The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Attacking Black History to Grandstand for the Right

Jan 23, 2023

Florida announced that the new Advanced Placement African American Studies class, a college level class to be made available to high schools, would be banned in state schools. The Department of Education wrote "As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value." They said nothing about how the new course violated the law, or where it was supposedly “inaccurate.”

Last year, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed one bill to broadly restrict teaching about this country’s history of racism—what they’ve been calling “Critical Race Theory"—and another to prevent teaching about gender and sexuality.

Right wing operatives are coordinating a national campaign to cultivate "universal public school distrust," in the words of Christopher Rufo. DeSantis appointed Rufo to the board of a small public liberal arts college in Florida this year, and he is attempting to impose similar policies there. It’s a way of undermining public education so that they can pull the money out—and send it to private schools or corporations.

The right has been using these reactionary politics to mobilize parents at local school boards—and as a way of garnering votes. DeSantis is eyeing next year’s presidential race. He wants to make an appeal to the reactionary prejudice to try to drum up the votes that went to Trump. It’s a big and disgusting move to make the teaching of black history “illegal.”