VP Harris channels all of our outrage as the Florida Board of Education lies about slavery

Originally published at: VP Harris channels all of our outrage as the Florida Board of Education lies about slavery | Boing Boing


If a student in class asks a question or disputes a point made about slavery, such as the benefits of slavery that Florida wants to promote, how is the teacher to respond?


Aside from the board of education’s materials I must use here, I suggest you do your own research”, perhaps?

(ETA Teacher then sets homework: ‘Education and Indoctrination are not the same: Discuss’ 1000 words by the end of the week, please.)


In part it’s because they honestly believe that in terms of race, everything is equal now. And so, they perceive any overt validation of non-white experience (suffering or otherwise) as an injury to white people.

In short, they’re fucking delusional.


Why are people so emotionally tied to justifying the horrifying actions of people long dead

Because they want very deeply to do it again.


Because too many of us–specifically white people–still benefit from those horrifying actions committed by people who are our ancestors–in many cases pretty recent ancestors. Admitting that is hard, for some, anyway, since it would mean having to give up the privileges we didn’t earn but enjoy at the unnecessary expense of others.

Or, to put it more simply, to build a better society you have to be willing to admit there’s something wrong with the current one.


What if - and hear me out on this - Florida and Texas are actually working together to get all the thinking people out of their states before climate change really destroys their livability? This would reduce the need for compensating them for their losses, since they go voluntarily.

And if we spread this rumor, how well do you think it would work?


So I’m over half a century old. Back in my social studies class, in Chicago Public School, slavery was pretty glossed over to my remembrance, with them spending the majority of their time talking about indentured slaves and how some of them did benefit. It’s worth mentioning that the civil rights movement had recently formally ended. The work wasn’t done though of course and I can tell you that any number of slurs considered completely unacceptable now were frequently and casually used. These are the days of Roots just coming out as well, as framing.

My kids, as a counter, were taught an extremely raw version of slavery. Also of the holocaust, and I fully credit their history teacher who apparently was known for going all in on teaching accurate history - so much so that one of my children followed in their footsteps.

These Floridian morons are desperately trying to turn back a clock to that time when we didn’t know, but it has to be a losing battle. The information is out there and easily accessible. Yes, they can program a small portion but enough will see through this that it won’t matter. But that takes time, and I don’t honestly think we have it. They have to be stopped from this. I hope my generation, which didn’t do a lot of note to be frank, and the younger generations use their now oversized voting weight to push these relics out.


Add in the erosion of trust in public authorities-“if they lied about something so easily refuted, what else are they lying about?” and the fear and paranoia get easier and easier to stoke up.


One of the lessons I’m most proudest for my son to teach is a whole chapter on bias and critical thinking. It’s very very easy and comfortable to put yourself in a bubble. Do you use Reddit? Try opening a browser window in an unlogged in VPN or other way that removes you from your personal cookies. Bet the homepage looks different. Same with Google searches. Right, left, center, all of that doesn’t matter if you are unable to accurately seperate your bias from the reporting.

That said, the right is pure id, driven by emotion and even scientific studies have shown a tendency to believe with less proof. Not going to kick the anthill on why that might be, but there appears to be some alignment there. Emotion is valuable, but you can’t govern on it, at least not effectively for any period of time.


The old “Enslaved people ‘benifited’ from slavery” is a trope that goes back around 400 years or so. And it’s being pushed in Floriduh.


… of course, this is the same stuff that has been taught in the South forever :grimacing:


Well, for a large chunk of the 20th century, not everywhere in the south, and that’s been changing for quite a while now.


Indentured servants were not slaves. Confusion between the two is the foundation of the Irish slaves myth.


Because then they’d have to confront the fact that people in their family weren’t always “good people”. And that’s really uncomfortable territory for some, to the extent that they’d rather cling to an obviously fictional past than confront it.

Which, ironically enough, makes them another generation of ancestors that future generations will not be able to feel proud of.


Because history, especially big history, isn’t dead. Large swathes of modern political and cultural schisms are tied directly or indirectly to slavery. Their policies and attitudes today are harder to justify when you look honestly at slavery. If instead slavery was neutral or positive you can argue that the policies used to create and maintain slavery were also positive. You can also argue that any attempt to correct historical injustices are uncalled for. It cuts across how we perceive law, medicine, corporate structures, federalism, and the role of courts and legislatures. Pick the debate of your choice in modern politics and see if there is a tie to slavery, and the answer is probably yes. Shaping the perception of the past is another tool for controlling the present.


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