Florida school curriculum addresses ‘benefits’ of slavery

Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues his very conservative reform of public education. After the “Don’t say gay” prohibiting classroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten and elementary school and the “Stop Woke Act” aimed at prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory, the Florida Board of Education validated on Wednesday July 19 a new regulation concerning the teaching of the history of African-Americans in school, reports The Guardian.

The “benefits” of slavery

From now on, the program will present what would be the “benefits” of slavery. In a document of 216 pages listing the new educational guidelines, it is specified that slavery would have allowed African Americans to “develop skills which, in some cases, could be applied for their personal benefit”.

In parallel, the new program should also dwell on the violence committed by black people during certain ethnic riots, such as those in Atlanta in 1906, which had led to the murder of at least a dozen African-Americans, or the Tulsa massacre of 1921, which resulted in the death of at least a hundred African-Americans.

A measure denounced by Kamala Harris

This reform caused a lot of reaction from the Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris. At a talk given Wednesday at the African-American sorority Delta Sigma Theta in Washington, she considered that these measures as putting forward a “revisionist history”.

She then went to Jacksonville (Florida) on Friday, where she again denounced this decision. “People all over the world know our story, (…) and we would send our children to meet them, ignorant of their own story? “, she protested. In a similar vein, the Florida Education Association, a union representing more than 150,000 educators in the state, has also openly criticized the new curriculum, calling it a “disservice to Florida students” and a “big step backward.”

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