with a bit of historical grandeur and gusto. Lawmakers launched the "1836 Project" in a bid to cultivate a sense of state pride—an effort recently scrutinized under the proverbial microscope. Named as a tip of the hat, albeit with a touch of irony, to the "1619 Project" by The New York Times, the "1836 Project" seeks to stitch together a narrative of Texas' storied past. However, instead of universal applause, this legislative undertaking has found itself on the business end of a contentious debate over the fidelity of its historical accounting.

The Texas project is to gloriously tell tales of Texas history to "reestablish that sort of common language." Don Frazier, Chairman of the Committee, described the project's pamphlet as the "beginning of conversations" about the Texas experience, according to a FOX 7 Austin.

Amid a political climate where the debate on critical race theory looms large, critics worry Texas is pushing back against a comprehensive examination of its history—particularly its record on issues of race. The 1836 Project has sparked alarm as it glosses over the state's past racism. The legislation requires the promotion of the "Christian heritage of this state," a mandate raising eyebrows amongst those who view such educational framing as potentially exclusionary, as reported by the Texas Tribune.