Censorship is About Power, Not People
Amid the fierce debate surrounding what should and should not be taught in classrooms, some far-right-leaning lawmakers have introduced legislation and taken significant steps to limit educators’ ability to discuss race, gender, and sexuality in the classroom.
Florida is spearheading culture wars in the classroom with discussions surrounding so-called “CRT” and anti-”woke” legislation such as the recent decision by the College Board to exclude important topics from the Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies curriculum. Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” laws restrict classroom instruction and discussion on sexual orientation, gender identity and transgender issues. Despite an imbalance in media coverage, higher education is also affected. The “Stop Woke Act” was designed to limit how Florida professors could teach race and sex threatening tens of millions of dollars in funding restrictions to colleges and universities that dared to teach things like the effects of colonialism, Reconstruction, and social movements like Black Lives Matter.
Thanks to the hard work of civic groups, advocacy organizations and freedom fighters, a federal appeals court has halted enforcement of Stop Woke in Florida universities. Anti-equity bills and legislation, like what is emerging in Florida, deny students the opportunity to learn about our complex history in the context of current events.
I recently had a conversation with Florida state senator Shevrin D. Jones about the so-called critical race theory “debate.” In this discussion, “It’s About Power, Not People,” we unpacked the impact of the increased censorship of Black history and LGBTQ+ topics in schools and what advocates can do to stop the aggressive legislation that we are seeing come forth. Watch the full conversation below.
At Ed Trust, we are focused on taking a stand against the threats waged on schools and educators with our campaign, “Can’t Be Erased” (#CantBeErased). Without an accurate understanding of the past, it is difficult to recognize and address the root causes of systemic issues such as racism, inequality, and injustice that continue to affect this country today.