13. The Murder of Tyre Nichols, the Authoritarian Takeover of Florida Education, and the Case *for* Teaching “CRT”
We share our thoughts on the murder of Tyre Nichols, on why we need to grapple with structural, systemic racism and how it produces discriminatory outcomes, and why the lack of accountability for police departments is a democratic crisis – We then focus on Ron DeSantis’ authoritarian takeover of the education system in Florida: We discuss why the rejection of the AP African American Studies course is emblematic of an escalating assault on public education, of a reactionary rollback of all attempts to establish a more gender and race inclusive education; we talk about the longer-term context of the Right’s disdain for public education and how these recurring curriculum or “history wars” are really conflicts over who gets to define American national identity and who gets to draw the boundaries of what counts as America and American; and we emphasize how this is not just a Florida story, as Republicans are trying to mandate a white nationalist understanding of the past and the present, and censor any critical dissent, wherever they are in charge – Finally, we make the case *for* teaching the importance of structural, systemic racism, of race and gender as organizing principles of American life: Because it is the only way the get the American story right and develop an adequate understanding of U.S. history and society; but also because a society that mandates a version of history and national identity that privileges white conservative Christian sensibilities and perspectives while ignoring or degrading all others will not be an egalitarian multiracial, pluralistic democracy.
This episode was produced by Connor Lynch
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