The White House made a target of Gov. Ron DeSantis again after his administration rejected a proposal to teach critical race theory in Florida high schools. On Sunday, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Unfortunately, in Florida, extremist so-called leaders ban books, block history classes, and prevent teachers from freely discussing who they are and who they love. Anyone who bans teaching American history has no right to shape America’s future.”
On Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed blocking the College Board’s Advanced Placement African-American history class “is incomprehensible. … If you think about the study of black Americans, that is what he [DeSantis] wants to block.”
In response, DeSantis Press Secretary Bryan Griffin noted that Florida public schools are required by law to teach African-American history as part of U.S. history. What Florida has banned, he pointed out, is teaching African-American history through a Marxist lens that pits racial groups against each other and assigns moral value to people’s God-given skin color.
New documents from the College Board class Florida rejected were published Monday by Ethics and Public Policy Center scholar Stanley Kurtz. They reinforce DeSantis’ argument, showing the AP African-American studies class is egregiously biased toward the extremist political left. It is written in such a way as to preach the racial division of critical race theory rather than enlighten students with the complex actual histories of African Americans.
In fact, as Kurtz writes:
Overwhelmingly, [the College Board class] APAAS’s approach is from the socialist Left, with very little in the way of even conventional liberal perspectives represented, not to mention conservative views. Most of the topics in the final quarter present controversial leftist authors as if their views were authoritative, with no critical or contrasting perspectives supplied. The scarcely disguised goal is to recruit students to various leftist political causes.
Kurtz obtained a teacher manual for the class that backs up these assertions. The draft teacher manual for this class Harris and Jean-Pierre described as “American history,” Kurtz says, includes a major section on Black Lives Matter, the massive Democrat-benefitting and riot-enabling activism organization started by two self-described Marxists.
The academics the teacher’s manual tells teachers to assign in this class describe Black Lives Matter, or the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), and its underlying Marxist aims in only positive terms, Kurtz writes, explaining:
[T]he real purpose of M4BL’s platform is to serve as a “blueprint for social transformation,” radically changing the structure of American society by shifting us away from market principles and toward “‘collective ownership’ of certain economic institutions” and a universal basic income.
The authors also demand “reparations,” which are essentially a political excuse to institute race-based socialism, a redistribution of wealth from disfavored racial groups to favored racial groups. It should go without saying that this is flatly a racist idea, as it involves doling out civil penalties and rewards based on skin color and ancestry. It is also horribly unjust because it doles out punishments and rewards based on inborn characteristics rather than individual actions.
“The teacher’s guide purports to outline ‘debates’ over reparations, yet the so-called debates don’t actually involve arguments against reparations,” Kurtz writes. “By ‘debates,’ the guide simply means practical disagreements about who exactly should pay for reparations, who exactly should benefit, and the precise mixture of monetary compensation and public apology to be demanded. There is no disagreement about reparations as such. This is political advocacy, pure and simple.”
Kurtz’s review of the materials also reveals they repeatedly encourage violence for Marxist political ends, with no counterpoints to these incitements provided. The course thus reads, according to the draft materials available, as essentially an incitement to violent street theater in service of selectively agitated racial grievances.
College Board has so far refused to publicly disclose any of its materials for this course, which is being tested in schools across the United States currently, even though College Board makes most of its income from taxpayers by selling products to public schools and state education agencies. So College Board is essentially telling states they have to approve this curriculum and move it into classrooms long before the parents whose kids will take these classes, and who pay for these classes to be taught in public schools, can find out what’s inside it.
The College Board’s other course materials that allow bright high school students to obtain cheap and early college credit are also heavily biased, scholars have found. They essentially import the heavy leftist bias of universities into public high schools, distorting even younger Americans’ understanding of reality. This, probably not coincidentally, amplifies younger voters’ tendency to vote for Democrats.
Republicans who can’t combat this leftist indoctrination and get-out-the-vote scheme don’t deserve to be in office. As I wrote Monday, College Board’s biased monopoly on advanced high-school curriculum is in need of investigation by every elected official with authority over public education institutions. The rank extremism of this proposed African-American studies class is just the tip of a large iceberg.