Ron DeSantis Defends Florida’s Rejection of AP Course: ‘Who Would Say that an Important Part of Black History Is Queer Theory?’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday defended the Florida Department of Education’s (FDOE) rejection of an AP (Advanced Placement) African American Studies course over content, noting that it contains sections on intersectionality, abolishing prisons, and “queer theory.”
“In the state of Florida, education standards … require teaching black history — all the important things, that’s part of our core curriculum,” DeSantis said, explaining that the rejected course is a separate class for advance placement credit on top of a regular course .
“The issue is we have guideline and standards in Florida. We want education, not indoctrination. If you fall on the side of indoctrination, we’re gonna decline. If it’s education, then we will do,” the governor said, laying out some of the major issues found in the course.
“What’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Who would say that an important part of black history is queer theory?” he asked. “That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.”
The governor also noted that there are sections on intersectionality and abolishing prisons. In other words, it is clear the course is pushing a political agenda, he concluded, explaining it is contrary to Florida’s standards.
“When you try to use black history to shoehorn in queer theory, you are clearly trying to use that for political purposes,” he said, reiterating that advocating ideas such as abolishing prisons is a “radical political position.”
“You’re free to take that in your own life. I don’t think very many people would think that that would actually work, but how is that being taught as fact to be able to do that?” he said, noting that he also views it as unfair to “say that somehow abolishing prisons is somehow linked to like black experience, that that’s what black people want.”
“I don’t think that’s true at all. I think they want law and order, just like anybody else wants law. And so that is more of ideology being used under the guise of history.”
And we want to do history, and that’s what our standards for black history are. It’s just cut and dried 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. You know, we have history a lot of different shapes and sizes, 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, but abolishing prisons being taught to high school kids as if that’s somehow a fact? No. That’s not appropriate.
Indeed, the rejected AP course’s syllabus features a section of the course focusing on “Black Queer Studies,” which purportedly “explores the concept of the queer of color critique, grounded in Black feminism and intersectionality, as a Black studies lens that shifts sexuality studies toward racial analysis.”
It also contains sections on cultural appropriation, reparations, “afrofuturism,” and the “global influence of the Black Lives Matter movement.”