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Florida Union Falsely Claims ‘Stop WOKE Act’ Will Ban Slavery, Holocaust Classes

La AFSCME difunde obscena desinformación sobre la “Stop WOKE Act” en Florida

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Recently, the Florida legislature passed an education bill dubbed by its supporters the “Stop WOKE Act,” aimed at combating and limiting the teaching of controversial Critical Race Theory in Florida state classrooms or private companies that force their employees to take courses on “institutional racism” or “white supremacism.”

Immediately, just as it happened with the bill known as “Don’t Say Gay” (which does not say that and only pretends to protect children from inappropriate discussions in schools), many Democrats and liberal organizations began to spread disinformation. Some liberal media outlets, such as CBS News or the Huffington Post, also lent themselves to pushing criticism of the bill, calling it “controversial” and claiming that it promoted censorship in schools.

stop woke act
CBS News (Screenshot)
stop woke act
Huffington Post. (Screenshot)

However, the most obscene misinformation came not from the media, but from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), who said that the “Stop WOKE Act” boosters seek to “erase history” by suggesting that they intend to prevent students from learning about the Holocaust, black slavery and human rights abuses in Cuba, which is false.

“They’re trying to erase history. The Florida Legislature is fast-tracking legislation that would limit teaching of American history in Florida classrooms,” reads an image released by AFSCME itself. “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it. We cannot let Tallahassee prevent our students from learning, about the Holocaust, Black enslavement, human rights abuses in Cuba, and other tragedies.”

“Senate Bill 148 will hurt our next generations of leaders,” they add.

The facts are far from proving AFSCME right.

What does the Stop WOKE Act actually say?

The bill is quite clear, as it seeks to limit schools and businesses from teaching any ethnic group of people that is “inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously” depending on their skin color. In other words, it directly attacks Critical Race Theory or any ideas related to the superiority of one skin color over another.

For example, the law states that it is an unlawful recruitment practice to subject an individual as a condition of membership or employment with the company to take a course, training, or take a test telling them that having a “race, color, sex, or national origin” means they are “morally superior to members of another race, color, sex, national origin.”

Also, although it does not directly mention Critical Race Theory, it makes clear that teachers and schools cannot teach programs based on fundamentals used within the controversial theory; i.e., a student should not be taught about privilege based on skin color or present as fact the theory that the United States was founded in 1619.

Why is AFSCME’s message absurd?

In its critical message against the “Stop WOKE Act,” AFSCME cites three examples — Holocaust, human rights in Cuba, and slavery — yet two of these points have been reinforced educationally in Florida in recent years under the DeSantis administration itself and one of them is well defended under Florida law.

In 2020, DeSantis signed HB 1213 into law with bipartisan support to require schools to teach about the Holocaust and seek options to teach about the 1920 Ocoee Massacre. In 2021, the Republican governor followed suit by signing another bill to require all Florida schools to teach students about the crimes of communist regimes, including the Castro regime. In that law, schools were also required to present curricula or teaching methods to compare the ideas of totalitarian regimes in comparison with the traditional American system or values, such as freedom or democracy.

On slavery, the same Florida law provides for the teaching of “the history of African Americans, including the history of African peoples before the political conflicts that led to the development of slavery, the passage to America, the enslavement experience, abolition, and the contributions of African Americans to society. Instructional materials shall include the contributions of African Americans to American society.”

It is absurd to argue that the “Stop WOKE Act” is censorship against schools, teachers, and businesses, or that it seeks to eliminate history. Clearly, it is not. The period of slavery is taught in Florida, as are other topics important to American history. What this bill prevents is students being taught ideas of a radical view from a young age, something that should not be controversial and, in fact, should be supported.

Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.

Contacto: [email protected]

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