Egret and crab

Thursday, March 16, 2023


Ah Florida, wonderful Florida. 

Saw two or three headlines the last couple days that gave me pause to pause...

You can teach about Rosa Parks in Florida but you can no longer mention her race. Who was she? She was a lady who wouldn't give up her seat on the bus. Like her race was important...


Kids are really going to be able to grasp the gravity of that one. We honor a lady because she refused to move to the back of the bus, no reason given. And that is all we can tell you, kid. Sorry. Because of you know who.

The New York Times reports that Studies Weekly, whose curriculum is used in 45,000 schools throughout the country, made a disturbing update to its lesson about Parks’s historic Montgomery bus boycott. In the lesson that’s currently used, segregation is clearly defined with text that reads: “The law said African Americans had to give up their seats on the bus if a white person wanted to sit down.” But in an updated version, it’s as though race doesn’t exist at all. “She was told to move to a different seat,” it simply reads.

The company, according to the Times, made “similar changes to a fourth-grade lesson about segregation laws that arose after the Civil War.” The initial version refers to African Americans clearly and states how they were affected by Jim Crow. However, an update makes virtually no mention of race, and merely states that it was illegal for “men of certain groups” to be unemployed and for “certain groups of people” to serve on juries.

Seriously? You're going to make the students guess? On the same front, a novel about the holocaust has been scrubbed because it mentioned that there was rape in the camps. 

A Holocaust-themed novel by bestselling author Jodi Picoult was among dozens of books removed from a South Florida school district library’s circulation last month, in the latest example of books with Jewish themes getting swept up amid a larger conservative-led effort to police potentially inappropriate material in classrooms.
“The Storyteller” was removed from the library last month at a high school in Martin County, a southeast Florida district, owing to a parental complaint. According to a list of removed books published by local media. the novel was among several others by Picoult that were taken off the shelves.The Post reported that most of the Florida district’s book complaints originated from one parent: the head of the local chapter of the conservative group Moms For Liberty. 

“At this point, we believe we have challenged the most obscene and age inappropriate books,” the parent, Julie Marshall, told the Post.

Marshall did not immediately respond to a Jewish Telegraphic Agency request for comment on why she sought to remove “The Storyteller,” but she previously told the school board that the vast majority of her challenges were based on what she deemed sexually explicit content. The book contains several sexually graphic scenes, including depictions of sexual assault by Nazi guards.

Nobody ever talks about the good nazis...

what's next?

I hate to say it but I think the time is rapidly approaching when one will have to pick a side, do we want students getting accurate portrayals of history or are we going to scrub everything and teach a fake, denuded narrative that will make kids feel good? You on the side of the book burners? You comfortable with the Moms of Liberty in charge? If you pass an i.q. test in Florida do you have to all of a sudden give up your voting rights?

Florida passed the Stop WOKE Act, which DeSantis proudly signed last year and which bans instruction that would make anyone feel “discomfort, guilt, or anguish” about what people of the same race did in the past. Of course, Native Americans are no longer spared either in the Sunshine State:
Meanwhile, the conservative group Florida Citizens Alliance has reportedly “urged the state to reject 28 of the 38” text books its volunteers have reviewed. The group apparently found too many references to slavery in a fifth-grade text book, and felt that an eighth-grade text book spent too much time on the “negative side” of the treatment of Native Americans, without providing a robust account of the bad things Native Americans did
We need to talk about all the bad stuff the "injuns" did and make it even steven. God forbid we should upset the white folk.

I need a drink.


Jon Harwood said...

I was a History major with plans to teach. That didn't work out but I wonder how I would cope in this atmosphere. Mind you I studied history in the 1960s so the colleges had not been packed with far left nut jobs. Still, this more conservative era did not shy away from the facts of slavery. Yet even this politically acceptable version of history is now challenged by ideologues. How on earth could a teacher work with US history when even the clearly factual and verified story is attacked by morons who are demanding a WHITEwashed version.

I don't know if I could cope in today's left wing dominated colleges either. One finds the same absurd censorship and distortions all over the universities enforced by fools who are certain they are right and who viciously attack any deviation from their orthodoxy.

None of us need to be so damn hysterical. It just isn't that hard to cook up a reasonable curriculum that presents what happened without larding on a thick coating of right wing or left wing propaganda. That won't happen for awhile because the right has gotten caught up in prosecuting any deviation from a white christian nationalist agenda.

Linda Roberts Forman said...

On MORNING JOE last week, someone (I did not see who since I was still dozing) allowed the comparison to Desantis’s characterization of Putin’s invasion of Ukrain as a border dispute to Mexico invading Texas and calling it a border dispute. After I had coffee and got to the gym, I realized that I would actually be okay with that.
Oh, and Spain: “If you are listening,” come and get Florida and Mississippi.