Monday, July 24, 2023

Florida Whitewash

Under Ron DeSantis Florida has gone through a long process of white conservatives dictating what can or cannot be read, discussed, or allowed in schools. This includes the very racist gaslighting that CRT is a “Marxist” attack on our country, and therefore must be banned. 

This is what happens when graduate level people of color dare to address the history and effects of slavery and racism. This of course also feeds into the fascist screed that universities are indoctrinating our kids into communism. 

Yeah, Hitler had the same idea.

Enter Florida’s white conservatives. They alone believe they are entitled to define racism and they alone must dictate the teaching of African American history. Mighty white of them to let us know.

One of my observations of the far white right is, “Racism isn’t racism to racists”. 

Nowhere is this demonstrated so absurdly as when they play their ever-present “victim card”. It turns out most of them believe THEY are the “real victims” of racism.

Whites Believe They Are Victims of Racism More Often Than Blacks

Whites believe that they have replaced blacks as the primary victims of racial discrimination in contemporary America, according to a new study from researchers at Tufts University's School of Arts and Sciences and Harvard Business School…"These data are the first to demonstrate that not only do whites think more progress has been made toward equality than do blacks, but whites also now believe that this progress is linked to a new inequality, at their expense," note researchers. Whites see racial equality as a zero-sum game, in which gains for one group mean losses for the other.

It should come as no surprise what happens when white conservatives in Florida decide what African American History Standards can be taught in public schools. 

Two of those white conservative workgroup members, Dr. William Allen and Dr. Frances Presley Rice, provided a statement to TV10 Tampa Bay, saying in part, “The intent of this particular benchmark clarification is to show that some slaves developed highly specialized trades from which they benefitted. This is factual and well documented…Any attempt to reduce slaves to just victims of oppression fails to recognize their strength, courage and resiliency during a difficult time in American history. Florida students deserve to learn how slaves took advantage of whatever circumstances they were in to benefit themselves and the community of African descendants."

“Slavery wasn’t all bad” seems to be their heartwarming message in the latest version of Florida’s State Academic Standards.

No doubt you’ve heard about the latest hoopla around them promoting, “Florida students deserve to learn how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit”.

After reading their “standards” I found that’s not even the most insidious thought control device in their program.


Examine organizational approaches to resisting equality in America. Benchmark Clarifications:

1: Instruction includes the immediate and lasting effects of organizations that sought to resist achieving American equality (e.g., state legislatures, Ku Klux Klan [KKK], White Citizens’ Councils [WCC], law enforcement agencies, elected officials such as the “Pork Chop Gang,” private school consortiums, Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission [MSSC]).

2: Instruction includes different methods used by coalitions (e.g., white primaries, acts of violence, unjust laws such as poll taxes, literacy tests, sundown laws, anti-miscegenation laws). 

Any history student will notice a common feature of the “organizational approaches to resisting equality”.

Did you see it?

Everything they mentioned was from the 19th Century and first half of the 20th Century. Nothing new to see here, amirite? It as if those delicate “victims of racism” want everyone to think racists were ALL Democrats. Of course, this includes their “Black tormenters”.

Noticeably absent are the facts that racists abandoned the Democratic Party and are all Trump supporters now. Not a peep about the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers, and the “Unite the Right” racists who held the lethal tiki-torch rally in Charlottesville in 2017. It’s as if they don’t exist, aren’t relevant, or just don’t matter. See no evil, see no racism…except against white conservatives.

20th and 21st Century Republican race-based gerrymandering is also missing. Nothing to see here either, amirite?

Never happened. Nope. Don’t want the kids or their parents to feel “uncomfortable”, do we?

Most recently Alabama Republicans defied federal courts in passing their new congressional map. Arrogantly violating the Voting Rights Act the new Alabama congressional map allows Black voters to elect a candidate of their choice in only 1 of 7 districts despite being 1 of 4 Alabamians.

Since racism isn't racism to racists, whitewashing isn't whitewashing to white whitewashers.

Leave it to conservative white men to do their damnedest to whitewash slavery and racism as they amplify their fantasies of racist “victimization”. Yes, apparently, they deserve to learn how white conservatives “took advantage of whatever circumstances they were in to benefit themselves and the community of White American descendants”.