Florida’s Governor returned to the Fox News Channel Tuesday night, appearing on “Hannity,” where he explained his civics education initiative as a bulwark against left-wing ideology.
Gov. Ron DeSantis doubled down on fervent denunciations of Critical Race Theory, calling the academic approach an “identity politics version of Marxism.”
“I do think we need to rediscover in our K through 12 system the founding of the country, what makes our country unique,” DeSantis said, referencing figures former President Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., or former President Ronald Reagan “winning the Cold War.”
“But when you do that, it’s got to be true and solid and factual. And you can’t let it become infected with left wing ideology like Critical Race Theory.”
“Critical Race Theory is basically teaching people to hate our country, hate each other. It’s divisive and it’s basically an identity politics version of Marxism,” DeSantis said.
The Governor claimed that his “bold civics initiative” would spawn a “depoliticized curriculum.”
DeSantis last week rolled out the Civic Literacy Excellence Initiative: an ambitious proposal to use $116 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to ramp up civics education.
The goal is to provide “high-quality civics education,” under the auspices of the Florida Department of Education, with certification in the form of a “seal of excellence” and a $3,000 bonus for qualifying teachers. Training would also be offered to principals under the proposal.
While the structure of the program is aspirational, the Governor hasn’t shied away from politically pugnacious rhetoric like that used on Fox News Tuesday when selling the civics push elsewhere, with red meat descriptions of Critical Race Theory becoming a part of DeSantis’ stump speeches.
DeSantis noted last week in Palm Harbor that critical race theory “teaches our kids to hate our country.”
He said schools have become “indoctrination factories” and academics “engage in politicized academic fads with courses that reflect ideology not facts.”