The Miami Herald has a nice little scoop about Florida Republicans’ rejection of AP African American Studies courses, one of the twenty or so scandals bubbling around the state since Gov. Ron DeSantis decided to go all White Boots Hitler. (He's proposing that we execute border-crossers on sight if someone suspects them to be “hostile” drug traffickers, so spare me your hand-wringing about the comparison.)
The rejection of the AP courses stunk of racism. And surprise: It was exactly that. Some of the state reviewers' objections to the course were, according to The Miami Herald, because it did not give both sides of chattel slavery.
For example, a lesson in the Advanced Placement course focused on how Europeans benefited from trading enslaved people and the materials enslaved laborers produced. The state objected to the content, saying the instructional approach “may lead to a viewpoint of an ‘oppressor vs. oppressed’ based solely on race or ethnicity.”
Got it. So the state reviewers are part of the racist hard-right that believes merely teaching about generations of Africans captured to be used as European and American slaves promotes racism at least as much as, if not more than, the actual enslaving did, and they don't want Florida’s children to grow up learning about The Thing That Made America What It Is, because when you actually describe it in detail, it makes all those involved with the slave trade look like absolute monsters.
The Herald’s article gets worse from there:
In another lesson about the beginnings of slavery, the course delved into how tens of thousands of enslaved Africans had been “removed from the continent to work on Portuguese-colonized Atlantic islands and in Europe” and how those “plantations became a model for slave-based economy in the Americans.”
In response, the state raised concerns that the unit “may not address the internal slave trade/system within Africa” and that it “may only present one side of this issue and may not offer any opposing viewpoints or other perspectives on the subject.”
Oh, bite me. "Why are you presenting only one side of the Portuguese adoption of industrialized slavery?" is the soggy faux-intellectualism of racist piglickers who almost invariably turn out to have second lives as internet neo-Nazis.
John Duebel, the director of the state agency’s social studies department, and Kevin Hoeft, a former state agency official who now works at the New College of Florida in Sarasota, were identified as the two evaluators in the review. Hoeft is listed as an “expert consultant” to the Civics Alliance, a national conservative group that aims to focus social studies instruction in the Western canon and eliminate “woke” standards. His wife is a member of the conservative group Moms for Liberty.
And there we go. Hoeft was appointed to a New College position by arch-conservative Richard Corcoran, who himself landed the role in DeSantis’ restaffing of the college with members of the racist hard-right—a series of appointments that included the fascist propagandist Christopher Rufo, best known as the racist who invented the "critical race theory" panic out of thin air.
Hoeft is linked to far-right groups. He served as an "education policy analyst" for the anti-LGBT extremist group Family Research Council and is listed as an "expert consultant" to the Civics Alliance's "American Birthright" education program, a plainly fascist-colored conservative alternative to "woke" programs. Also, he’s married to the Leon County vice chair for the extremist group Moms for Liberty.
And Duebel is the toady who got his ass booed by a crowd of teachers for introducing new state standards requiring middle schoolers to learn "how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit."
The Herald can't identify which reviewers made each individual objection to the AP courses, but with team leadership like Duebel and Hoeft, it was almost self-evident that the review team would reject an AP African American Studies program for presenting only "one side" of slavery.
Look, the moment DeSantis began remaking the state's educational programs around fascist hoaxers like Rufo, it was clear that these people are fascists. They've got the book bans going strong, they've got the focus on making education "patriotic" instead of accurate, they've got leaders who advocate extrajudicial executions, they've got Actual Damn Nazis waving flags of support on Florida street corners, and they've already institutionalized the process for putting undesirables of an ethnic group onto mass transport so they can be shipped out of their personal fiefdoms. And now the Republican Party consists primarily of people who believe that their Dear Leaders should be allowed to commit felonies and erase elections.
In their minds, we can’t tear down Confederate monuments, because those teach us our history, but we also can’t teach our full history, slavery and all, because that would upset the children. Bite me! Nobody has to treat any of these people seriously, not in any venue or on any subject. There's no both sides to slavery. Go piss off with that trash.
Florida tries to defend its revisionist history on slavery
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis booed at vigil as hundreds mourn more racist killings
Killing a woman for flying a rainbow flag didn't come out of nowhere
Rewriting and distorting slavery? The danger of Florida's new Black history curriculum
Everyone always talks about redistricting, but what is it like to actually do it? Oregon political consultant Kari Chisholm joins us on this week’s episode of “The Downballot” to discuss his experience as a member of Portland’s new Independent District Commission, a panel of citizens tasked with creating the city’s first-ever map for its city council. Kari explains why Portland wanted to switch from at-large elections to a district-based system, how new multimember districts could boost diversity on the council, and the commission’s surprisingly effective efforts to divide the city into four equal districts while heeding community input.