Cool TN Lady Gonna Fill The Social Studies Standards With Awesome Stuff Like ‘Barack Obama Did The Tornados’

The Education Wars just never go away, and in today’s dispatch from the front lines we’ll look at Tennessee, where a rightwing conspiracy theory fan and anti-Muslim bigot has just been appointed to the committee that sets standards for the state’s social studies curricula.

Yr Wonkette already introduced you last year to Laurie Cardoza-Moore, the nutball Tennessee bigot lady, when she was a member of the state textbook commission that was tasked with making sure only “age appropriate” materials were in them. You may recall that Tennessee was considering a measure that would have required state approval of every last item in the collections of school libraries; the bill’s sponsor charmingly said that any materials not approved by the commission should be burned. Ultimately, the Lege settled for a different plan that gave the textbook commission the power to hear appeals of book challenges brought by parents, so the state could ban library books even after a local school board had gone through a challenge process and approved them. Hooray for compromise.

We guess that Ms. Cardoza-Moore must have either done a bang-up job on that commission, or at the very least that she has powerful friends in Tennessee, because clearly it’s the latter thing. She was chosen for the Tennessee Standards Recommendation Committee by Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R), the slimebooger we came to know and loathe during the kangaroo court proceedings that expelled Democratic state Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson in April. Sexton also appointed her to the textbook commission in 2021, which is quite the coincidence.

In her new job, Cardoza-Moore will have a say in setting state standards for social studies classes, although we suspect she’ll just photocopy the course offerings at Hillsdale College and say “Done!” As Judd Legum points out in his Popular Information newsletter, Cardoza-Moore doesn’t actually believe in public schools; she’s homeschooled her own five kids, and she’s simply horrified that US history texts teach historical facts that make America look bad, such as the fact that the Constitution provided a framework for oppression of African Americans. In a 2020 Fox News interview, she blamed Common Core, because why not? She claimed, falsely, that schools no longer teach about the founding of the US, but instead skip ahead to the Civil War and Reconstruction so they can harp on all the slavery, those monsters.

“This is an outrage,” Cardoza-Moore exclaimed. “It poses the greatest national security threat to our constitutional republic.”

So yeah, she’s a real peach. She somehow also took issue with a textbook’s factual statement that the Republican Party was originally founded to fight the spread of slavery beyond the states where it was already allowed, complaining that it was “disinformation” because Lincoln was anti-slavery, which, yeah, that’s what the book said. She was mostly upset the book didn’t say that Democrats were pro-slavery and KKK, and also what about that Klansman Robert Byrd, huh?

Cardoza-Moore initially made her name in Tennessee politics by fearmongering about Islam, back when that was the thing the Right was certain would destroy America, because Barack Obama was president. She led some of the most paranoid opposition to a mosque being built in Murfreesboro, claiming that fully 30 percent of Muslims are terrorists and that the mosque would be a base for “radical Islamic extremists” bent on destroying Nashville’s Christian music industry.

During her 2021 confirmation hearing for her seat on the textbook commission, she explained that bad school textbooks are directly responsible for wrecking America and of course the riots that burned all cities in America to the ground in 2020, several of them more than once.

While America slept, the hearts, minds and souls of our students were being influenced by disinformation. Tragically we have seen the result over the past few months; our streets have been filled with rioting destructive American young people who have not been taught the values entrusted to us by our nation’s founders … nor have they been taught our nation’s history — history which many seem intent to destroy

See, if only kids been made to memorize more facts about how George Washington was a Christian and God wrote the Constitution, there might be a few more cities still standing in our great land.

As Legum details, Cardoza-Moore doesn’t seem to have met a conspiracy theory she didn’t glom on to. She’s said that 9/11 was an “inside job,” that Donald Trump was the true winner of the 2020 election, and that January 6 was a false flag attack by “Antifa.” I’m just disappointed that she doesn’t appear to have said anything about chemtrails. But she came kind of close in 2011, as Legum explains, when she

claimed that former President Barack Obama was causing “horrific tornadoes” because he made a speech that discussed the plight of Palestinians. Asked if she still held these views, Cardoza-Moore did not respond.

She also runs her very own “Christian Zionist” nonprofit called “Proclaiming Justice to the Nations,” which recently ran a press release on her appointment to the social studies standards job. In it, we learn that she has previously helped the Florida Department of Education screen textbooks, “a successful review effort that ‘caught and corrected dozens of books to prevent political indoctrination of Florida’s children,’ a spokesperson for Governor Ron DeSantis noted.”

In the press release, Cardoza-Moore reflected on the important task ahead of her, because

“The materials we will be reviewing can only accomplish the mission of educating good American citizens if our Tennessee textbooks are devoid of left-aligned historic revisionism and the toxic material found in the antisemitic Critical Race Theory; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Social-Emotional Learning and Ethnic Studies.”

Impressive how she got all the rightwing shibboleths in there!

The statement also emphasized that Muslim groups opposed her appointment to the textbook commission, presumably because if she has the right enemies, that just shows what a great job she’ll do for Tennessee students.

We can hardly wait to see what happens to Tennessee social studies standards. Haha, we kid, of course, because we read the history standards that Donald Trump’s “1776 Commission” came up with, so we have a pretty good idea. Good luck, kids!

[Popular Information]

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Florida School District Will Protect Little Kids From Joe Biden’s Socialist Inauguration Poem

In the latest news from the school censorship battlefield — along with the Washington Post investigation (gift link) which found that most challenges to books in US schools were filed by just 11 people, yes really — we learned yesterday that Miami-Dade County Public Schools restricted access to a book version of “The Hill We Climb,” Amanda Gordon’s poem from Joe Biden’s inauguration in 2021.

Remember what a joyful, beautiful reading Gorman gave us that day?

Previously: After Vogon Poetry Years Of President Before Biden, Let’s End Our Day With Amanda Gorman’s Inauguration Poem

But darn it, the poem and some books about Cuba and Black history were simply too much for one angry parent, who demanded that they all be removed forever so they wouldn’t fill little kids with Wrongthink, according to documents released by the kick-ass anti-censorship nonprofit The Florida Freedom to Read Project. Specifically, and ungrammatically, the complaint about the poem explained it “is not educational and have indirect hate messages.” The parent who complained also listed “Oprah Winfrey” as the author, apparently because Oprah’s name is on the cover — she wrote the foreword.

In a statement, Gorman said she felt “gutted” by the action against her poem, noting that book censorship frequently targets those “who have struggled for generations to get on bookshelves,” and that the “majority of these censored works are by queer and non-white voices.”

She said that she’d written “The Hill We Climb”

so that all young people could see themselves in a historical moment. Ever since, I’ve received countless letters and videos from children inspired by The Hill We Climb to write their own poems. Robbing children of the chance to find their voices in literature is a violation of their right to free thought and free speech.

Well sure, but what about all the hidden hate messages, which were in fact so well hidden that we couldn’t even find them in the text of the poem that the parent complained about:

We’ve braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace,
And the norms and notions of what “just is”
Isn’t always justice

And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed
A nation that isn’t broken, but simply

I guess it must be CRT because discrimination is in the past so why bring it up? Or the Mad Mom thought it invoked the chant “No Justice, No Peace”?

The Miami Herald, which first broke the story (subscriber-only link), explains that as a result of the challenge, four of the five titles the parent was unhappy about were placed on the middle school shelves at one school that houses kindergarten through 8th grade, but not removed entirely — just de facto unavailable to kids up to fifth grade. Stephana Ferrell, director of research and insight for Florida Freedom to Read, told the Herald that moving the books

underscores a growing trend to redefine what is considered age appropriate, “especially regarding books that address ethnicities, marginalized communities, racism or our history of racism.”

“Books written for students grades K-5 are being pushed to middle school [libraries and] out of reach for the students they were intended for,” she said. The books aren’t being banned from the district, she argued, “but they’re banned for the students they were intended for.”

Before you know it, schools will be insisting that moving the Gay Penguin book to county nursing homes isn’t censorship, it’s simply about making it available to an “appropriate” age group.

The Herald spoke to Daily Salinas, who is not a newspaper in California but actually the parent who complained about the poem and other titles, and who wanted them removed “from the total environment,” although she also said she isn’t for censorship, no, not at all. In addition to “The Hills We Climb,” she objected to four other titles, The ABCs of Black History,Cuban Kids,Countries in the News: Cuba, and Love to Langston,all four of which are aimed at elementary school readers.

After the Herald story published, the Florida Freedom to Read Project posted to Twitter the complaint forms for the four books, in which Salinas complained the Cuba books indoctrinated students with “socialism” and “communism” because duh, it’s Cuba and “Castros are the dictators.” The other two books have Black people in them, so they are of course filled with “CRT” and “indoctrination,” because little kids are ripe for critical race theory, the law school area of study. Also, The ABCs of Black History allegedly includes both “CRT and Gender Ideology,” whatever that might mean to Ms. Salinas.

A review committee examined the books and found that none of them were guilty of “indoctrination,” hooray, but the committee also decided that only one book, Countries in the News: Cuba, was “balanced and age appropriate in its wording and presentation,” so it could stay in the elementary section of the library. The other four were found to be “more appropriate” for middle schoolers, although how exactly that was determined seems iffy.

The committee sent Gorman’s poem to the middle school shelves because its “vocabulary” was “of value to middle school students”; it was also found to be “of historical value” and therefore not too indoctrinatey.

Despite Love to Langston being labeled for ages 8 to 11, it too was sent up to middle school, because the “content and subject matter of poems in this collection were determined to be better suited to middle school students.” The poetry, we’ll add, is by the author, Tony Medina, as a biography in verse of Langston Hughes. Maybe it’s just too incendiary for nine-year-olds. The content in Cuban Kids was also found to be better for middle schoolers, although it’s mostly just a collection of, as the title says, photos of kids in Cuba.

Finally, the most absurd decision sent a freaking alphabet book, The ABCs of Black History, to the middle school shelves, with the bizarre logic that

although the book’s illustrations, presentations, and book jacket indicate this book was written for ages 5 and up, the [committee] determined the vocabulary and subject matter presented was more appropriate for middle school students.

We all know how jazzed kids in grades six through eight are about learning their ABCs, or perhaps in the minds of the committee, their BLMs and their ACABs.

So let’s all celebrate that instead of being banned, these works have been relegated to the middle school shelves of the library, where only the Gorman poem is likely to ever be picked up by an actual student. (Have you met middle schoolers? They tend to react to anything they think is for little kids like it was Kyryptonite Jr.)

The Herald asked Ms. Salinas, who is not for censorship, what she thought of the decision to retain one book in the elementary section and move the others to the middle school section. She wasn’t too happy, saying that

the books should have been removed for all students. School libraries are meant “to support the curriculum of the school and I don’t see how these books support the curriculum,” she said.

And finally, we should note that, according to a Twitter thread, with photos, posted by “Miami Against Fascism,” Ms. Salinas isn’t only a would-be schoolbook censor who rallies with Moms for Liberty/Censorship; she’s also attended Proud Boys events and appears to have posted to Facebook a summary of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” so that’s nice.

[NBC News / Miami Herald (subscribers only) / Florida Freedom to Read Project / WaPo (gift link) / Amanda Gorman on Twitter / Florida Freedom To Read Project on Twitter]

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Ron DeSantis Achieves New Dickishness Personal Worst

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has had a busy week, signing several bills that will further encrappen the state and make life miserable for LGBTQ folks, all in the hope that he’ll prove himself authoritarian enough to appeal to Republican primary voters next year. He’s been traveling across America’s Dangling Appendage signing bills restricting people’s freedom while claiming that Florida is the home of freedom, as long as you’re a rightwing evangelical. (We think we’ll just stop at “evangelical” from here on, since adding “Christian” to it just makes baby Jesus sad.)

Monday, DeSantis went to New College of Florida in Sarasota, the nice little liberal arts school he’s ruining to turn into a rightwing indoctrination center, to sign several bills aimed at purifying Florida colleges and universities of “wokeness.” It was his way of twisting the knife a bit, to remind the Liberal Elites who’s in charge. Your fascists love that kind of symbolic humiliation shit, like how a former German corporal insisted in 1940 that France surrender in the same railroad car where the 1919 Armistice was signed.

But sometimes the vanquished just won’t cooperate and admit they’ve been crushed, darn them. As Yr Wonkette noted Saturday, the official graduation speaker for New College’s commencement was Dr. Scott Atlas, Donald Trump’s Infect Everyone and Let God Sort ‘Em Out COVID adviser, which was supposed to be a sick burn on the libs. Instead of going along, New College students scheduled their own commencement for tonight, and civil rights attorney Maya Wiley will deliver the keynote speech. It’s as if those libs don’t even know they’ve been owned. Sad!

We Don’t Need No Education

As we say, DeSantis went to New College to ritually defile the corpse of his enemy, by signing bills that will further his goal of ramping up white grievance against higher education and nonexistent “liberal indoctrination.” The biggie is Senate Bill 266, which defunds and prohibits “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” (DEI) programs in higher education, because as we all know from racist memes, diversity is just code for white genocide. DeSantis kept a lid on the open racism and went for the respectable old dog whistle of “reverse racism” instead, saying,

“If you look at the way this has actually been implemented across the country, DEI is better viewed as standing for discrimination, exclusion and indoctrination. […] And that has no place in our public institutions.”

DeSantis proclaimed an end to diversity, crowing that “This bill says the whole experiment with DEI is coming to an end in the state of Florida. We are eliminating the DEI programs.”

In addition, the bill also cracks down further on academic freedom, specifying that general education classes — the core of classes for all undergrads — may not “distort significant historical events or include a curriculum that teaches identity politics,” and must not be based on

theories that systemic racism, sexism, oppression, and privilege are inherent in the institutions of the United States and were created to maintain social, political, and economic inequities.

Lasting effects of Jim Crow? Certainly not in Florida! America is perfect in Florida! A history prof could teach about redlining, presumably, as long as they don’t suggest that it created a structural imbalance in how wealth is accumulated in the US, because it’s just pure coincidence that some people inherited homes in neighborhoods that had restrictive covenants, while other people never saw such generational wealth transfer. Discrimination vanished after the Fair Housing Act in 1968, because it’s right in the name of the law, and how dare you suggest that the playing field was never level?

The bill also demands that gen ed classes of all kinds emphasize “Western Civilization,” the best civilization there is, and requires that humanities classes include works from the “Western” canon, although studying inferior books from less important cultures will be tolerated for now at least.

Other bills DeSantis signed Monday included House Bill 931, which prohibits colleges from requiring a “political loyalty test” — i.e., from committing to diversity or anything like it. It also requires that all “public policy events” include equal time for opposing views, which as far as we can tell means that if you have a Pride event you have to invite Matt Walsh.

Finally, another measure will weaken tenure protections for professors, who need to be kept in line with the threat of being fired if they get too mouthy about any of this.

‘Don’t Say Gay’ On Steroids, And Worse

To mark yesterday’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, which commemorates the World Health Organization’s 1990 removal of LGBTQ+ identity from its list of “mental disorders” — Jesus H Christ on a Segway, it took that long! — DeSantis signed four anti-LGBTQ measures into law, ensuring that civil rights attorneys and activists will at least have a booming business for the next few years as they work to shut that shit down. Honestly, it’s well past time that, instead of the Bugs Bunny gif, we instead force Florida back into the US of A and make it respect all its residents’ rights.

Florida’s state medical board last year adopted rules restricting gender-affirming care for trans youth. Yesterday, DeSantis made it a matter of law by signing Senate Bill 254, which prohibits puberty blockers, hormone therapy, and surgery for minors (as we always point out, gender-affirming surgery is already extremely rare for patients under 18).

As indy journalist Erin Reed notes, this one’s far worse than the usual run of such bills, because it also bans nurse practitioners from providing any gender-affirming meds, which won’t just deny care to minors but to adults, since according to Florida healthcare provider SPEKTRUM Health, up to 80 percent of gender-affirming care in Florida is provided by NPs. As Reed reports, this has already led to appointments being cancelled and people losing access to medication.

The bill became effective as soon as DeSantis signed it, and the Human Rights Campaign reports that parents who are already suing to block the state medical board’s anti-trans measures are seeking an emergency order to block SB 254 immediately. Other lawsuits are certain to follow.

DeSantis also signed what might be the most restrictive “bathroom bill” in the country, HB 1521, as Reed explains.

The wording of the bill states that if a cisgender person is in the bathroom with a transgender person, an employee can tell the transgender person to leave. Should the transgender person not leave immediately for any reason, they will be charged with criminal trespass, which can carry sentences of up to 1 year in jail. […]

While the provisions do not ban all bathroom usage, they cast a wide net over an alarming number of locations that would fall under definitions of “public” in the bill. This includes all buildings owned or leased by any governmental entity, educational institutions spanning from elementary schools to private colleges and universities, numerous hospitals owned by universities, many sports arenas, convention centers, city parks, beaches, airports, and more.

The bill makes no exceptions for trans folk who have updated their gender status on official documents like birth certificates or drivers licenses, instead defining sex as a matter of chromosomes and genitalia, which opens the hellish possibility that people trying to relieve themselves in a stall with a locked door will be subjected to freaking medical investigations. It’s also a no-win situation, as Reed notes, since

Transgender people who are androgenous or pass as their gender identity will likely be challenged in the bathroom of their birth sex. Those trans people will then be forced to undergo the same investigation into their gender. In essence, it amounts to a ban on bathrooms for transgender people entirely.

HB 1521 goes into effect on July 1 — avoiding Pride month, isn’t that cute? — by which time the lawsuits challenging it may have made headway, we hope. If it isn’t already enjoined by then, get ready for lots of pushback, too, from cisgender folks who are challenged by toilet vigilantes. Sadly, in Florida, those cases may get the most media attention, because oh no, the “wrong” people are being harmed.

DeSantis also signed HB 1069, which expands the already awful “Don’t Say Gay” law to 12th grade, and will prohibit trans students from asking to please be addressed by their correct pronouns, as well as encouraging even more vicious censorship of books in classrooms and school libraries. It too becomes effective July 1. A final member of the shitshow quartet, SB 1438, expands Florida’s “obscenity” laws to include drag shows; it’s almost certain to be used to attack Pride parades. Reed notes it has “already led to cancellations of pride events, including the Treasure Coast Pride Parade.”

All of the bills DeSantis signed this week are blatantly unconstitutional, so this might be a good time to donate, if you can, to groups like Lambda Legal, the Human Rights Campaign, or the ACLU of Florida. As the inevitable lawsuits against this fuckery ramp up, we’ll bring you more information on how to help. As Yr Wonkette likes to point out when we discuss the climate crisis, things are pretty fucked, but we have the advantage of being on the right side. Americans do not want this crap, and there’s a lot of mobilization to do — like the major federal lawsuit that’s just been launched by Florida parents, PEN America, and Random House against school library censorship, about which we’ll have more shortly.

Be an activist. Be an ally. Fight this shit with love and passion and smartassery (but don’t mistake snark for activism, you in the back, there). This humbug shall not stand, man.

[NBC News / NPR / Erin in the Morning]

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Proposed Florida Textbooks Won’t Say Why Rosa Parks Stayed Seated. Maybe She Was Stubborn, Who Knows?

Now that Ron DeSantis has scrubbed all the woke out of Florida math textbooks, it’s time for the state’s social studies textbooks to be winnowed, so that no traces of critical race theory remains, and so no children feel guilty or sad about history. The New York Times reports (gift link) that as part of the periodic review of textbooks this year,

a small army of state experts, teachers, parents and political activists have combed thousands of pages of text — not only evaluating academic content, but also flagging anything that could hint, for instance, at critical race theory.

Remember, of course, that while in academia, critical race theory is a graduate-level topic of study, on the right, CRT means anything that makes white people fretting about The Blacks uncomfortable.

One group involved in the effort, the Florida Citizens Alliance, determined that 29 of the 38 textbooks its volunteers examined were simply inappropriate for use in Florida, and urged the Florida Department of Education to reject them. The Times notes that the group’s co-founders helped out with education policy during DeSantis’s transition (to governor, not in a trans kind of way, heavens!), and that it has “helped lead a sweeping effort to remove school library books deemed as inappropriate, including many with L.G.B.T.Q. characters.”

We bet the books they rejected were just full of critical racecars and critical footraces! Just how bad were these awful textbooks?

In a summary of its findings submitted to the state last month, the group complained that a McGraw Hill fifth-grade textbook, for example, mentioned slavery 189 times within a few chapters alone. Another objection: An eighth-grade book gave outsize attention to the “negative side” of the treatment of Native Americans, while failing to give a fuller account of their own acts of violence, such as the Jamestown Massacre of 1622, in which Powhatan warriors killed more than 300 English colonists.

Good call, because while Native Americans may have been genocided by disease — and later by US federal policy — some fought back, and that evens everything out.

Hilariously, the Times also notes that that the White Citizens Council Florida Citizens Alliance is “pushing the state to add curriculum from Hillsdale College, a small Christian school in Michigan that is active in conservative politics.” There’s just one little problem, though, because what Hillsdale offers for K-12 history and civics isn’t in any sense a “textbook,” but instead a set of guidelines for teachers, with recommended primary readings like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and probably Rush Limbaugh’s awful children’s books (we’re guessing on that one). But it’s from Hillsdale so that’s what the kids need.

The Times simply notes that “The curriculum was not included in Florida’s official review, and the state did not comment on the group’s recommendations.”

Moar Here!

Rush Limbaugh’s Crappy Books Will Save Kids From A.P. History

Biden Just Deleted The Stupid Ahistorical Bullsh*ts Of T—p’s ‘1776 Commission Report

Florida Takes Its Turn On ‘Please Don’t Make White People Uncomfortable’ Bandwagon

Ask The Gay Penguins How ‘Limited’ Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Law Is. YOU CAN’T THEY’RE BANNED

Florida’s Education Department actually does require that schools teach Black history, although how exactly that’s supposed to be done in a way that won’t upset any hypervigilant rightwing parents isn’t entirely clear. The Times says the department

emphasized that the requirements were recently expanded, including to ensure students understood “the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping on individual freedoms.”

As we all know, slavery and Jim Crow were bad because they were regrettable departures from America’s founding ideas of freedom and equality, which were always the norm except in certain unfortunate moments (from 1619 through 1965 and elsewhere).

In a very sad attempt to win favor with Florida, an outfit called “Studies Weekly,” a minor-league publisher of weekly social-studies pamphlets mostly for early elementary grades, attempted to completely remove race from its first-grade lessons on Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. That took some doing!

The absolutely essential progressive parent group the Florida Freedom to Read Project provided the Times with three different versions of Studies Weekly’s very brief lessons on Parks. The first is currently used in Florida schools, and is pretty accurate:

“In 1955, Rosa Parks broke the law. In her city, the law said African Americans had to give up their seats on the bus if a white person wanted to sit down. She would not give up her seat. The police came and took her to jail.”

There were also two versions created for the new textbook review; the Times points out it’s not clear which one the company submitted, and as it turns out, Studies Weekly was rejected because it messed up its paperwork, so we’ll never know what the Florida Department of Education thought of the Rosa Parks lessons.

One version mentions race only indirectly:

“Rosa Parks showed courage. One day, she rode the bus. She was told to move to a different seat because of the color of her skin. She did not. She did what she believed was right.”

Another version eliminates race altogether, making it really unclear whether Parks was a hero or just kind of a jerk.

“Rosa Parks showed courage. One day, she rode the bus. She was told to move to a different seat. She did not. She did what she believed was right.”

It’s really something of a wonder that there wasn’t a third revision that simply said “Rosa Parks showed courage. She rode a bus. Good for her! Buses are big and scary!”

A fourth-grade lesson about discrimination following the Civil War and Reconstruction had similarly bizarre edits. In the initial version, the lesson explained that even after the war, many people in former Confederate states “believed African-Americans should be enslaved” and that they were “not equal to anyone in their community.” (Yes, that’s already problematic since it suggests white is the norm, but oh my, it gets very much worse.)

That got revised to the far weirder observation that “many communities in the South held on to former belief systems that some people should have more rights than others in their community.”

And where the initial discussion of Southern “Black Codes” made very clear that African Americans were regularly denied their basic rights, the second version still uses the term “Black Codes,” but says only that it became “a crime for men of certain groups to be unemployed” and that “certain groups of people” were prevented from serving on juries. Sounds like members of those certain groups were treated like they were particular individuals.

For the little it’s worth, the Times also adds that

The Florida Department of Education suggested that Studies Weekly had overreached. Any publisher that “avoids the topic of race when teaching the Civil Rights movement, slavery, segregation, etc. would not be adhering to Florida law,” the department said in a statement.

The story also notes that it’s not clear yet whether other publishers attempted similar decolorization; to find out, we may have to wait until Florida announces the textbooks that passed muster.

Until then, we’ll just have to hope none of the textbooks explain that the Voting Rights Act was passed after John Lewis and a certain group of his friends took a leisurely Sunday stroll across a bridge.

[NYT (gift link)]

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Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium shines scary spotlight on woke, anti-free-speech Biden judicial nominee

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of screwups and garbage policies from Joe Biden’s administration, but it’s also extremely important to try to stay afloat. Because you need to know what these people are doing. Because it could have long-term, really bad consequences.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium, who has done really excellent work exposing insidious leftism in higher education, has a new scoop about Joe Biden’s nominee for the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Maria Araujo Kahn’s record should concern each and every one of us, and in a thread accompanying his story, Sibarium explains why:

Judge Kahn is very, very bad news:

Here’s the video, by the way, in case you’re interested:

Lovely. Just the sort of mentality you look for in a U.S. Court of Appeals judge.

Are you worried yet?

But wait — all this gets worse still:

Any other left-wing nutjob Biden nominees we should know about?

Liberal journalists and activists love to screech about “extremist” judges and whatnot. Well, what would you call the women discussed above if not extremists?

Donald Trump may be an aspiring authoritarian, but when it comes to Joe Biden, it’s not aspirational; it’s real. And it’s scary.

Because the crazy is coming from inside the White House.



Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium details the hell Yale Law put part-Cherokee student and Federalist Society member through over BS ‘racism’ complaints

Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium reveals how Yale Law School’s unjust crusade against part-Cherokee conservative student is going further off the rails

MUST READ: Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium fully exposes Yale Law’s diversity director for pushing insanely racist, antisemitic diversity trainer on students

Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium takes close, disturbing look at how Critical Race Theory is infecting Georgetown Law

Free Beacon’s Aaron Sibarium shines damning spotlight on Google’s genuinely problematic criteria for PhD fellowship program


Join us in the fight. Become a Twitchy VIP member today and use promo code SAVEAMERICA to receive a 40% discount on your membership.

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Dear Shitferbrains: As Any Fool Knows, College Is Not For Encouraging Freethinking

It’s been a long darn while since I last did one of these Dear Shitferbrains things, in part because for much of the Trump administration the quality of our trolls declined sharply, but largely because I used to do those on Sundays until Rebecca made me take “weekends” seriously and I just got out of the habit.

I hope I can remember the format. Lessee … Copy-paste a really dumb wingnut comment, make fun of it, the end. OK, I can handle that!

Our study text today comes from one “Clarence,” who is probably neither an associate justice of the Supreme Court nor a bumbling angel trying to earn his wings by convincing Jimmy Stewart that he should go on living, if only so he can later star in Strategic Air Command with a lot of file footage of B-36 Peacemaker bombers. Clarence did not care for our article Wednesday in which we took the New York Times to task for treating Ron DeSantis’s war on education as if it were just one more bit of political “branding.”

Hey, Remember This? New York Times *Loves It* Some Goose-Stepping Dictator Ron DeSantis!

Clarence didn’t really seem to get the article at all, because he thought I was mocking Ron DeSantis, when in fact I was mocking the New York Times for treating DeSantis’s nigh-fascism as if he were simply marketing a new political flavor of the week. Why, Clarence even missed the chance to praise DeSantis for his success by exclaiming “Let’s go brandin’!”

That said, at least Clarence read my little author bio just enough to put me in my place:

It’s good to know you have PHD in rhetoric (aka bullshit and lying). That would explain this hit piece masquerading as reporting.

Well that hurt, even if he didn’t recognize that I was complaining about the Times puff piece masquerading as reporting. Clarence explained that clearly we dumb libs don’t understand what education is about, because we are hateful. Hang on. It’s a bit of a ride.

State funded schools (even “Institutes of Higher Learning”) are responsible to the State. This is esp true at the Elementary and High School level where the ostensible goal (unlike colleges where it is currently merely a bad joke) is NOT to ‘turn out freethinkers’ or ‘celebrate diversity’ or any of that BS. It’s to learn basic CIVICS and life skills not to be taught that any one Race has ‘inherent privilege’ and not to ‘critique’ Western Civilization or the United States or any of that. In fact, FEDERAL LAW and F EDERAL COURT cases and most State Constitutions require public institutions to be downright ‘colorblind’ when it comes to race, and allow no discrimination (‘positive’ or otherwise) when it comes to sex, disability and any other ‘protected class’. To the extent that ANY public funding went to any Institution that had ANY program that did not follow that dictate, then De Santis’s actions were not only necessary but they were morally and ethically laudible.

Here we must apologize for out headline, because honestly Clarence isn’t interested in college at all, even though that’s what both the Times article and my critique were about. The only things children should learn in elementary and high school are basic CIVICS and life skills — but perhaps CIVICS and life skills include getting along with one’s fellow citizens of other creeds and colors, and to know the history of why that is necessary, which might possibly include a ‘critique’ of things that aren’t now perfect or weren’t perfect in a past era?

No, that can’t be right.

Clarence goes on to explain that if you go teaching about American history in a way that discusses things that make Clarence feel bad, then bigot, bigot, Clarence isn’t the bigot, you are the bigot.

Also all education at the college level is a bad joke, this is just so obvious that it doesn’t need to be mentioned, and certainly not in the context of an article that was about college, mostly.

We ran Clarence’s assertions about F EDERAL COURT past Wonkette legal correspondent Liz Dye, who replied, and I quote: “hmmmm.”

Clarence did hang around a little longer yesterday; in reply to a Wonkette reader’s question about who even buys the Times anymore, since it’s hated by both the Left and the Right, Clarence offered this:

“Hard” lefties might hate the NYT, but soft lefties and any of the Trump Deranged downright love it.

I do think the vast majority of its subscriber base is aged hippies who still think the paper reports the news, or , at least “All The News That’s Fit To Print”

So that’s something: Clarence is no Trumper, although he sort of sounds like one in his commenting history at other sites; he griped about how Trump never had the chance to drain the swamp because for his entire time in office, Congress was controlled by the “uniparty,” so we guess Clarence is a true independent who sees no difference between Democrats and Republicans, even now. He also likes guns a lot and hates open borders, and wishes people would stop saying “gender” instead of “sex,” because the former doesn’t exist?

Update/Mea Big Gulpa: As astute commenters have pointed out, I misread our visitor. He is absolutely a Trumper, and “Trump Deranged” refers to all those lefties who have Trump Derangement Syndrome, because those people are crazy. Wonkette regrets the error.

Finally, in reply to a comment about the College Board’s revisions of the AP African American Studies course, Clarence had a LOT to say, which we will reproduce in full for its brilliant rantiness, which builds from one grievance to another like John Belushi (Crom rest his soul) doing one of his editorial replies on “Weekend Update.” When Clarence gets to the last sentence, you can nearly hear the thud as he flings himself off his chair:

Oh, Waaaaaah Waaaaaah Wahhhhhhhh. I bet you don’t say a Goddamn thing about “Academic Freedom” when it comes to Conservative Professors being fired or otherwise “canceled”. I haven’t seen a single Academic Leader (as opposed to the occasional professor ) who has had any balls in literally decades. They’ve caved on everything, (Hell, I’ve watched videos in which students bullied the Prefects and Directors and Presidents and whatever other Title around. The students TELL them what they are going to do, and give them no respect whatsoever.) which is why most colleges now have faculties that vote 90 to 99 percent plus Democratic, and Cancel Culture is a ‘thing’. And African American Studies or Black Studies or whatever you want to call it, just like “Gender Studies” aka feminism has been trash for decades, mostly concerned with turning out increasingly radical activists. Where do you think the 1619 project came from or the idea that “colorblindness” is just racism, or that “White People” and ONLY “White People” have ‘implicit bias’ , and other such BS? These programs are pretty much BEYOND critique on modern college campuses. So cry some more because of the ‘damage’ that DeSantis has done. Far as I’m concerned both the Higher Education system and the Public Education system in this country need to be burned down and rebuilt from the ground up as education, esp classical education is not their concern any more.

I sort of wanted to hear about all these conservative professors being fired, but that “or otherwise ‘canceled'” suggested he wouldn’t be too likely to deal with specifics. I also don’t know anything about “prefects” in American schools, and suspect he may be thinking of Hogwarts.

The end.

Hey, I’ve still got it!

And you filthy fuckaducks have got yourselves an OPEN THREAD.

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College Board’s changes to APAAS course give woke progs a headache and Ron DeSantis another huge win

Have you heard the great news? The College Board has put down their social justice swords and kneeled before Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, handing DeSantis yet another huge political victory (we’re kinda losing count at this point).

More from National Review:

The updated syllabus removes several authors whom Florida officials identified as problematic, including those associated with critical race theory, the “queer experience,” and black feminism. It also removed required teachings on Black Lives Matter and the case for reparations from the curriculum, though both subjects are present on a list of options for a required research project. The new framework adds “black conservatism” as an idea for a research project. The list of suggested topics “can be refined by local states and districts.”

College Board CEO David Coleman told the New York Times that the changes were not made in response to political pressure.

“At the College Board, we can’t look to statements of political leaders,” he said, suggesting instead that the changes came from “the input of professors” and “longstanding A.P. principles.”

Coleman told the paper that the board received feedback during an initial test of the course this school year that students connected more with primary sources than the secondary, more theoretical sources in the curriculum which they found to be “quite dense.”

Well, speaking of the New York Times, the New York Times sounds pretty pissed about this new development:

Maybe they figured that would be a good step toward atoning for this other headline about Ron DeSantis, which was apparently extremely offensive to people who firmly believe that Ron DeSantis is Ron DeSatan:

Be angrier, New York Times! Take a page from this guy Robert Maguire, research director at Citizens for Ethics. He’s fuming:

Note: African American Studies is not the same as African American History, but Robert doesn’t have time to make distinctions. He’s too busy ragin’.

Could there be anything more offensive than black conservatism to Robert Maguire? He’s finna go postal over the idea that students could learn more about black conservatism in an African American Studies course. Everyone knows that black conservatives don’t count, right, Robert?

Robert’s seething, y’all. But he’s not coping terribly well.

Who’s really manufacturing the outrage, though? Is it Ron DeSantis, whose concerns about the course have been proven well founded? Or is it woke progressive activists like Robert Maguire who insist that conservatives are upset over nothingburgers while complaining about the loss of those nothingburgers?

We’re so old, we remember when progressives called conservatives paranoid conspiracy theorists for believing that Critical Race Theory was part of some K-12 curricula. Now Maguire and the New York Times, clearly, are lamenting the fact that the College Board has agreed to take Critical Race Theory out of the APAAS course.

So again, we ask: who’s manufacturing the outrage?

There’s plenty more where that came from. Looks like Robert is manufacturing the hell out of the outrage, huh? Get those clicks, buddy! Truth be damned.

But the activists who are foaming at the mouth over this don’t want balance. They want Critical Race Theory. They want Queer Theory. They want social justice. They don’t want no education. They just want thought control.

Now there’s an idea!

Anyway, while Robert et al. are out there getting bent out of shape over the prospect of an AP course curriculum that won’t traffic exclusively in far-leftist theory and propaganda, Ron DeSantis is over here throwing more wins on the pile.

All Ron DeSantis needs to do is keep his head down and push forward. It seems to be working out pretty well for him — and, as in this particular case, for the country.



Ron DeSantis is ready to yank funding for DEI bureaucracies at Fla. public colleges and universities


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Civil Rights Lawyer Ben Crump Might Take Ron DeSantis To AP ‘Sue Your Ass’ Class Over Black History Course

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is getting significant pushback for his administration’s rejection last week of an Advanced Placement course in African American studies. Yesterday, African American state lawmakers, educators, and others rallied in the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee to call for the AP course to be offered in Florida high schools. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said at the rally that if DeSantis refuses to make the class available, Crump will sue the state on the behalf of three high school honors students from Leon County who want to take the course.

“If the governor allows the College Board to present AP African American studies in classrooms across the state of Florida, then we will feel no need to file this historic lawsuit,” Crump told reporters at the Capitol. “However, if he rejects the free flow of ideas and suppresses African American studies, then we’re prepared to take this controversy all the way to the United States Supreme Court.”

It’s just the latest effort to fight back against DeSantis’s ongoing agenda of using culture war issues to build rightwing support nationwide as he plans a likely 2024 presidential run. DeSantis has claimed that the AP course, currently being taught as a pilot before being rolled out nationwide, is tainted by unnecessary political elements like queer theory, because no Black people have ever been LGBTQ as long as you exclude Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, Bayard Rustin, and others who were not Martin Luther King, the only Black leader DeSantis pretends to admire.

DeSantis and his Education Department also cried bitterly about how the AP course was full of “critical race theory” because it might suggest that slavery, Jim Crow, and systematic racism were part of a deliberate attempt by white people to deny rights and economic freedom to people of color, which could make white children feel sad. Instead, under Florida law, we’re pretty sure Black history is limited to half of one sentence from King’s “Dream” speech, as well as a brief list of Black entertainers, athletes, Supreme Court justices who were not Thurgood Marshall, and the opening credits of “The Cosby Show.”


Ron DeSantis’s Drunk Black History

Florida Will Shrink Black History Until It’s Small Enough To Drown In Ron DeSantis’s Bathtub

Ron DeSantis Cancels ‘Un-American’ African American Studies AP Classes, F*ck You Is Why

The College Board, which creates Advanced Placement classes and tests that can be applied to college credits, as well as the SATs and other standardized tests, issued a press release Tuesday saying it will release its “official” framework for the African American studies course on February 1, the first day of Black History Month. That framework, the College Board said, would incorporate feedback gathered throughout the 2022-2023 pilot period of the class, which has been in development for a decade.

The press release didn’t specify that Florida’s objections were the reason for the updates to the framework; if anything, it sounds like the sort of routine boilerplate you’d get in any announcement of a coming plan:

This framework, under development since March 2022, replaces the preliminary pilot course framework under discussion to date […]

Before a new AP course is made broadly available, it is piloted in a small number of high schools to gather feedback from high schools and colleges. The official course framework incorporates this feedback and defines what students will encounter on the AP Exam for college credit and placement.

Not a word about any changes to meet DeSantis’s demands to strip out all the woke indoctrination stuff. Considering how much time and work and committee planning goes into developing a class that’s going to be available nationwide, it’s pretty freaking unlikely the College Board would even attempt a radical pruning of the course in roughly a week. It’s really not like one teacher rewriting a lesson plan at the last minute, or any document the Trump administration ever slapped together.

But hey, it said it would replace the pilot version that DeSantis rejected, so members of his administration got busy proclaiming victory. DeSantis press secretary Bryan Griffin exulted on Twitter that “Thanks to @GovRonDeSantis‘ principled stand for education over identity politics, the College Board will be revising the course for the entire nation,” which again, is almost certainly not what happened, we will bet cash money on that.

The Florida Department of Education also issued a statement thanking the College Board for wholesale revisions that were definitely not mentioned by the College Board statement either:

We are glad the College Board has recognized that the originally submitted course curriculum is problematic, and we are encouraged to see the College Board express a willingness to amend. AP courses are standardized nationwide, and as a result of Florida’s strong stance against identity politics and indoctrination, students across the country will consequentially have access to an historically accurate, unbiased course.

As Governor DeSantis said, African American History is American History, and we will not allow any organization to use an academic course as a gateway for indoctrination and a political agenda. We look forward to reviewing the College Board’s changes and expect the removal of content on Critical Race Theory, Black Queer Studies, Intersectionality and other topics that violate our laws.

We are of course ready to say we were wrong if the final version of the AP framework released next week perfectly fits Florida’s demands, although we think it’s far more likely that DeSantis and crew will 1) reject it yet again as too dangerous for Florida teens or B) find two or three tiny changes, greatly overstate their significance, and claim victory.

In any case, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker have issued their own statements urging the College Board not to make the cuts demanded by DeSantis, which is, as we say, a far more likely outcome anyway. (AND MAKE IT GAYER, says Pritzker.) No doubt DeSantis will blame any non-revisions to the course framework on those two dangerous libs.

[Politico / WFLA / The Hill / Tallahassee Democrat / NBC News / Image: Screenshot, WPBF-TV on Youtube.]

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