Opinion: Ron DeSantis ban is undermining African American history


AP News/Marta Lavandier

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis during a news conference on January 26, 2023. Credit: APNews

What Ron DeSantis is doing is wrong and disgusting. On January 12, 2023, Ron DeSantis banned AP African American studies from all high schools in Florida. His justification is that it “lacks educational value.” He believes this class violates his Stop-WOKE Act where he states that race, sexuality, and gender should not be discussed on a school’s campus.

Where I get confused is how African American studies lack educational value. It does not make an ounce of sense that we cannot learn about the cruel conditions of slavery that black people endured, as well as all the protests and movements they organized in order to be treated rightfully as citizens, but we have to learn about who the Prime Minister of Britain was in 1953.

Why is it that we should not learn about the fact that more than one million African-Americans worked in every branch of the U.S Armed Forces to aid America in World War II, but we must learn about Britain’s petty rivalries? Why should we not learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Rosa Parks, but we must learn about Henry the Fifth who contributed nothing to making America the country it is today?

It’s because African American history shows the utter hypocrisy behind America. “All men are created equal.” Except black men. According to Ron DeSantis, black men and their people’s history does not matter. The ban shows how little DeSantis values black lives.

I believe DeSantis doesn’t care about how harmful this is for future generations. He does not care about generational trauma. He does not care about young black children or how they are viewed in society. He does not care about the fact that black children could grow up without ever knowing what their ancestors had to go through. DeSantis only cares about saving the face of white people.

Now he should start caring. He underestimated the wrong group of people.

Governor DeSantis is now being threatened with legal action. Three Florida students–Elijah Edwards, Victoria McQueen, and Juliette Heckmen–are threatening to sue Ron DeSantis over his decision to ban AP African American Studies. The students pointed out that the governor was censoring public education, heavily favoring white history over black history.

I completely agree with the fact that there should be action taken against the governor. His actions are an infringement on the freedom of speech.

DeSantis said African American History lacks educational value. I believe he is not qualified to make this claim seeing as he was a teacher for merely one year at a private school. He is sure to reap the consequences of those actions.

African-Americans will not have their voices and opinions swept under the rug; they will not be brushed to the side. African-Americans will be heard and they will put up a fight against the abject wrongdoing they are facing.