Addressing the Lie Florida Schools and Ron DeSantis Have Blocked the Teaching of Slavery

On Wednesday, February 15, Al Sharpton led a large crowd of protestors and conducted a march to express opposition to governor Ron DeSantis. This camera-glomming event was created as a reaction to the over-hyped news that the state was embattled over a college AP black history course. A racial issue receiving national attention is something Sharpton could not avoid, but easily avoided by the activist leader, as well as the press, has been the facts.

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“For them to write Black history and decide Black history is a national standard that we cannot allow to happen,” Sharpton told reporters Tuesday after the rally.

Normally, Sharpton’s hyperbole is something easily dismissed, except that, this time, his charges of the state erasing black history have been a common refrain heard throughout the media. This is approaching a level needing to be beaten back with fact. It is starting to resemble the same method seen throughout last year, when the press collectively concocted the lie that the Florida Parental rights in Education law would be dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay Bill”.  

That had been the most widespread lie seen from the press last year, as every single news outlet reporting on the legislation and its surrounding controversy was falsely relabeled in this fashion by an activist press corps. One Florida outlet even tried to crow about how DeSantis had somehow been “outmaneuvered” by the efforts. The bill passed the legislature, was signed by the governor, and has been approved by a majority of voters, but sure – he was outmaneuvered.

Now, the press is working on a pair of new persistent prevarications. One is the constant claim that books are being banned in Florida. This stems from the aspect of the new schooling law that restricts material for the younger grades. There have been many examples of the media making hysterical claims over this wrinkle (Take this NBC piece about a pair of teachers allegedly quitting over the law, well before it was even put into effect. One quit prior to the bill even being signed.)

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No books have been banned. This is such a basic lie that it is dispelled by not just facts, but common sense. You can purchase any title in question. Keeping specific content from particular grades for age-appropriate standards is not a “ban, any more than kids under the age of 18 being kept from buying a ticket for a film that is R-rated constitutes a banned movie. 

Now the growing use of a second lie is the charge that Florida and DeSantis are stripping black history out of schools. The first step in unraveling this lie is seen in the Politico coverage of the Sharpton protest.

Black leaders on Wednesday ramped up their ongoing criticism of Gov. Ron DeSantis over Florida’s opposition to a new College Board Advanced Placement course in African American studies, claiming that the Republican governor is spurring a cultural battle to aid his expected presidential bid.

While giving exposure to all of the allegations these activists spewed, the outlet let slip a tiny detail that exposes the sham. One word in that segment counters the accusations – the word “new”, All the outrage is over a proposed new curriculum, and the reason the state rejected it was over content particulars that run counter to the new anti-woke school legislation. 

Some elements of this new course concerned queer theory; what that actually has to do with black history is certainly debatable. Other aspects of this teaching were of a heavy political nature, including some propaganda such as lobbying for the closure of prisons. A course on history containing activism proposals is easy to see as a contradiction. But there is a basic reality that all the critics choose – more likely need – to ignore.

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Florida schools have a law that needs to be followed that stipulates they need to teach students the history of the Holocaust, as well as black history and, in particular, slavery. This has been the case in the state for years. And if there is any tendency to believe the governor is attempting to roll back older laws, this school legislation was signed into law in 2020. Ron DeSantis signed that bill.

Additionally, another debated law recently put into effect has also been miscast, all while it strengthened to requirement for these elements to be taught in Florida. The anti-CRT bill had all the focus on what it limited, but there were also a number of elements to strengthen and expand the teachings of black history. 

Two new Florida bills aim expand and standardize the curriculum for students on African American history and Holocaust education — the latest legislation to emerge in a string of proposals for what children can and cannot be taught in schools statewide.The bills, if passed, would implement statewide testing requirements and lay out consequences for school district superintendents who fail to show they’ve been teaching and testing on that material.

This should go far to highlight the levels the media have gone to recast these laws into something else entirely. They lied about the content at the time, and today they expand that fiction, declaring that the state is banning school content that is in fact required by law.

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Adding to the scope of the lies – the man who signed those laws is today being accused of contradicting his own legislation. This is just another indicator of just how desperate the press is battling Ron DeSantis.

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