Blue Texas?

In Austin—the state capital—the city council recently voted ten-to-one to grant $200,000 in emergency funding to provide legal assistance to illegal immigrants. The one council member who spoke out against the measure, Ellen Troxclair, was accused of racism and admonished by her colleague Sabino Renteria: “We opened our arms to the Europeans when they came into Texas and Mexico.” The area surrounding Austin, Travis County, is also dominated by liberal officials. For example, despite the objections of Texas governor Greg Abbott, Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez recently announced that she will no longer honor immigration detainers requested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), except in limited circumstances involving capital murder or aggravated sexual assault, effectively making Travis County a sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Not to be outdone, a union representing teachers at the Austin Independent School District distributed a bilingual flier to its 3,000 members entitled “What to Do if ICE Comes to Your Door,” and the AISD board of trustees unanimously passed a resolution supporting “undocumented students.”

In December, a nurse’s aide at a Killeen ISD middle school had to go to court to be allowed to display on her office door a decorative poster based on the animated classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. More recently, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote a measured letter to Frisco ISD in response to published reports that a high school had established a “prayer room” for the exclusive use of Muslim students; Paxton’s letter reminded the school administrator that any such room must be open to students of all faiths. The school superintendent fired back an intemperate reply, accusing the A.G. of engaging in a “publicity stunt” and using “inflammatory rhetoric” that might place the “community in danger of unnecessary disruption.” The press disingenuously reported the incident as an effort by Paxton to bar Muslim students from praying, contrasting his supposed position with his past defense of Christian prayers.

Political correctness abounds at the state’s leading universities.