Leading civil rights attorney Ben Crump took the stage during Sunday’s 102nd Annual Lincoln-Douglass Freedom Fund Banquet and called out Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis for his anti-CRT rhetoric and legislature.
During the event, which was sponsored by the Springfield Branch of the NAACP, Crump told the audience he would do everything in his power to oppose DeSantis.
“We told Gov. DeSantis we’re not going to let him prohibit the teaching of Black history,” said Crump. “(Florida education officials) understand how powerful education is, even today. They get it.”
He continued to explain the importance of all students learning Black history.
“The reason we have to teach Black history in all of the classrooms, it’s not just for the Black students, but it’s for the white students and the brown students and the red students.
I refuse to let Gov. DeSantis exterminate Black history. I refuse to let anybody exterminate Black history because Black history is American history.”
Last month, Gov. DeSantis rejected an Advanced Placement course on African American studies, claiming the course indoctrinates students to “a political agenda.”
The AP course, which introduced students to the experiences and contributions of Black people in America through a myriad of lenses, was intended to help high school students earn college credits.
Florida high school students have threatened to file a lawsuit against DeSantis and the state over the rejection of the AP course.
Since being elected, DeSantis and the state of Florida have attempted to censor the topics of race and sexual orientation in public schools.
In 2022, he signed the “Stop WOKE” Act, which prohibits instruction on race relations or diversity that implies a person’s status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, national origin, or sex.
Republicans have used this nonsensical law to ban books, including Toni Morrison‘s The Bluest Eye—an award-winning novel about a Black girl who grew up after the Great Depression, and part of a body of work that won Morrison the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.
Conservatives have framed their war against critical race theory (which they prove time and time again they don’t know anything about) and other material they consider to be “woke” as an effort to protect parental rights. They have claimed it’s not an attempt to whitewash history and erase Black oppression from America’s legacy. And yet, we see how quickly it devolved into Florida rejecting what appears to be a pretty basic African American studies course.
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