White House Attacks DeSantis For Blocking High School Course Teaching ‘Black Queer Studies’
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 3: White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House January 3, 2023 in Washington, DC. President Biden is traveling to northern Kentucky on Wednesday to showcase infrastructure investments and his economic plan.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Biden administration on Friday blasted as “incomprehensible” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s move to block a controversial African American studies course from being taught in the state’s public high schools, even as leaks revealed the course’s syllabus leans into wokeism.

The College Board, which is developing the curriculum, was told by the Florida Department of Education last week that it would not allow the new course in its schools. But the decision has prompted criticism, with many, including the White House, suggesting that Florida was blocking the teaching of black history.

“If you think about the study of black Americans, that is what he wants to block,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, later adding that Florida didn’t block the more traditional AP European History or Art History. “But the state chooses to block a course that is meant for high-achieving high school students to learn about their history of arts and culture. It is incomprehensible.”

The College Board’s AP African American Studies course is currently in the pilot phase, and the company has not publicly released the curriculum. However, a copy of the curriculum that was leaked to The Florida Standard shows it has a woke streak.

One of the sources in African American studies that will “likely be examined,” according to the curriculum, is Kimberle Crenshaw’s “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color.” The reading is a foundational text in “intersectionality,” a term woke academics use to focus on the different ways minorities can be oppressed. The curriculum also recommends using as a source “The Case for Reparations,” by Ta-Nehisi Coats, and includes a section on “Black Queer Studies.”

“This topic explores the concept of the queer of color critique, grounded in Black feminism and intersectionality, as a Black studies lens that shifts sexuality studies toward racial analysis,” the black queer studies topic section reads.

The Desantis administration told The Daily Wire in a statement that the White House press secretary was “demonstrably incorrect” to call the state’s decision “incomprehensible.”

“The study of African American history is not only permitted under Governor Ron DeSantis but required by law,” said Press Secretary Bryan Griffin. “In fact, the teaching of African American history has been expanded in Florida since Governor Ron DeSantis took office.”

The African American studies course itself consists of four units: The Origins of the African Diaspora; Freedom, Enslavement, and Resistance; The Practice of Freedom; and Movements and Debate. The wokeist part appears to be the final unit, which teaches about a multitude of topics, including the black power movement “through the lens of the Black Panther Party,” intersectionality and its connection to “Chicana and Asian American” feminism, and the “intersections of analyses of race, power, and Black women’s experiences.”

The College Board’s own website also lists potential career paths by major. The only career path listed for those who major in African American studies is community organizing and activism. The company declined to answer why African American Studies — which is being touted in the media as a history course — does not have the same career paths as a history major.

The College Board has defended not publicly releasing the curriculum, citing significant changes that might be made via the piloting process after receiving feedback from teachers, students, scholars, and policymakers.

“We look forward to publicly releasing the updated course framework as soon as it is completed and well before this class is widely available in American high schools,” College Board told The Daily Wire.

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