TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Governor Ron DeSantis denounced Critical Race Theory during a press conference in Pensacola Friday morning, saying he would stop it from being taught in Florida’s public schools.
DeSantis held the press conference to announce a series of tax breaks for consumers. When asked about Critical Race Theory, DeSantis responded, "You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig."
Critical Race Theory examines the ways in which race and racism influence American politics, culture and the law.
The governor said it was offensive to taxpayers to teach Critical Race Theory in schools, claiming the theory teaches children to hate their country and each other. According to Purdue University, Critical Race Theory scholarship shows how racism continues to be persuasive and why it denies individuals their constitutional rights.
As stated on Purdue's website:
"Closely connected to such fields as philosophy, history, sociology, and law, CRT scholarship traces racism in America through the nation’s legacy of slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and recent events. In doing so, it draws from work by writers like Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others studying law, feminism, and post-structuralism. CRT developed into its current form during the mid-1970s with scholars like Derrick Bell, Alan Freeman, and Richard Delgado, who responded to what they identified as dangerously slow progress following Civil Rights in the 1960s."
"It's also based on false history," DeSantis said. "When they try to look back and denigrate the founding fathers, denigrate the American Revolution, doing all these different things that even very liberal historians say is not supported by the facts. So, I think what we need is we need the constitution back in classrooms, we need to make sure civics is a priority, but it needs to be taught accurately. It needs to be taught in a fact-based way, not an ideological-based way.
In March, DeSantis announced a $106 million proposal to support civics literacy and civics education in public schools.
The proposal will direct the Florida Department of Education to create the Florida Civic Seal of Excellence, a new professional endorsement for civics education. Teachers who complete the training will be eligible for a $3,000 bonus, DeSantis said.
DeSantis said when the Florida Board of Education meets they will address teaching Critical Race Theory. The Board's next scheduled meeting is June 10, 2021.
"We'll be taking action, don't you worry," said DeSantis.
Experts from the University of Texas argued that critical race theory, “which presupposes that racism is embedded within society and institutions,” is not propaganda but “a toolkit for examining and addressing racism and other forms of marginalization.”
Florida Citizens Alliance, a conservative group, published a letter to Gov. DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran earlier this month asking them to remove books containing Critical Race Theory from Florida schools.
"If we have to play whack-a-mole all over this state stopping this Critical Race Theory we will do it," DeSantis said.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp sent a letter to the Georgia State Board of Education on Thursday saying the Critical Race Theory curriculum has no place in Georgia’s schools.