Ron DeSantis is blaming ‘queer theory’ for the education department’s rejection of an AP African American Studies course.
Earlier this month, Florida’s Department of Education refused to allow an AP African American Studies course to be approved in public school. They ruled that it violates Florida law against teaching “critical race theory” or CRT, which comes from a set of university curricula about racism but has been watered down into meaning any education that suggests systemic racism persists in the United States.
As anyone might be able to see, there is no way to teach about African American history without teaching that systemic racism persists. So that is an issue that needs to be tackled directly, in and of itself. Banning “CRT” means banning any honest academic discussion of American history, from its founding to its future.
But when asked for comments on the matter, Florida governor Ron DeSantis chose to blame ‘queer theory’ for the rejection.
“This course, when I heard it, didn’t meet the standards. I figured, ‘Yeah, they may be doing CRT,’” DeSantis told reporters in Jacksonville. “It’s way more than that. This course on Black history, what [is] one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that’s an important part of Black history, Queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.”
The curriculum in question is an eight-week unit on movements and debates important in African American history. The 19th lesson, meant to take approximately a day to cover, is a segment on Black Queer studies, looking at the complicated history of LGBT black Americans through text by black queer authors.
But teaching any flavor of queer theory is also illegal in Florida, under their ‘Don’t Say Gay’ laws, passed in 2020.
“It sounds like Ron DeSantis would himself benefit from taking AP African American Studies, as he has no knowledge of the critical role that queer people have played in Black history in our country,” said Brandon Wolf, of Equality Florida.
“DeSantis has staked his political career on book banning, government censorship, and replacing lessons on arts, culture, and our history with whitewashed, anti-LGBTQ propaganda. Educational institutions deserve better than his politically-motivated assaults on truth. Students deserve better.”
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