Welp, the first day of Black History Month is upon us, and there’s no better time to remind you all that Black history is under attack by conservative lawmakers and officials who fight on behalf of white fragility and American jingoism under the guise of protecting students and parents from ideological indoctrination. (All while pushing their own ideological indoctrination.)
And, at this point, the head of the white nationalist snake appears to be none other than Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
There are many conservative politicians spreading anti-critical race theory propaganda in lieu of actually knowing anything about the academic study. There are plenty of right-wing white people weaponizing the word “woke,” a term derived from Black vernacular. But if we were to single out one Republican conservative who embodies the racist attack on Black history and social studies—one man who denies systemic racism while working his hardest to perpetuate it—it would have to be DeSantis.
DeSantis’ white supremacist resume includes arbitrarily keeping felons in Florida from voting, pushing for a law that protects drivers who hit Black Lives Matter protesters, plans to intentionally dilute Black voting power through a racist redistricting of Florida’s congressional map, rejecting math textbooks he claims include CRT, proposing multiple bills to ban CRT into “woke” oblivion, banning any teachings that cause white people “discomfort” (while also defending white racism against Black people), perpetuating Donald Trump’s “big lie” by implementing a voter fraud task force that resulted in the arrests of mainly Black people who didn’t know they were ineligible, and, of course, his infamously racist and queerphobic “Stop WOKE Act.”
In October, DeSantis made wild claims about white children being persecuted in the classroom during a debate against Democratic gubernatorial opponent Charlie Crist. He also, once again, falsely claimed CRT teaches kids to hate America rather than simply study systemic racism.
“I’m proud of our history. I don’t want to teach kids to hate our country,” DeSantis said. “I don’t want to teach kids to hate each other — and the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.”
The College Board purged the names of many Black writers and scholars associated with critical race theory, the queer experience and Black feminism. It ushered out some politically fraught topics, like Black Lives Matter, from the formal curriculum.
And it added something new: “Black conservatism” is now offered as an idea for a research project.
In light of the politics, the College Board seemed to opt out of the politics. In its revised 234-page curriculum framework, the content on Africa, slavery, reconstruction and the civil rights movement remains largely the same. But the study of contemporary topics — including Black Lives Matter, affirmative action, queer life and the debate over reparations — is downgraded. The subjects are no longer part of the exam, and are simply offered on a list of options for a required research project.
And even that list, in a nod to local laws, “can be refined by local states and districts.”
The fact that BLM was expunged from the curriculum but Black conservatism was added is all we need to know to show that ideology isn’t the issue, in and of itself—it’s just the ideologue right-wingers don’t like that’s the problem.
Of course, the College Board is claiming the whining and propagandizing by DeSantis and other conservatives was not the driving force behind the overhaul of the curriculum.
At the College Board, we can’t look to statements of political leaders,” said the head of the College Board, David Coleman, who also said the changes came from “the input of professors” and “longstanding A.P. principles.” (One can only wonder if the board consulted any of the more than 200 African American Studies professors at dozens of colleges and universities around the country who wrote an open letter defending the original curriculum.)
It’s also worth mentioning that the changes to the curriculum were announced the day after DeSantis announced his own educational requirements that fight “ideological conformity” by, well, mandating his own version of ideological conformity.
More from the Times:
The attack on the A.P. course turned out to be the prelude to a much larger agenda. On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis unveiled a proposal to overhaul higher education that would eliminate what he called “ideological conformity” by among other things, mandating courses in Western civilization.
Again, this is just more proof that Republicans aren’t against indoctrination, they just want students indoctrinated into patriotism via whitewashed curriculum that pretends to be colorblind while actually being as pro-white as pro-whiteness gets.
In fact, DeSantis also announced Tuesday that he also plans to ban Florida colleges from having programs on diversity, equity and inclusion—you know, just in case you weren’t quite convinced that his agenda wasn’t purely about unadulterated racism and the preservation of whiteness at the top of the social hierarchy.
So, anyway, happy Black History Month, y’all.
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