Ron DeSantis cites ‘queer theory’ and ‘intersectionality’ in defense of African American studies course ban
Ron DeSantis. Image via Facebook.

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'That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.'

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to attack the College Board’s Advanced Placement class in African American studies, a pilot course banned by the state last week.

At a charter school in Jacksonville Monday, DeSantis singled out the course’s treatment of “queer theory” as being on the “wrong side of the line for Florida standards.”

“This course, on Black History, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory!”

“Now who would say that an important part of Black History is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids, and so when you look to see they have stuff about intersectionality, abolishing prisons, that’s a political agenda. And so, that’s the wrong side of the line for Florida standards.”

“When you try to use Black history to shoehorn in queer theory,” DeSantis continued, “you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes.”

Intersectionality, abolishing prisons, and Black Queer Studies were among the tropes Education Secretary Manny Diaz objected to last week on Twitter, messaging the administration’s side of the course ban. DeSantis also denounced the mentioned topic Movement for Black Lives as unduly political.

“If you read what’s in there, they advocate abolishing prisons, that’s a radical political position.” DeSantis said, although allowing people are “free to take that position.”

“But how is that being taught as fact to be able to do that? And I also think that it’s not fair to say somehow that abolishing prisons is somehow linked to (the) Black experience,” he added, saying that Black people want “law and order, just like anybody else wants law and order.”

DeSantis said the state prefers to “do history,” which is “just cut-and-dry history.”

“You learn all the basics, you learn about the great figures. And you know, I view it as American history. I don’t view it as separate history. We have history of a lot of different shapes and sizes,” the Governor said. “People that have participated to make the country great. People that have stood up when it wasn’t easy. And they all deserve to be taught.”

Advocates for the course stress the focus on African American culture, literature, and political and social movements, meanwhile, suggesting there is a gap between the course work and DeSantis’ seeming belief African American studies can be absorbed into larger American studies or history courses.

The ban was first messaged nationally. The conservative and arguably pro-DeSantis National Review Wednesday first reported a pilot version of the AP African American Studies would not be offered, though the leak suggested a course “with lawful, historically accurate content” would be acceptable.

Florida Democrats decry the ban, meanwhile.

Sen. Bobby Powell said the ban put DeSantis’ “racial bias on full display.” Democratic Sen. Shevrin Jones of Miami-Dade said Florida was trying to “tilt the scales and shut down important, much-needed discussions of race, slavery, stolen lands and undeniable history that have led to where we are as a society today.”

Miami area Rep. Christopher Benjamin wondered how the course ran “afoul of the law.” And Jacksonville Rep. Angie Nixon said the Governor was “devastating” and predicted things would only get worse.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


22 comments

  • Elliott Offen

    January 23, 2023 at 12:42 pm

    Nothing wrong with theories. Freedom to learn and teach theories shouldn’t be infringed upon… unless you’re gonna include banning the theory of creation which has no merit whatsoever. Taught literally or not… nobody should be telling anyone else that someone can be raised from the dead or that there’s an afterlife. Isn’t that right Paul Pizza?

    Reply

    • Dems are ALL groomers

      January 24, 2023 at 9:11 am

      Oh shut up you ignorant fool. You’d squawk loudest if some tried to teach white supremacy.

      Reply

      • I would

        January 24, 2023 at 2:23 pm

        Well yes I would.
        Even though you like that class. Lol

        Reply

      • Diable

        January 26, 2023 at 5:17 pm

        A white supremacy class is just regular ol Amerikkkan history class

        Reply

  • He is

    January 23, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    Ron desantis: actually I’m just a racist southern governor like those before me.

    Reply

  • Richard Bruce

    January 23, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    No objection on teaching any subject, but don’t use taxpayer’s money. If public money is used, then content must be acceptable to the taxpayer.

    Reply

    • Small education

      January 23, 2023 at 2:13 pm

      “Acceptable to the taxpayer”

      Not how education works.
      Floridians rank low in education so I see why you think that though
      Also they are some of the most racist people in America lol

      Reply

    • Impeach Biden

      January 23, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      I don’t want my tax dollars being used to prop up religious schools, and don’t want one dime going to them.

      Reply

    • Diable

      January 26, 2023 at 5:20 pm

      I object to all classes teaching religion then. Fair is fair, right?

      Reply

  • Ron DeSantis voters worship Satan.

    January 23, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    Ron DeSantis is a filthy racist. And so are every single one of his supporters.

    Reply

    • Dems are ALL groomers

      January 24, 2023 at 9:09 am

      Shaaaadddap you ignorant groomer.

      Reply

      • Oh

        January 24, 2023 at 2:26 pm

        Shadddddup you low iq southern racist. lol

        Reply

      • cassandra

        January 24, 2023 at 9:05 pm

        Of course I thought of you: “Christian School Principal Slapped With A Slew Of New Child Sex Charges”——Crooks&Liars.com

        Reply

  • G. Fardella

    January 23, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    Governor DeSantis ism corre3ct and Kamala Harris needs to go back to Washington; isn’t it true that she is not really African-American, as she likes to claim and that her family back in Jamaica, owned slaves? I think her pay should be garnished for reparations…Florida educators need to treat our history as one, whether positive or negative and let’s not forget what happened in 1850 to1854…A gentleman named Abe Lincoln, broke away from the pro-slavery Whig Party and formed the modern Republican Party, with an anti-slavery platform. Also, LBJ in modern times did not have enough democratic votes to pass the modern civil rights acts of the 60’s…he needed Republican help. Did you also know that Bull Connor and Geoirge Wallace were loyal democrats. As usual, the demonics try to play the race card but they should look at themselves in the mirror and be honest. The R party loves every patriotic American, regardless of race, religion, color, creed and nationality.

    Reply

    • Sure

      January 24, 2023 at 2:30 pm

      educators need to treat our history as one”

      Says the state that gives slave owners holidays.

      Why do you make statues of losers? Lol

      Reply

    • Diable

      January 26, 2023 at 5:23 pm

      Lol, what does these guys being “pro Democrats” in the 60’s have to do with today’s Democratic party? You Republicans are so damn stupid but I guess if you believe in the divinity of a desert Jew, you’ll believe anything, smh.

      Reply

  • Dems are ALL groomers

    January 24, 2023 at 9:07 am

    Leftist scum never sleep, never slumber, always relentlessly trying to destroy America. Thank God for people like DeSantis who stands up to them. And it is funny watching them squirm when he exposes them!

    Reply

  • tom palmer

    January 24, 2023 at 9:57 am

    It would be interesting to know whether the course goes beyond introducing students (keep in mind this is an Advanced Placement course) to long-discussed topics such as prison reform and human sexuality studies instead of making it seem like there is only one way to view these topics.

    Reply

    • That’s why

      January 24, 2023 at 5:12 pm

      He’s just doesn’t like black people and gays.

      I guess some Union soldier must have killed his great grandfather lol

      Reply

  • brian staver

    January 24, 2023 at 8:06 pm

    Sorry folks, Death Santis is a racist in sheep’s clothing and is indoctrinating our children in how to be a racist. We need to take notice and vote him out of office.

    Reply

  • Nori Taylor

    January 25, 2023 at 12:51 pm

    Will some ‘genius’ please tell me what a course on “Queer Theory” would even be about? How about a course on ‘Common Sense’? That’s sadly needed here! Quit with the devisive BS!

    Reply

    • Diable

      January 26, 2023 at 5:25 pm

      If you morons didn’t hate gay people, a class on queer theory wouldn’t be decisive. But logic doesn’t exist in the minds of right wingers.

      Reply

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