Congressional Black Caucus Wants to Use the Justice Department to Take Action Against Florida’s History Educational Standards

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It appears the battle over Florida’s black history curriculum has entered into a new phase. A fiery debate was ignited over parts of the state’s educational standards on chattel slavery. Now, the discussion has continued to rage on the airwaves and interwebs.


The debate centers on a line in Florida’s standards which reads: “Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some cases, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Democrats in Congress are now taking a questionable step in response to Florida’s curriculum. The Congressional Black Caucus is now calling on the Biden administration to use federal power to possibly compel the state’s government to alter its standards:

The Congressional Black Caucus is pushing the White House, Justice Department and the Department of Education to adopt an “aggressive legal strategy” to scrutinize recent changes to Florida’s Black history curriculum.

The caucus wants the federal agencies to examine whether Florida school districts are violating federal discrimination law following changes to the curriculum in the state — from banning books covering racial themes to a recent decision to add language about the positive impacts of slavery.

Caucus Chairman, Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford said at a Thursday press conference he met with Education Secretary Miguel Cardona this week to discuss actions that might be taken. He added that “we have discussed with the White House the need to have a very aggressive legal strategy to want to uphold the law.”

However, lawmakers did not lay out the specifics on how the departments might use their resources.

The departments have a number of tools. In June, the Madison County, Kentucky school district reached a settlement with Justice to resolve complaints of widespread harassment of Black and multiracial students. Earlier this week, the Education Department launched an investigation of Harvard University’s policies on legacy admissions.


Horsford and others castigated Florida Republicans for the curriculum, accusing them of attacking the black community and trying to water down America’s history. He cited other issues like Alabama’s Republican-dominated legislature refusing to observe a Supreme Court decision requiring the state to redistrict its congressional map that would create two predominantly black areas.

“The attacks against black people and blackness are coordinated, well funded, coming from every side and they are about race,” Horford said. “We need to be clear about who we are up against and what we must do to win. There is so much at stake.”

If Democrats plan to go the discrimination route, they might be on shaky ground. While people can argue over how much freed slaves benefitted from the skills they learned in bondage, one can hardly claim that this constitutes treating people differently because of their skin color. The fact that other states include something to this effect in their curricula might make this even more difficult.

But ultimately, it should never be up to the federal government to determine how states handle education.

It is one thing to criticize Florida’s new curriculum. But the notion that Democrats would leverage the federal government to compel the state to alter its educational standards is absurd on its face. It would be like Republicans trying to convince a conservative president to force New York to embrace Lost Cause history in its school system.


Regardless of what people think of Florida’s educational standards, this is a state and local matter that should not involve the federal government. The people of each state are supposed to have the authority to determine how their children are educated – not members of the D.C. ruling class.

Apart from that, we all know how authoritarians work. If you give them a foothold in one area, they will only work to amass more. If the Congressional Black Caucus gets its way, what would keep them from continuing to use federal agencies to force states to adopt their ideas of education? They are already working to indoctrinate children into progressive ideology using the educational system. How much worse will it be if they manage to bring about a federal takeover of education?

Florida’s standards, as with many other issues pertaining to education, will continue to be debated. But hopefully, Democrats will not be allowed to bring the feds into the equation.


Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Trending on RedState Videos