Pay close attention to the little things. Don’t look away.
I don’t live in Florida – and yet I couldn’t look away. How did Florida position itself prior to the AP African American History conflict with the College Board? After doing some research, I was struck by how methodically they were implementing changes in their state. They have rejected over 40% of math textbooks because of their new legislation about banning critical race theory and are replacing the leadership at New College to establish a Board majority that will be nominated by the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis. According to the Washington Post “…at least four more states will review the new Advanced Placement African American Studies course to see if it conflicts with their policies or laws restricting the teaching of race … Arkansas, Virginia, North Dakota, and Mississippi.”
Pay very close attention to the little things. Don’t look away.
I don’t live in North Dakota – and yet I couldn’t look away. House Bill 1205 prohibits public libraries from keeping and lending “books that contain explicit sexual material.” According to Pen America, “the large majority of book bans underway today are not spontaneous, organic expressions of citizen concern. Rather, they reflect the work of a growing number of advocacy organizations that have made demanding censorship of certain books and ideas in schools part of their mission.” As shared about book bans in general, “…one of the tactics currently being used, according to Brown, is to give book bans a certain cover of respectability — groups like Moms for Liberty are claiming to fight against porn in books for children. But when you look deeper, you see that the “porn” they are calling out is really just the existence of queer people. The “CRT” messages are just honest portrayals of the racism that has underpinned much of American history…[It’s] a way of pulling outsiders into your extremist positions without them realizing that they’re being pulled in,” Brown said.
What if we hadn’t looked away seven years ago? Back then, I wrote about the Power of Leadership. What if we had been paying closer attention back then, what could be different now?
Systems change quickly. Don’t look away.
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