As Ron DeSantis moves ahead with his current term as governor, he is moving the state’s education system backward.
The more chilling comparison would be that he’s moving it back to the days of Nazi Germany or in some other direction more akin to George Orwell’s 1984 or Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451—neither of which are on his recommended reading list.
What DeSantis really has up his sleeve is not entirely clear, other than that he appears to have a serious issue with education that involves history in just about any way.
Jeff Tiedrich said it best on Twitter:
teachers in Nazi Germany hid books to avoid being arrested. teachers in Republican Florida are hiding books to avoid being arrested. any questions
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) February 1, 2023
Here is an image from a classroom Florida’s Duval County, where teachers in fear of their jobs have removed all the books for “review.”
As the Washington Post reported,
House Bill 1467, which took effect as law in July, mandates that schools’ books be age-appropriate, free from pornography and “suited to student needs.” Books must be approved by a qualified school media specialist, who must undergo a state retraining on book collection. The Education Department did not publish that training until January, leaving school librarians across Florida unable to order books for more than a year.
Ron DeSantis has pushed for a curriculum that whitewashes—irony intended—the vast history of oppression of black members of American society throughout the country’s past. Has he branded AP Black Studies as “unnecessary.”
According to Politico:
In the latest escalation of America’s ever-present political culture war, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the state would bar public schools from participating in a pilot of the College Board’s new AP course on African American Studies. In a move that stoked considerable controversy, the governor and his administration denounced the curriculum as “woke,” “contrary to Florida law” and an exercise in “indoctrination.”
Citing specific curricular units that address Black Queer theory and the sociological concept of intersectionality, which holds that a matrix of advantages and disadvantages create an invisible power structure in society, DeSantis argued, “Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids. And so when you look to see they have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons, that’s a political agenda. … We believe in education, not indoctrination.”
DeSantis is obviously following an agenda which includes spoon feeding information to students in such a way as to deny them necessary knowledge. A student who heads into college and then out into society, who has no full knowledge of the wholesale slaughter and oppression committed in that society’s wake has a problem. Rather society has a problem, because those intentionally miseducated students are the very tools needed to repeat that history.
This is why Nazis burned books in Germany, why Captain Beatty and company in the now prophetic Fahrenheit 451 made burning books their business.
DeSantis is clearly pandering to a specific base: the white supremacists who have reared their heads because of Trump’s validation of them as “very fine people.” DeSantis knows that these denizens of humanity’s dark side worship Trump—and he wants their votes when 2024 comes around.
Trump wanted to be the country’s “Big Brother” with his “only I can solve it” mantra. DeSantis however is far, far more dangerous in his parallel ambition, with his Ivy League education and law degree—something Trump never had the mental capacity to obtain. This means that DeSantis knows full well how to work the system to pervert it toward his desires. He knows the actions he is taking against education violate the First Amendment—but he doesn’t care. It will take ages to get cases on it in front of the Supreme Court, which Trump stacked in favor of these very ambitions.
Those who oppose the teaching of history, warts and all, could care less whether that history makes people uncomfortable. Their larger ambition has to do with getting it to repeat itself without educated opposition. And it appears that Ron DeSantis is operating on just that adenda.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.