Florida Distorted Narrative on Slavery
The War on Woke escalated recently when the Florida Department of Education introduced startling new guidelines on teaching U.S. history, with a particular rewritten focus on racial violence. The new curriculum suggests that slavery provided Black people with a personal advantage by helping them develop useful job skills.
Furthermore, high school students will be taught that Black people were also instigators of violence during white supremacist massacres, such as the one in Rosewood, Florida, in 1923. However, the curriculum fails to provide the crucial context: the Black community was defending itself against a white mob that was indiscriminately murdering women and children, and ultimately destroyed the town.Over an accusation made by a white woman named Fannie Taylor, who claimed that an escaped prisoner named Jesse Hunter had raped her, it was subsequently believed that he was hiding in the town of Rosewood.
The curriculum also fails to mention that survivors later recounted that Fannie Taylor had made false accusations against Jesse Hunter to conceal her extramarital affair with a white man. The objectionable action taken by the state education department, appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis who is also a presidential candidate, is unfolding within a public school system where 64% of the student population are people of color.
The question is: who stands to gain from this distorted narrative? My best bet is serves that white nationalist agenda.
And what is the price we pay for such a warped understanding of history? The cost could be the unraveling of half a century's worth of education and acknowledgment of our past wrongdoings. Maybe their objective resonates with the time-honored adage: history forgotten is bound to be relived. I sincerely hope that isn't their intention.
The Voices of Dissent
Vice President Kamala Harris made a trip to Jacksonville, Florida, to address the true nature of slavery. She highlighted the routine torture endured by human beings, the inhumane suffering, and the deprivation of basic human rights. She voiced her criticism against the efforts to instill in our children ideologically charged information, declaring, "This is the United States of America. "We are not an autocratic government that rewrites facts. Their attempts to gaslight us are an insult, and we will not tolerate it."
State Senator Chevron Jones, who serves on the education committee, has been watching this happen up close. He pointed out the irony that the law requiring African American history to be taught in the state of Florida was passed based on recognizing the Rosewood massacre. He called out the dis-ingenuousness of the new guidelines, emphasizing that there was no benefit to slavery and that children need to learn accurate history.
The Consequences of the War on Woke
The War on Woke isn't confined to Florida; it's a nationwide issue. It's a struggle for control that could lead to a generation of children who lack knowledge of their identity, their heritage, and their historical roots. This war aims to erase the uncomfortable aspects of our past, cleanse history, and spread a narrative that benefits only a select few.
Recently, the Christian Nationalist group "Moms for Liberty," co-founded by the wife of a Florida elected official who has championed this distorted retelling of history for Florida schools, has attempted to further this strange reimagining of not only Black history but also Holocaust denial. This dangerously extremist domestic group has even falsely accused school board members of being groomers for upholding the truth in history.
History is Immutable
History is immutable. Whether it's the history of Jewish Americans, Chinese Americans, or African Americans, each narrative holds its own weight. Regardless of whether it brings us discomfort, it doesn't alter the facts. We cannot sugarcoat the darker episodes of American history and portray them as good. They weren't. Lynchings were atrocious. Redlining was discriminatory.
All occurrences throughout American history should be included in our educational framework, and it's the children's entitlement to gain knowledge regarding the authentic acts of inhumanity that transpired. This includes the times when we allowed the value of a human being to be diminished due to skin color, religious differences, or identity.
The Call to Action
The “War on Woke” is a rallying cry for all of us. It's a plea for steadfast commitment, a refusal to let history be manipulated, and a pledge to ensure our children are educated based on truth, not political delusions crafted by a rogue party. The contest before us, in which failure is not an option, is a stark reminder that the power of our country lies within its wide-ranging plurality, its capacity to learn from its past, and its firm dedication to honesty and fairness.
For the benefit of our children and the future we wish to shape, we must persist in our pursuit of truth, comprehension, and a broader and more precise grasp of the history we collectively share.