Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro regularly calls White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre the world’s worst press secretary. On Friday, she proved Shapiro’s point.
Jean-Pierre, who is black and gay, decided to lash out at Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis after the state Education Department rejected an advanced placement course on African American studies crafted by the College Board.
“It is incomprehensible to see that this is what this ban—or this block, to be more specific—that DeSantis has put forward. If you think about the study of black Americans, that is what he wants to block and, again, these types of actions aren’t new, especially from what we’re seeing from Florida, sadly,” Jean-Pierre told reporters during her daily briefing, according to Yahoo News.
She declined to discuss the state’s actual objections.
Instead, she added, “Let’s not forget, they didn’t ban—they didn’t block . . . AP European History. They didn’t block our music history. They didn’t block our art history. But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high-achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture. And it is incomprehensible.”
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“Florida currently bans teachers from talking about who they are and who they love, as we’ve talked about many times in this briefing room,” she added. “They have banned more books in schools and libraries than almost every other state in the country,” she said.
What’s incomprehensible is how wrong someone who speaks for President Joe Biden could be.
As DeSantis’ spokesman, Bryan Griffin, pointed out, Florida state law already requires the teaching of African American history in public schools.
The law itself says the following instruction is mandated for public school students:
“The history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the history and contributions of Americans of the African diaspora to society.”
Moreover, the law adds, “Students shall develop an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism, and stereotyping on individual freedoms, and examine what it means to be a responsible and respectful person, for the purpose of encouraging tolerance of diversity in a pluralistic society and for nurturing and protecting democratic values and institutions.”
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It also adds, “Instruction shall include the vital contributions of African Americans to build and strengthen American society and celebrate the inspirational stories of African Americans who prospered, even in the most difficult circumstances.”
As the conservative website Florida’s Voice pointed out, the AP course rejected by the state Education Department was loaded with references to Critical Race Theory and other general woke nostrums.
For instance, a section of the curriculum on Black Queer Studies “explores the concept of the queer of color critique, grounded in Black feminism and intersectionality.”
Another part that tackles the concept of “colorblindness” includes a recommended book on the topic that colorblindness within the U.S. criminal justice system “functions as a contemporary system of racial control — relegating millions to a permanent second-class status.”
National Review columnist Stanley Kurtz noted that the curriculum also advocates the overthrow of the capitalist system.
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The DeSantis administration sent the College Board a letter saying it was rejecting the course because it was “inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value.”
The letter offered the College Board the opportunity to fix the flaws in the curriculum and bring it back for consideration, so long as it provides “lawful, historically accurate content.”
In that column, Kurtz noted that the contributors the College Board turned to in order to develop the course are enthusiastic advocates of CRT.
“It takes guts to say no to a course that looks benign on the surface but is, in fact, filled with CRT and leftist propaganda. DeSantis has got guts,” wrote Kurtz, who wondered if other Republican governors would respond as DeSantis did.
“All honor to DeSantis for being faithful to both his word and to the law,” Kurtz added. “Truly, he is doing what it takes to stop woke.”