This is when 21st century McCarthyism gets serious.

Dan Patrick, the talk-show host who is now Lieutenant Governor of Texas, wants to ban the teaching of “critical race theory” in higher education. Critical race theory, the study of systemic and institutionalized racism, has been taught and debated in law schools and colleges since the mid-1980s.

Patrick wants to quash academic freedom in higher education. He thinks he can prevent professors who have devoted their academic careers to the study of racism from talking about it. Maybe, he believes, if they don’t talk about and study racism, no one will know it exists. Or maybe it will just go away.

Erica Grieder wrote in the Houston Chronicle about Patrick’s plans to restrict academic freedom and to have the state spend $6 million on a “think tank” called the “Liberty Institute” to prevent errant professors from exercising their freedom to teach and speak. Last year, the state passed a law to ban CRT in K-12 schools, where (he thinks) children are being stuffed with left wing propaganda and with the claim that racism is real.

“I will not stand by and let looney Marxist UT professors poison the minds of young students with critical race theory,” he announced in a tweet.

“We banned it in publicly funded K-12 and we will ban it in publicly funded higher ed,” he continued, adding: “That’s why we created the Liberty Institute at UT.”

This was in response to a report, in the Austin American-Statesman, that the Faculty Council of the University of Texas at Austin had passed a resolution defending academic freedom.

In other words, Patrick, hearing of an innocuous nonbinding resolution in support of freedom, responded by threatening to pursue even more aggressive restrictions on freedom, while also wrapping himself in the banner of “liberty.” Naturally. This is from the lieutenant governor, arguably the state’s most powerful elected official.

Patrick, a rabid supporter of vouchers, as well as limits on free speech, is a public nuisance who menaces the freedom of students, teachers, and professors in Texas.