Public outcry and shaming racist ridiculousness like Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s disgraceful attempt at whitewashing history works.
After it was announced that Youngkin was rewriting his state’s elementary school education syllabi to EXCLUDE Martin Luther King, Jr. and Juneteenth, among other pivotal Black History essentials, the Virginia Department of Education revised its original draft of K-12 history standards to include them, claiming it was an unintentional omission. Yeah, right.
The shame was widespread and loud.
“It’s just another attack on trying to make history what they want it to be,” said James Fedderman, President of the Virginia Education Association, told Virginia’s 13 News Now.
“The standards are full of overt political bias, outdated language to describe enslaved people and American Indians, highly subjective framing of American moralism and conservative ideals, coded racist overtures throughout, requirements for teachers to present histories of discrimination and racism as ‘balanced’ ‘without personal or political bias,’ and restrictions on allowance of ‘teacher-created curriculum,’ which is allowed in all other subject areas,” Fedderman told the Washington Post.
Virginia’s General Assemblywoman Sally Hudson wasn’t having it either, tweeting:
Governor Youngkin’s new history standards require Marc Antony in elementary school but not MLK Jr.
Never forget he kicked Virginia’s Teacher of the Year — Anthony Swann, a Black man — off the Board of Education so he could ram this through. https://t.co/CiLNsKIbpR
— Sally Hudson (@SallyLHudson) November 15, 2022
The ACLU of Virginia replied to the following tweet, saying, ““Exactly. Virginia’s new proposed social studies standards ignore the voices of qualified experts [and thousands of Virginians]. Virginia’s students deserve to learn diverse perspectives from a wide range of communities in their history curricula. They deserve to learn the truth.”
These changes tell students what to think and feel about history. But the job of social studies educators is to teach students how to interpret history for themselves. Skill-based education is empowerment. Moralist education is indoctrination. #sschat https://t.co/NLinCMZSis
— Samantha Futrell (@sam_futrell1) November 13, 2022
The Virginia Education Association also chimed in:
How do we feel about the new history standards?
“…political bias, outdated language to describe enslaved people and American Indians, highly subjective framing of American moralism, coded racist overtures…" and that's just the start. #VAleg https://t.co/09yNpGK7yj
— Virginia Education Association (@VEA4Kids) November 14, 2022
The eerie comparisons to Nazi, Germany wasn’t lost on the Twittersphere either:
Virginia children will be goose-stepping to Youngkin's fascist tunes.
Denying history dooms us to repeat it.
USA is on a trajectory to become a reincarnation of Nazi Germany. DeSantis scares me more than Trump because he has a brain.#CivilWar2#NewNorthKorea
— Aubry Elizabeth Kelly (@AubryKelly1) November 17, 2022
The U.S. or Nazi, Germany?
— 🎙️Halli Casser-Jayne (.com) @Threads.net (@HalliShowQuotes) November 17, 2022
And Virginia isn’t the only state seeing echoes of Nazi Germany, with Trump Afterbirth and aspiring authoritarian Ron DeSantis telling Youngkin to hold his beer:
Don’t worry, Florida’s already on it: https://t.co/Rb4bXK2kqg
— Jen Cousins (@JenCousinsFL) November 17, 2022
On Thursday morning, Bradley P. Moss tweeted a statement that said, “Charles Pyle, a spokesman for the Department of Education, said the omissions were unintentional.”
But good. Keep calling them out.
— Bradley P. Moss (@BradMossEsq) November 17, 2022