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Continuing a racist culture war against factual history, Florida’s Republican Governor Ron Desantis has blocked the inclusion of Advanced Placement African American history courses in the state’s high schools.
AP African American history is “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” the Florida Department of Education’s Office of Articulation stated in a Jan. 12 letter to the College Board, a nonprofit organization that oversees AP coursework.
Yet the letter did not explicitly describe what it found to be objectionable, according to CNN. Florida is one of several states that have limited how public schools can teach about race.
Fresh off a major victory for reelection after demonizing critical discussions on race in the classroom, the lengths the expected 2024 presidential candidate will go to raise his standing among conservatives appears to have no limit.
Florida Governor targets Black history
Desantis’ decision to deprive the state’s Black and non-Black children alike from learning the full truth about Black people’s oppression and impact in the U.S. comes months after the College Board announced plans to include AP African American courses in classes around the country for the first time.
During Black History Month in 2022, the College Board announced a pilot program to offer the advanced courses. Roughly 60 schools around the nation have already begun teaching them to their students.
“Like all new AP courses, AP African American Studies is undergoing a rigorous, multi-year pilot phase, collecting feedback from teachers, students, scholars and policymakers,” the statement said.
The board has been working with higher education institutions for over a decade to implement the courses.
Meanwhile, after redrawing Florida’s congressional districts to limit the power of Black voters, after establishing an election police force to intimidate voters, and after shipping desperate migrants thousands of miles away, Desantis’ desire to score political points knows no bounds.
After the last few years of heightened attention around racial injustices and the central role slavery played in the American story, the backlash against racial progress continues full steam ahead.
“The step backwards has a new name today, it is called the white backlash, but the white backlash is nothing new,” Dr. King said before he was assassinated. “It is the surfacing of old prejudices, hostilities and ambivalences that have always been there.”
Much like the backlash against free Black people migrating North for better jobs, voting rights, and the first Black president, conservative politicians have launched a new effort aimed at dividing and conquering a racially unconscious electorate.
Black state Sen. blasts racist decision
Black Florida state Senator Shevrin Jones noted the white supremacist hypocricy in a Twitter post in which he listed off other AP courses not being banned in Florida.
AP European History, AP Art History, AP Japanese Language & Culture, AP German Language & Culture, AP Italian Language & Culture and AP Spanish Language & Culture are all advanced courses currently being taught in the state.
“This political extremism and its attack of Black History and Black people, is going to create an entire generation of Black children who won’t be able to see themselves reflected at all within their own education or in their own state,” Jones said.
As an old battle for the soul and future of the nation in a new generation takes shape, media outlets play an outsized role in serving as a Fourth Estate, a final check on power. It isn’t biased to call out blatant racism, and media outlets who fail to frame it as such contribute to the collapse of democratic norms and the stagnation of racial progress.