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When Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick declared earlier this year that he would remove tenure protections so that a “handful of professors” can no longer “indoctrinate students with critical race theory”, he was unwittingly repeating rhetoric from the unsuccessful side of a 100-year-old culture war. Across the United States, there at least 49 active bills that would crush the freedom to learn and teach on university campuses — 25 of the 50 states have at least one.