It’s time to celebrate Black History Month despite right-wing attacks on education, diversity

It’s time to celebrate Black History Month despite right-wing attacks on education, diversity

February is Black History Month and as we celebrate, we must recognize the efforts being made by Republicans and right-wing extremists to pass laws that would limit or ban true American history from being taught in schools.

Florida’s extremist Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has been in the news lately for his move to ban an AP course on African-American studies and for his intent to ban state universities from spending money on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

You don’t need to visit Florida to see these types of attacks on education and diversity because there are Republicans here in North Carolina who think the same way.

State Republicans like Superintendent Catherine Truitt, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Senate Leader Phil Berger have consistently promoted a dangerous narrative that teaching American history, including the reality of the Black and Native American experiences, is some sort of liberal conspiracy.

Denying students the opportunity to learn the true facts about the history of our state and our country only further reinforces the incomplete history that has been taught. Continuing this “tradition” is not only a disservice to students, but to teachers as well.

These attacks on education and diversity are all part of the right-wing playbook that was created to censor classroom discussions about gender, sexual orientation and race, as well as prevent access to books by BIPOC/LGBTQ authors.

Lt. Gov. Robinson is one of the biggest supporters of this anti-public education movement and has previously said he believes that the Board of Education should be disbanded and that elementary school children shouldn’t be taught science or history.

During Black History Month, it is essential to fight back against right-wing extremists as they try to erase the lessons, experiences and voices of those who came before us.

Patrick Zarcone

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