November 28, 2022

RE-WRITING HISTORY: DeSantis’ latest comments make as much sense as flat earth

RE-WRITING HISTORY: DeSantis' latest comments make as much sense as flat earth

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in rare fascistic form during a press conference on how to whitewash history.


Critical of the 1619 Project, a New York Times intensive study of America’s history of slavery, DeSantis decided to re-write America’s history with slavery, claiming it was the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence that spurred the abolition movement leading to slavery’s end.

Taking a break from kidnapping and trafficking to call the 1619 Project a “CRT version of history,” an inexplicably Ivy League-educated DeSantis blathered:

It was the American Revolution that caused people to question slavery. No one had questioned it before we decided, as Americans, that we are endowed by our creator with unalienable rights and that we are all created equal.

In reality, the abolitionist movement began in 17th century Europe during the “Enlightenment,” where liberty, separation of church and state, religious tolerance, and progress were central topics.

German Quakers circulated an anti-slavery petition in 1688, nearly a century before the Revolutionary era of 1775-1783.

DeSantis is gaslighting when using the verbiage of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution as false “proof” that the country’s foundations aren’t rooted in racism. He’s taking a page out of the 2022 Florida Statute’s Early Learning Education Code Public K-12 Education, weaving the documents’ principles into the school curriculum.

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The statute states that:

Members of the instructional staff of the public schools, subject to the rules of the State Board of Education and the district school board, shall teach efficiently and faithfully, using the books and materials required that meet the highest standards for professionalism and historical accuracy, following the prescribed courses of study, and employing approved methods of instruction, the following:

Authoritarian Ron is continuing his reign of neo-Nazi terror, gaslighting and lies in his quest to upend democracy, gut the public education system and install loyalists who help him spread his Christo-fascist agenda.

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All the while he downplays the role Florida has played in segregation, marginalization, oppression, and subjugation.

The history and content of the Declaration of Independence, including national sovereignty, natural law, self-evident truth, equality of all persons, limited government, popular sovereignty, and inalienable rights of life, liberty, and property, and how they form the philosophical foundation of our government.”

Florida’s fascist 2022 education code refers to enslavement as an “experience” and asserts that “political conflict led to the development of slavery.” Referring concerns to the Commissioner of Education’s African-American History Task Force, the code says it’s ok to teach history, but it:

May not be used to indoctrinate or persuade students to a particular point of view inconsistent with the principles of this subsection or state academic standards.

In 2007, the Florida legislature expressed regret for the state’s history of slavery despite Ron DeSantis’ attempts to avoid the reality that prior to the civil war, “Florida was one of the fastest growing slave states in the South and the third to secede after South Carolina and Mississippi,” according to essaying Diane Roberts.

During a 2008 interview with NPR’s Lynn Neary, Roberts said, “Florida had plantations; Florida had slaves.”

“After the war Florida government behaved just like their counterparts in Alabama or Louisiana.”

They set up an apartheid system designed to maintain white supremacy. In the 1940s and 50s the Ku Klux Klan paraded down palm-lined boulevards in Florida’s cities.

In 2011 when he was running for a Congressional seat, DeSantis wrote an insane book, “Dreams from Our Founding Fathers: First Principles in the Age of Obama,” in which, according to the American Ledger,

“DeSantis wrote that the founders were forced to allow slavery to keep the nation together and questionably referred to the three-fifths compromise as ‘anti-slavery.'”

And on Monday, DeSantis gave a hypocritical speech in Boca Raton at the Educational Freedom Event held at the Orthodox Torah Academy.

Though the Florida Education Statute specifically “defines” antisemitism and claims to have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination against those in the Jewish community – the Commission of Education also has a Holocaust Task Force, the rise in neo-Nazi and antisemitic rhetoric and violence in Florida has been widely reported.

In the Anti-Defamation League’s latest report, Hate in the Sunshine State: Extremism & Antisemitism in Florida, 2020-2022, it is noted that:

The past two years have seen a significant increase in extremist related incidents both nationwide and in the state of Florida. These incidents have been driven, in part, by widespread disinformation and conspiracy theories which have animated extremists and fueled antisemitism. The result: unrest and violence, from the January 6 insurrection to white supremacist activity to a spike in hate crimes.

After DeSantis’s ridiculous culture war with Disney over their support of LGBTQ employees and patrons, swastika flag-waving neo-Nazis descended on the Orlando-based amusement park to protest, resulting in absolutely no condemnation from the Governor.

There was no criticism or rebuke of the anti-Jewish group Goyim.TV, who passed out antisemitic fliers and propaganda outside of the right-wing Hitler Youth-adjacent group, Turning Point USA’s Youth Action Summit in Tampa months ago.

Just days before speaking, DeSantis used taxpayer money to lure desperate asylum-seeking migrants – here legally – to board planes to Martha’s Vineyard, where they were abandoned by the Governor and those working on his behalf. Calling the carefully planned mission “relocation” – much like another fascistic, indoctrinating, authoritarian, xenophobe history remembers.

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DNC member, journalist, and activist, Thomas Kennedy placed a mobile billboard outside the Torah Academy, bringing attention to DeSantis’ hypocrisy and associations with White Nationalist groups.

Ron DeSantis has no more quiet parts, he has gone unapologetically full fascist and doesn’t care who knows it. His brazen and wanton attitude towards history and the systemic bigotry and abuse suffered by marginalized communities in his state will hopefully bring those communities together to vote him out in November.

With his authoritarian eyes set on the 2024 presidential prize, the American people can’t afford not to take the wannabe dictator at his words. He’s showing us who he is – it’s time to believe him.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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