TALLAHASSEE, FL. - In recent months, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has become a controversial figure in the political landscape due to his attempts to reduce the rights of minorities in the state.
While much of this criticism has been directed at his Republican-led WOKE Act, which would limit the diversity of education provided in public schools, one overlooked component comes from his attempt to block an Advanced Placement (AP) African American History course from being taught in high schools. This move makes it clear that DeSantis is attempting to walk back his words on WOKE Act by circumventing its intent and erasing any knowledge that might challenge the conservative narrative.
The AP African American History course covers topics such as slavery and civil rights, which touch upon issues historically marginalized or ignored by conservatives. By blocking this course from being taught, DeSantis actively seeks to stifle any criticism or discussion regarding these topics and deny students access to information that could broaden their understanding of African American history.
He claims that such courses "lack educational value" but does not provide any evidence for why he believes so. Instead, he focuses on distracting points such as queer theory, which are unrelated and only serve to stir up controversy among his base rather than address the legitimate concerns raised by students.
Further complicating matters is DeSantis' comments about what he believes constitutes "real" history versus "Black history." By implying that Black history should be treated differently from other histories – something even conservative figures like Fox News host Tucker Carlson have publicly disagreed with – DeSantis is engaging in a dangerous form of revisionism that seeks not only to deny students access to critical information but also enforces a narrow view of our nation's past and present.
This is not simply a matter of censorship; it is an effort by DeSantis to rewrite history according to his worldview without acknowledging those who have experienced injustice or oppression throughout our nation's past. Public officials like DeSantis need to understand how crucial it is for students to have access to accurate and comprehensive facts about America's past and present to develop meaningful understandings of our world today.
By attempting to block an AP African American History course from being taught, Ron DeSantis has demonstrated yet again how willing he is to disregard facts and minority voices when they do not align with his agenda - an alarming sign coming from a governor who was elected partially on promises of protecting minorities' rights in Florida.
There can be no doubt now: If we want our children to receive a proper education on America's complicated past and present, then we must demand more from our leaders - starting with Ron DeSantis' need-to-be-revoked WOKE Act - rather than allow them to get away with erasing truth under the guise of "educational value."