Ron DeSantis says Florida rejected African American Studies course because of “queer indoctrination”

https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2023/01/ron-desantis-says-florida-rejected-african-american-studies-course-queer-indoctrination/

How silly and thin this excuse is.   Somehow it will harm kids in a advanced placement college level course to know that some black people that deserved a place in history were gay or trans.   Seriously the idea that these high school teenagers knowing that gay people did some great things is harmful to the students according to the right / republicans.  Michelangelo was gay.  The fact is gay kids need and deserve the positive affirmations of knowing they also can achieve great things.  It is about seeing representation of ones self, but the right is terrified of nearly adult teens knowing that gay people have done some incredible things.   That knowledge contradicts all the right wing ideology of how bad gay / trans people are, how they are low-life scum out that never achieve anything and always look for way to assault and rape the good straight people.   This is again out of the Russian playbook that outlawed anything positive about gay people while the state constantly pushes the most negative harmful narratives.   There are gay people in all walks of life and their sexual orientation is part of who they are.   What the right wants to do is let kids assume that all people are straight, that all people in history that did something notable were straight is total right / republican indoctrination / ideology.   As for the justice system being about more than prison and punishment again other developed countries have shown that if your prisons are not punitive hellhole but having reform with rehabilitation have shown that it cuts recidivism rates.  Crime goes down, and you have less prison populations.   But that would interfere with the for profit prsions incomes.     Hugs

 
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R)Photo: Shutterstock

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said that his state recently rejected an advanced placement (AP) African American Studies course because of the course’s  “indoctrination” of the “queer” agenda.

“We have guidelines and standards in Florida: We want education, not indoctrination,” DeSantis said during a news conference. DeSantis was asked why his state Department of Education had refused the course, which is currently being offered by the College Board in a pilot program at 60 schools nationwide.

DeSantis said that when he heard that the class didn’t meet the state’s educational standards, he figured the course involved critical race theory (CRT), a college-level curriculum about the effects of institutional racism throughout history.

“It’s way more than that,” DeSantis continued. “This course on Black history, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is ‘queer theory?’ That is someone pushing an agenda on our kids.”

Queer theory examines societal responses to non-heterosexual and non-cisgender identities. It’s an essential part of Black history both because of notable Black LGBTQ+ figures and the criminalization of Black sexual identities throughout history.

Nevertheless, DeSantis also criticized the course for having a “political agenda” because its current form includes content about intersectionality and abolishing prisons. Intersectionality examines how overlapping personal identities result in social privileges or disadvantages. Prison abolitionists want restorative justice and rehabilitation programs instead of just prisons.

“We believe in teaching kids facts and how to think, but we don’t believe they should have an agenda imposed on them,” DeSantis added. “When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”

Last Friday, Florida’s Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. wrote that the state had “rejected an AP course filled with Critical Race Theory and other obvious violations of Florida law.”

Specifically, the department said it objected to “the inclusion of readings from many major African American scholars, activists and writers, who explored subjects like Black queer studies, Black feminist literary thought, the reparations movement and intersectionality,” The New York Times reported.

Florida’s education department said it objected to readings from professor Angela Davis for being a “self-avowed Communist and Marxist”; professor Kimberlé Crenshaw “the founder of intersectionality”; and bell hooks for using language like “white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy.”

Though the College Board didn’t comment on Florida’s rejection, it noted that the course is still being revised based on feedback from African American scholars, the Times reported. The final framework of the course will be publicly posted before becoming widely available in U.S. high schools.

Critics have also pointed out that Florida high schools offer AP European History courses, which reinforce a narrative of predominantly white cultures colonizing and enslaving non-white countries in order to benefit capitalist and industrialist regimes.

It’s hardly surprising that DeSantis’s administration rejected the Black history course. Last year, he signed the Individual Freedoms Act (known as the Stop WOKE Act) which limits how racial issues are taught in public schools, public universities, colleges, and workplace trainings.

Last year, he also signed the Parental Rights in Education bill (known as the Don’t Say Gay law) which restricts teachers from acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ+ people in public schools. He worked with far-right media outlets and book-banning groups to help promote the law.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre criticized Florida’s rejection of the course.

“These types of actions aren’t new… especially from Florida,” Jean-Pierre said. “Sadly, Florida currently bans teachers from talking about who they are and who they love.”

“They didn’t block AP European history. They didn’t block our music history. They didn’t block our art history. But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture,” she continued. “It is incomprehensible.”

According to the College Board, the pilot version of the AP African American Studies course will expand to hundreds of additional high schools in 2024. The final course will be offered in schools that same year, with the course’s first exams being offered in Spring 2025.

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