Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis recently came under fire for his decision to ban an Advanced Placement course on African American history from being taught in the state. His stated reasoning was that the course contained “indoctrination” on “queer theory” and he questioned who would say it was important. However, this perspective ignores the significant contributions of queer individuals to Black history and culture.
DeSantis’ decision is part of a recent trend among conservatives to censor the education of marginalized groups by eliminating programs that address or center those communities. This is especially concerning when considering the vital role that queer people have played in both African American history and social movements throughout history. From civil rights pioneers like Bayard Rustin and James Baldwin to contemporary activists like Laverne Cox, LGBTQ folks have consistently been at the forefront of liberation for all people through their courage and leadership.
DeSantis’ careless words and actions signal not only a disregard for LGBTQ contributions but also an erasure of their identity from these histories altogether. In his statement, he fails to recognize that LGBTQ individuals are indeed a part of all races and cultures, which should be reflected in our education system rather than disregarded or ignored altogether. As White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre highlighted in response to DeSantis’ decision, other Advanced Placement courses such as European History, Music History, and Art History were allowed to continue without any meaningful criticism – indicating a clear bias underlying DeSantis’ decision-making here.
Ultimately, we must ensure that every student in Florida understands both our state’s diversity as well as its history – this includes recognizing the contributions made by LGBTQ folk throughout time. We cannot continue down this path of ignorance if we want our communities to grow stronger together; only through open dialogue and honest education can we learn from each other’s perspectives and build empathy between diverse groups of people. It is crucial for Governor DeSantis to take responsibility for his words instead of perpetuating further silencing within our educational institutions; we must demand better representation in our public school curriculum now so that future generations can benefit from the full richness of our historical knowledge.