Widespread condemnation follows as Republican Governor Ros De Santos has reportedly blocked a new Advanced Placement course on African American Studies for high school students in the state of Florida, where African-Americans make up a substantial 17% of the total 3.464 million population (2020).
In a letter addressed to the College Board Florida, the DeSantis (R) administration rejected the proposal for the new course citing it as “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks education value.” The letter, however, did not clarify which State law the proposed new course is in violation of.
Last year, De Santis had signed a Legislation called the Stop Woke Act which was an attempt to prevent teaching about racism in school and to prohibit any teaching that “could put someone in a position to feel personal responsibility for historical wrongdoings.”
In 2021, Florida banned its school from teaching the “critical race theory,” a theoretical paradigm that looks at how race has shaped American history and culture, citing it as a distortion of historical facts. Opposition to teachings about racism at school has been one of the rallying cries for the Republicans in the states.
Netizens have lashed out at the move. “DeSantis banning AP African American Studies is a reminder of that old quote — White privilege is when your history is the curriculum and every other history is an elective,” tweeted Qasim Rashid, a human rights lawyer, author and host of the Qasim Rashid Show on Sirius XM Channel 126.
“Florida has gone from Don’t Say Gay to Don’t Say Black,” tweeted Congressman from NY15. The singer, actress and activist Malynda Hale stated, “Please don’t try and convince me that Ron DeSantis is not racist. Banning African American studies is truly something.”