Florida Schools to Teach Slavery "Benefited" Black People - The Friday AM Quickie 7/21/23

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Florida Mandating Apologism for Slavery in Schools

The Florida Board of Education unanimously backed new standards about teaching race in school that include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit," and that violence was perpetrated "against and by" Black Americans in White supremacist-led massacres, including those in Rosewood and Ocoee, Florida, reports the Daily Beast.

It's hard to overstate how deeply perverse and incorrect this account of history is. In Rosewood, a White mob burned down an entire Black town, while in Ocoee, 50 Black Americans were murdered by the Klu Klux Klan because some had refused to be intimidated out of voting.  

The standards are a byproduct of DeSantis' "Stop W.O.K.E. Act," which seeks to create "a new educational agenda that shields white students from feeling any sense of guilt for wrongs perpetrated against people of color," per the Daily Beast. The Florida Board of Education has apparently taken this to mean that teachers can't make White supremacist mobs and slave owners look too bad to students.

Despite the majority negative feedback at public testimony about the curriculum, the board is sticking to the new curriculum. Officials promise that teachers can expand instruction beyond the standard's baseline, but teachers fear termination and other sanction if they run afoul of DeSantis' "anti-woke" laws.

The manufactured movement against critical race theory (CRT), headquartered in Florida, has always been a cover to attack public schooling, teachers unions, and forthright education about racism in the United States. I guess it was never a stretch that teaching standards inspired by this manufactured outrage would launder White supremacist arguments into Florida schools.

Senate Finally Advances Ethics Rules for SCOTUS

The first-of-its kind legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 11-10, along party lines, of course, according to ABC. The bill would impose the same ethical standards required from lower-court justices for disclosure of gifts, travel and income, create a system to investigate ethics violations, and require justices to disclose potential conflicts of interest and justify decisions on recusals. Pretty sensible stuff given the unethical behavior of Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, I'd say. The bill is almost certainly dead on arrival due to Republican opposition and the filibuster, per the New York Times. That even these basic reforms are a non-starter tells you something about Republicans' ethics.

MTG Sends Nudes of Hunter Biden to Her Constiuents, Possibly Violates D.C. Revenge Porn Law

Marjorie Taylor Greene had nothing really to contribute to the House Oversight Committee's show trial of the Bidens, so she blew up nude pictures  of Hunter Biden and put them on a poster instead. As The New Republic points out, this may be a violation of Washington's revenge porn law which prohibit disclosure of  "sexual images of another identified or identifiable person" when "[t]he person depicted did not consent to the disclosure of the sexual image." Marj followed up with an email blast to her constituents with links to a video containing nude images of Hunter. The New Republic reports that there is no age filter for these tax-payer funded communications, meaning the images likely dropped into the inboxes of some minors, a federal offense. So far, I've personally avoided seeing Hunter's junk, but conservatives are hell-bent on changing that.


  • Trump Asks for UAW Endorsement He mentioned UAW in an aside during a rambling video where he blamed the high price of cars on the never passed Green New Deal. Tensions with UAW are something Biden needs to address though as the transition to EVs will likely eliminate union jobs. via the New York Times.
  • Prigozhin Emerges for First Time since Mutiny He claims that he and the Wagner group in Belarus, training the Belarusian military and preparing to be deployed to Africa. But who knows with this guy? via the Huffington Post.
  • Royal Family to Receive 45 Percent Pay Raise "I think it's bollocks," one observer wrote as the crown had tried to obfuscate the massive pay bump. via the Guardian.
  • Former Trump State Department Appointee Found Guilty in Jan. 6 Trial Federico G. Klein was, a mid-level political appointee, was part of the mob that pinned a police officer to a metal door frame. via the Washington Post.
  • Sea Otter That "Stole" Surfboard Evades Capture Don't let them catch you buddy. via the Associated Press.


75 percent

That's how much vegan diets would reduce climate-heating emissions, per a UK study, which also found they would also cut the destruction of wildlife by 66 percent and water use by percent. via the Guardian.


7/21: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma chat with Ryan Grim, DC Bureau Chief at The Intercept, to round up the week in news. Then, they're joined by Matthew Film Guy!


Barbie Movie 'Communism' Driving Conservatives INSANE

Well, the 'pink tide' was a thing to be fair.

Sam Joins SAG AFTRA Striking Actors Outside Netflix's Corporate Offices

Great stuff Sam!


“I kept telling my baby, 'I’m so sorry this had to happen to you.' There was no mercy for her and I couldn’t do anything.”

-- Samanthia Casiano, a Texas woman that was forced to give birth to her baby that had anencephaly, a fatal condition where parts of the skull and brain are undeveloped. Casiano is one of 15 Texas women suing the state for their denied abortion care. via Vice.

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