Because of Florida's Stop WOKE Act, You Couldn't Teach Much of Florida's African American Education Standards

It should have been so fucking easy for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is always angry that a non-white person might be happy and wondering how he can ruin that. When he was asked about the social studies standards released by the Florida Department of Education last week, in particular the one that read that "Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit," he could have just simply said, "I haven't had a chance to look that over." Or "I'm not an expert on that. You'll have to ask the DOE." Boom. Done. Controversy avoided.

But if you're a motherfucker, and Ron DeSantis has never met a mother that he didn't vigorously fuck, you do what he did. You double the fuck down. As DeSantis whitesplained, "They’re probably going to show that some of the folks that eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life." Imagine someone who was whipped regularly, whose wife was raped, whose children were sold off. Now imagine them being grateful that they were taught to make horseshoes. It's ludicrous, and DeSantis got all the bullshit piled on him that he deserved, including a spanking from Vice President Kamala Harris and the NAACP.

Let's get even clearer here. Yeah, slaves were taught skills. That's because that way the plantation or wherever they were being held didn't need to hire anyone and, you know, pay them to sew clothes or make leg irons. As far as "later in life," there were generations upon generations of slaves who were taught things that mattered to no one except their owners. "Later in life" just meant "dying a slave" until 1865. And one other thing ought to be mentioned here. A slave who knew how to do more than field work was more valuable when they were sold. Yeah, in fact, those "skills" were advertised. 

You see that ad? Being a carpenter, brick maker, or tanner got your owner a better price for you. That's how the fucking skills were "parlayed" for almost the entirety of the savage history of slavery in this damned country.

Pointing out this deeply fucked up standard upset some on the right. According to them, we were picking out one thing from a long, comprehensive document. Attacking Vice President Harris, the National Review (motto: "As white and fragile as Buckley's bones") said, "If you are able to read [the standards document] and conclude that the single reference to slaves developing skills (which I’ve bolded) is indicative of the narrative direction of the course, rather than a tiny (and correct) part of it, then you are beyond saving and you deserve to live your life as an ignoramus." Yeah, but if I give a speech where I talk about how the races need to unify and then I drop the n-word in the middle of it, why the fuck should anyone care about the rest of what I said?

To be fair, the standards on slavery and on African American history (Florida is one of only 14 states that require its teaching) do cover a lot of ground. But here's where the rub comes, because there's always a fucking rub when it comes to DeSantis and Florida and fucking conservatives. 

See, Florida passed the Stop WOKE Act in 2022, which is pretty clear about how things are supposed to be taught. For instance, you can't teach in a way that "a person, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the person played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, national origin, or sex." The way that's phrased makes it obvious that it's talking about white people. You can't make white people sad. It's ostensibly against things the authors of the bill don't understand, like critical race theory, but, basically, it's about history making white people think, "Man, I feel like shit that my ancestors fucked people over so horrifically. Maybe we should do something about that." Fuck that feeling, man. 

Now, I'm not sure how you're supposed to learn some of the things in the standards, like the Underground Railroad, slave revolts, and more, without blaming, you know, the whites who did all this to Black people. Even moreso, I don't know how you can teach that without someone feeling guilt or anguish. Jesus, I remember when I watched Roots when I was a kid. I was fucking enraged at white people and I'm really goddamn white. History should make you feel shitty. That's what makes you want to do better.

But it gets even more absurd. See, the standards list people that it would be good for students to learn about. One standard is to "Identify African Americans who demonstrated civic service," and it lists people like Colin Powell or Hiram Revels, who was a senator during Reconstruction. Also on that list is Carter G. Woodson. And that's where shit gets weird and tricky. 

See, Woodson was a historian and educator who believed that, as an NAACP biography says, "the white-dominated historical profession had little interest in Black history. He saw African-American contributions 'overlooked, ignored, and even suppressed by the writers of history textbooks and the teachers who use them.'" In 1933, he published The Mis-Education of the Negro, a book of his articles and speeches where he talked about how education reaffirmed white supremacy. As Woodson put it, the white-based education system had succeeded in cowing African Americans: "They usually say the races here are getting along amicably now, and we do not want these peaceful relationships disturbed by teaching of new political thought. What they mean to say with respect to the peaceful relation of the races, then, is that the Negroes have been terrorized to the extent that they are afraid even to discuss political matters publicly." 

Woodson saw it, man. He saw how this shit worked: "If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself." He called for the study of Black history, in the United States and elsewhere, which is one reason he started the movement for what became Black History Month, which is probably why he's on that list up there. 

But what Woodson really did was to provide a foundation for critical race theory in education. That's right. The Florida Department of Education wants students to learn about the guy who started CRT, which is prohibited by the Stop WOKE Act. 

That's how stupid this shit is. It's not only racist. It's not only anti-historical. It's not only hysterical. It's fucking farcical. 

And that should very much cause guilt, anguish, and psychological distress.


Marjorie Taylor Greene's District Owes a Lot to the New Deal and the Great Society (profanity free for the kids)

(If you want a rude version of this, check out my latest video for the Political Voices Network.)

Not to educatorsplain things to Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the enthusiastic genital displayer from Georgia's 14th District, but during her speech last weekend at one of those endless streams of conservative conferences that seem to be as frequent as a new Marvel thing, she went off, oddly, on how Joe Biden's policies were helping people. "Joe Biden had the largest public investment in social infrastructure and environmental programs, that is actually finishing what FDR started, that LBJ expanded on, and Joe Biden is attempting to complete," she said. Unsurprisingly, Biden's campaign for president used Greene's words approvingly, flipping the context to how, yeah, Biden's done some good things for the country and thanks, Marj. 

But there's another aspect to Greene's ignorance that deserves more attention. She very specifically went after Lyndon Johnson's Great Society programs and Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. She sneered, "The Great Society were [sic] big government programs for education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, transportation, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, welfare" and more things. It should benoted that the fact that what she's listing are considered bad things by the gathered future fascists of America points to an emptiness in what we might quaintly call their "souls." 

The thing is that both the New Deal and the Great Society (including the War on Poverty) were very much targeting regions like Appalachia, part of which is in northwest Georgia, which is where Greene's district is. The New Deal created the Tennessee Valley Authority, and northern Georgia benefited with two hydroelectric dams that still provide power to several counties in the 14th. In fact, the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 was a major factor in the modernization of northwest Georgia and the electric cooperatives created by the law are still keeping the lights on there. 

Unlike the contemptuous Greene, FDR actually had a fondness for rural Georgia. He had what he called his summer White House in Warm Springs, which is in west-central Georgia, a couple of counties down from what is now the 14th District. Roosevelt found that the waters of the springs gave him relief from the pain of polio, and he got to know the farmers and workers in the state, learning about the rampant poverty there. There's no need to go through everything that the New Deal did for Georgia, with schools, subsidies to farmers, jobs, and housing, all while the short-sighted Gov. Eugene Talmadge was trying to hinder the programs, especially the ones that helped Black people.

But it's worth pointing out that in Greene's district alone, Fort Mountain State Park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The city halls in Dalton and Cedartown, as well as the Post Office in Summerville, all came from New Deal money and effort. (By the way, even though it's out of her district, it's worth noting that the University of Georgia, where Greene went to college, was pretty much kept alive during the Depression by the millions invested in new buildings and programs through the New Deal.)

And the Great Society? Over 100,000 people in the district are on Medicare or Medicaid (with tens of thousands more eligible). The Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 led to massive economic development. The poverty rate in that area of Georgia dropped by over half, from 38.5% of people in 1960 to 16.9% in 1970. And Greene supposedly cares about fetuses since she is rabidly anti-choice. So why would she want to tear down a program that helped fetuses stay alive.  In 1960, the infant mortality rate in northwest Georgia was 29.1 deaths per thousand. In 1975? 16.4. Nearly 50% fewer babies were dying because of the Great Society. Seems like a really pro-life thing, no?

In other words, Greene's district pretty much simply exists because of two Democratic presidents. She should be on her knees every day, thanking FDR and LBJ, and she should be begging Joe Biden to continue helping the 14th as much as the other two leaders did. But, no, it's just easier to pretend that anything the government does is evil. 

(If you want the uncensored version of the video, subscribe to my Patreon.)


One Reason for a Speedy Trial for Trump: We Need to Know If He's Guilty Before Voting in 2024

Let us say, and why not, that you have a child, a son, at a local day care. Every morning you drop him off at, hell, let's call it "Little Tykes' Awesome School." You trust that they will make sure nothing bad happens to your son, and you've heard nothing but good things about LTAS. But then one day, you see something on your parents' group chat: one of the teachers has been arrested. You try to tell yourself that it could be any number of things that a teacher has been arrested for, but you're still freaking out. Then it turns out that it's the owner of LTAS who's been arrested. Jeremy Tykes was taken into custody after a parent told police that her daughter said...oh, shit. No, no, this is all rumor, you say. Then you get a link to a news story which says that there are video recordings of Tykes walking little girls into his office. Oh, fuck, fuck, fuck. You tell your boss you gotta go, jump in your car, and go get your son. After you pick him up and get him home, in a safe place, with safe snacks, you ask him if anything happened to him. No, your son says, nothing happened but he played with his friends and wants to watch TV. 

After his arrest and arraignment, where he actually gets bond for some reason you can't figure out, Tykes says he wants his trial delayed while he looks for work. He hopes to get another job running a day care or at least working for one. Really, he wants to run the one that he had run already. It's what he's passionate about, he says. Besides, he says through his lawyer, he's totally innocent, and there are no videos of him doing anything to any of the kids, and if some of them say he did something terrible, well, those kids were coached because some of his co-workers were out to get him. 

Listen, you know that false allegations have been made in these situations. You know there have been witch hunts that have destroyed careers. You know that, in theory, everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court. You know all that, and you believe in it. But, still, you fucking well know that that motherfucker shouldn't be anywhere near kids until his innocence is established. Right? And that trial better happen really fucking fast before he gets another day care job and perhaps fucks up the lives of some more children.

See, one thing I keep coming back to with the potential delays in the trial of Donald Trump over his weird use and abuse of classified documents is that we better fucking establish his guilt or innocence before he's allowed near classified documents again. I mean, in seeking an indefinite delay, ideally until after the 2024 election, Trump's lawyers write, "While the Government appears to favor an expedited (and therefore cursory) approach to this case, it cannot point to any exigency or urgency requiring a rapid adjudication.  There is no ongoing threat to national security interests nor any concern regarding continued criminal activity."

And then, in a part that sounds like it was dictated by Trump and ordered to be included, they go on, "President Trump is running for President of the United States and is currently the likely Republican Party nominee.  This undertaking requires a tremendous amount of time and energy, and that effort will continue until the election on November 5, 2024...[Preparing for trial] requires significant planning and time, making the current schedule untenable and counseling in favor of a continuance."

This needs to be stated plainly: The ongoing threat to national security is that Donald fucking Trump can get his tiny orange paws on more top secret shit and do whatever the fuck he wants with it. Of course this is a national security issue. And, of fucking course, voters need to know that Trump fucked with our national security before they vote because there are still millions of people in this country who are stupid enough to vote for Trump. Even Trump's lawyers recognize this when they say, "[T]here is simply no question any trial of this action during the pendency of a Presidential election will impact both the outcome of that election and, importantly, the ability of the Defendants to obtain a fair trial." The impact on the election is the fucking point. Why shouldn't a conviction on mishandling classified shit not have an impact on an election? Would you say, "Yeah, he was found guilty of fucking kids, but we should totally let him work with kids again"?

Luckily, Special Counsel Jack Smith wasn't having any of it and said, in essence, "Are you assholes serious right now?" As the government writes, "Defendants Trump and Nauta claim unequivocally that they cannot receive a fair trial prior to the conclusion of the next presidential election, urge the Court to withdraw the current scheduling Order, and request that the Court not even consider a new trial date until some unspecified later time. There is no basis in law or fact for proceeding in such an indeterminate and open-ended fashion, and the Defendants provide none."

And it adds, "Finally, the demands of Defendants’ professional schedules do not provide a basis to delay trial in this case. Many indicted defendants have demanding jobs that require a considerable amount of their time and energy, or a significant amount of travel. The Speedy Trial Act contemplates no such factor as a basis for a continuance, and the Court should not indulge it here." Yeah, motherfuckers, everyone's got shit to do and would rather do that than go on trial for something that could put them in prison for years.

But, hey, if Trump's bizarre, self-aggrandizing reasoning actually works, hell, every accused criminal can say, "Yeah, I know I'm accused of murdering a classroom of a children, but I gotta work my shift at the 7-11 so, sorry, Judge, but I'm gonna have to take a raincheck on my trial date. We good?" Or maybe just, "I'm running for president, so I can't be bothered."

(Note: In one draft, I made the owner of the day care Donald Trump, but I realized that MAGA cretins would have no problem putting Trump back in the day care, and they'd likely be proud to have their children molested by him. I don't even think I'm being hyperbolic for effect.)


Where Is the Freakout Over the Assassination Attempt on Barack Obama?

About a year ago, an armed fucknut showed up outside Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's house. Remember that? The fucknut was suicidal, angry about the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and ready to take out some judges on his way out the door. It's scary shit, no doubt, but, fortunately, the fucknut called the cops and turned himself in. And his gun was unloaded, but, you know, still scary shit. 

For a couple of weeks, right-wing media and the GOP lost its goddamn mind. The Republican National Committee put out a statement calling the fucknut "The Democrat SCOTUS Assassin." Fox "news" went nutzoid, with Jesse Watters, who always looks like he knows which room the passed out coed is in and can't wait to tell the other frat brothers, just asked questions about the fucknut's intent, like "Do you think that idea just popped into his head? Or did the orders come all the way from the top?" On Newsmax (motto: "Giving a handjob to crazy every night"), some fuckin' host whose name no one will ever know wondered, "Are Americans right to question if [Nancy] Pelosi was actually hoping for or encouraging violence that could lead to Joe Biden appointing a new Supreme Court justice?" Other conservadrones said that the national media wasn't spending enough time on the "horrific assassination attempt on Kavanaugh" (really? "Horrific"?) It didn't matter that it was covered extensively everywhere. Republican officials blamed Chuck Schumer, who had said, "You will pay a price" over the Roe decision to the Supreme Court and to GOP members of Congress, meaning, clearly, you'll face hell at the ballot box. Squamous creep Ted Cruz, manly but fleeing Josh Hawley, and the corpse of Chuck Grassley all attacked Schumer and Democrats for the fucknut's self-aborted assassination attempt.

In other words, it was an occasion to pile on Democrats. Republicans are always good at making poisonous lemonade out of bullshit lemons. And this batch had the bonus effect of distracting from all the violence by right-wing fucknuts who far outnumber the lefty ones. 

So when we learned that Taylor Taranto, a QAnon-believing shit-for-brains who was already wanted for whatever he did at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was arrested on June 29 with weapons near former President Barack Obama's house in DC, certainly it would be different. Certainly those same people who complained about an alleged lack of coverage of the incident with Kavanaugh would be eager to cover the Obama assassination attempt and Taranto's desire to kill Jamie Raskin, Kevin McCarthy, and others. He was live streaming his search for tunnels in the neighborhood because QAnon morons think children are always being dragged into Democrats' houses through tunnels so they can be eaten and raped. Probably not in that order. Probably. Taranto didn't turn himself in. No, the cops found him and even chased him for a bit. Taranto is obviously fucking insane, but he had two guns, a machete, and 400 rounds when he was caught. Crazy can still kill. 

Then, it turns out that Donald Trump, on June 28, posted a 2017 garbage dump of a piece praising his first 100 days in office and it included the addresses of both Obama and his former chief of staff and nexus of all things crazy people believe, John Podesta. Taranto said he was targeting both of them. In fact, "Taranto reposted a Truth Social post from Trump containing what Trump claimed was Obama’s home address. In a post on Telegram, Taranto wrote: 'We got these losers surrounded! See you in hell, Podesta’s and Obama’s.'" You got that? The wannabe killer is saying he got his intel from Trump. 

Trump's Truth Toilet post is still up. You can look for it, if you want. I'm not fuckin' linking to it or screenshotting it. But of course Trump's not gonna take it down because that would mean he admits having been a factor in the potential assassination of a former president. It would mean he did something wrong. And that cockdribble never would do that.

While Fox "news" has covered it a little during the, you know, "news" part, as of today, there's not a goddamn thing about it on its website. But you know what else? It's gone from NBC's website. And CNN's. There are day-old articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere. And while Chris Christie has blasted Trump for it, there's been virtual silence from Democrats about it. 

In other words, the Kavanaugh sort-of assassination attempt got far more coverage than the nearly, actually committed assassination attempt on Obama, inspired and directed by another former president who is the frontrunner for his party's nomination. Trump should be fucking hounded endlessly about this. Frankly, we should be freaking out about it. It's one thing for an address to be public record. It's another for a vengeful cockdribble to spew it out to his idiot hordes looking for anything that means they should go get shooty at last. 

But, no, instead, do go on about the fucking little bit of cocaine some idiot left at the White House. That's so much more fucking important. 

Once again, our media attention, and, therefore, our own attention is being driven by whatever the right demands it be driven to. And Democrats play along, refusing to squeeze those lemons for themselves. 


In Its Affirmative Action Decision, the Supreme Court Shits on Higher Education

I was trying to figure which of the Supreme Court's 6-3 fuckings this week to write about. Perhaps the full-on face fucking of allowing any business that declares what they do "expressive" to discriminate agains LGBTQ+ people (or, really, anyone) because they think an invisible sky wizard will be mad at them if they don't. Is cooking expressive? Is diagnosing medical conditions expressive? Who the fuck knows? Or maybe the large strap-on ass fucking of the court blocking President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan where, in essence, the majority added back $10k or more in debt that had been eliminated. Thanks, John Roberts, you vicious, psycho numb nuts. 

But perhaps, as a college professor, I am best suited to talk about the pair of cases that led to the majority overturning affirmative action programs in higher education because that shit is dead center in my wheelhouse and I'm gonna fuckin' swing for the fences because I know what the fuck I'm talking about. The majority came to my fuckin' place of work and shit all over it. I don't go over to the Supreme Court and slap William Rehnquist's dead dick out of Roberts' whore mouth. 

See, in the roughly 250 or so years I've been teaching, I've led classes with little to no racial diversity and classes with extraordinary diversity. I've seen how diversity in hiring has an effect on the students and I've seen how diversity within the classroom impacts all students, white and non-white. So let me put this plainly: diversity and equity in higher education are pedagogically important in the classroom in a way that continues after graduation. Lemme put it even more plainly: this shit matters so that students of all races learn how to fucking exist in the real world. 

I could get anecdotal here pretty easily. I could tell you about amazing discussions in classrooms around works of literature where one student of one race will talk about how something is true to their life and another student of another race will say they never knew. I could tell you how blowing up the literary canon to include far more women writers and non-white writers and non-Western writers has enriched the classroom experience. I regularly teach works by American writers who are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, African, and more, along with white writers you've heard of, and students are fucking thrilled by it because many of them end up finding something about themselves in that work and then it matters more and then it opens them up to other works. Every fucking year this happens, and the experience of those works is heightened by the diversity of the class itself. And then I see these students hanging out and making plans together. It's fucking beautiful. 

Frankly, I think that's what the people who are against affirmative action fear most: the normalization of diversity. Goddamn, I have taught in places where classes of 30 or 40 had one or two non-white students, if that. I loved teaching those students and gave it my all, but it feels so divorced from what they are almost guaranteed to experience outside that classroom. It matters. I know everyone on the right thinks higher education is either a waste of time or a means to a job, but it's also teaching you what it means to be in a diverse country. It makes you a better, more open-minded member of this damned society. 

But that's my personal shit and everyone in higher education can give you examples of that. Instead, let's get some research up in this motherfucker. For years, studies have been showing that a diverse student population has a net positive effect on socialization, on civic engagement, and, yeah, on grades. A 2013 study out of Princeton concluded, "Diversity of all kinds is generally associated with positive learning and performance outcomes. Not only do experiences with diversity improve one’s cognitive skills and performance, it also improves attitudes about one’s own intellectual self-confidence, attitudes toward the college experience, and shapes performance in the workplace."

You might say that the Supreme Court shouldn't worry about the pedagogical aspect of diversity in higher education. But ignoring it is tantamount to the Court setting curriculum for all colleges, participating in pedagogical decisions quite fully. And, as both Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in their dissents, abandoning diversity as a goal for the classroom and campus has larger societal impact because the students go into the workforce. "Greater diversity within the teacher workforce improves student academic achievement in primary public schools," writes Sotomayor. "A diverse pipeline of college graduates also ensures a diverse legal profession, which demonstrates that 'the justice system serves the public in a fair and inclusive manner.'" That last part is quoting a brief from the American Bar Association. Diversity in higher education makes everything stronger.

And what about the notion put forth by some on the right that we just don't need affirmative action programs anymore? That's bullshit. "Current rates of change suggest that it would take about 70 years for all not-for-profit institutions to reflect underrepresented students fully in their incoming student population...For Black and Native American students and for faculty from all underrepresented populations, there was effectively no progress from 2013 to 2020," says a 2022 report. If anything, the actual numbers would call for more intensive emphasis on diverse recruitment. That's reality. And we know in places where affirmative action has been banned that the numbers of Black and Hispanic students dropped a whole lot in flagship universities. 

Roberts goes on endlessly about the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. But if you're going to apply it to justify eliminating programs that attempt to enhance the education of all students under the idea that all races aren't being treated absolutely, totally, constantly equal all the time, then why not  use it to ensure that equality of opportunity in all education is assured? Why not force states to make sure that public schools in all places are offering the same level of funding and same level of services? In other words, if you wanna eliminate the need for affirmative action, then eliminate some of the things that cause it to be necessary. 

Or you just want to harm Black and brown people and don't give a fuck otherwise.

(Note: I can't leave this fucked up discussion without saying something about elite colleges, two of which were the defendants in these cases. Really, this was all about some students upset they didn't get accepted to Harvard or UNC-Chapel Hill, even though they might not have gotten in anyways. It's fucking absurd that we give so much importance to schools that are circle jerks of privilege, as if that's the only route to success in an area. US News and World Report's rankings can go suck all the dicks. You can get an amazing education in hundreds of other schools. Why would you want to got to schools that let George W. Bush or Jared Kushner in just because of their rich daddies?)