DeSantis’ ‘aggressive attempts to erase Black history’ leads NAACP to issue travel advisory for Florida
Last week, the NAACP released a travel advisory for Florida over Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ aggressive attempts to completely erase Black history. The governor’s statements are against the diversity, equity and inclusion programs of Florida’s schools, according to NAACP’s recent statement.
The NAACP remarked that the state of Florida has been openly hostile towards African American, the LGBTQ community, and people of colour. On the basis of this, the NAACP advised people travelling to Florida to beware of that Florida marginalises and devalues the challenges faced by African Americans and other people of colour and their contributions to the development of the state.
In January of this year, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis prevented the inclusion of an Advanced Placement Course in African American Studies in the curricula of high schools in Florida. He reasoned that the contents of the presented course lacked educational value and we’re contrary to the laws of Florida.
Derrick Johnson, the President and CEO of NAACP, responded to DeSantis’ statements saying that failure to educate people about the challenges and inequalities suffered by African Americans and other people of colour is a failure on the part of the education system and a disservice to all learners. Johnson went on to say that under DeSantis’ administration, Florida has become increasingly hostile to people of colour, especially Black Americans.
A nonprofit organisation overseeing the national AP program, the College Board, called for the revision of the framework of the curriculum after state officials rejected the same over six major areas of concern – Intersectionality, Black Queer Studies, Movement for Black Lives, Black struggle in the 21st century, Black feminist literary thought, and inclusion of the works of eminent Black authors like Angela Davis, Kimberley. Crenshaw, Bell Hooks, and others.
The adjustments contained compromises that directly allay conservatives’ worries, despite the College Board and many of the academic experts consulted about the course framework insisting that they would not yield to political pressure. The names of several Black authors deemed troublesome by Florida officials were omitted from the amended syllabus. Sections about intersectionality were also significantly changed, and a part about the Movement for Black Lives was eliminated.
The Missouri chapter of NAACP had issued a similar advisory in the year 2017 urging people of colour, especially Black Americans to take extreme caution while travelling as the state had a long history of sex and race-based crimes. This advisory was released three years after the killing of a Black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police official.
The Florida State Conference of the NAACP initially suggested the travel advice to the board of directors, and it was approved by a unanimous vote in March.
DeSantis has made education and other social issues a major priority of his administration. He plans to run for president in 2024. The “Stop WOKE Act,” which limits how race and gender are discussed in schools, was enacted by him last year. Requests for comment on the travel alert from the DeSantis campaign and the NAACP were not immediately fulfilled.