House Democrats Call Out “Racist Tropes” in New Florida K-12 History Curriculum

Florida’s mandated instruction that individuals benefited from abilities gained in slavery has drawn nationwide consideration.

4 Black Democrats within the U.S. Home of Representatives on Friday joined the rising chorus of critics opposing “racist tropes” in Florida’s new Ok-12 historical past curriculum, which incorporates instructing center faculty college students “the resurrection of one of many best lies America has ever informed itself, that slavery benefited the enslaved.”

“Your resolution to rewrite historical past to ingrain white supremacy into the minds of youngsters is a colossal step backward and an insult to Black folks, descendants of slaves, and the mind of the American folks,” three Florida Democrats — Reps. Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, and Frederica Wilson — and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) wrote to the state’s Division of Training Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. and Board of Training Chairman Ben Gibson.

The primary-of-its-kind requirements accepted Wednesday by the Florida board “should not the reality of American historical past however riddled with falsehoods that reduce the distinctive racial terror skilled by Black folks in America all through time,” the lawmakers argued.

“These requirements are out of contact with actuality and can go away future generations of Floridians out of contact and deprived on the planet outdoors of Florida,” they warned. “Even worse, it crops the sinister thought that enslavement and continued hurt towards Black folks at this time can be acceptable and useful.”

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Florida’s mandated instruction that enslaved folks developed “abilities which, in some cases, might be utilized for his or her private profit” has garnered nationwide consideration however “isn’t the one harmful falsehood,” the quartet highlighted. They identified that the curriculum for center faculty college students “additionally requires downplaying and tempering the horror of American slavery by requiring it’s coupled with instructing, ‘how slavery was utilized in Asian, European, and African cultures,’ ‘the similarities and variations between serfdom and slavery,’ and ‘comparative remedy of indentured servants of European and African extraction.’”

Moreover, for top schoolers, the requirements “listing massacres of Black folks in America as, ‘examples of acts of violence perpetrated in opposition to and by African Individuals,’ falsely assigning shared accountability to Black victims,” the lawmakers famous.

“We demand the Florida Board of Training instantly reverse its resolution,” they concluded. “Not repealing these new requirements would dig up the corpse of the worst model of our nation and power our kids to reside in it.”

Frost, Cherfilus-McCormick, Wilson, and Horsford aren’t the one critics of the Florida curriculum in Congress. U.S. Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), a Black former trainer and principal, tweeted Friday that “that is an outright try to rewrite historical past and ignore America’s previous of racial exploitation and violence and the trauma from the impression of slavery on Black Individuals.”

Congressman Jonathan Jackson (D-Unwell.) — a son of civil rights chief Rev. Jesse Jackson — thanked Vice President Kamala Harris “for standing up for the reality” by blasting the Florida requirements and declared that “we should be true to our historical past, even when it’s painful.”

The nationwide alarm over Florida’s curriculum comes after the administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis — now a GOP 2024 presidential candidate — earned widespread criticism earlier this yr for rejecting an Superior Placement course about African American research for highschool college students.

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