Alexandra Petri is a satirical columnist for The Washington Post. This week, she opines on the re-writing of history to suit the racists in Florida, led by none other than Governor DeSantis, and it is both appalling and yet at the same time humorous. Remember, this is tongue-in-cheek, satire … until it becomes reality.
Excerpts from a civics textbook I assume would be welcome in Florida
20 March 2023
“Rosa Parks showed courage. One day, she rode the bus. She was told to move to a different seat because of the color of her skin. She did not. She did what she believed was right.”
“Rosa Parks showed courage. One day, she rode the bus. She was told to move to a different seat. She did not. She did what she believed was right.”
— Two versions of a first-grade lesson from Studies Weekly, a publisher whose social studies curriculums are currently used in Florida elementary schools. Studies Weekly revised the lesson more than once, omitting any mention of racism or segregation, to submit for a state review of social studies materials.
American history is full of many heroes, whose accomplishments we will have no problem telling you about in the state of Florida! They fought for justice, which was brave of them, if a little redundant, because there was no specific injustice to fight against. Here are just a few of their stories!
Harriet Tubman is considered an inspiring figure by many because she made many trips on foot, often with other people. She specifically led trips from the South to the North, often at night. At night, you can see the stars! It is great to lead trips. She was a hero.
Frederick Douglass was famous, too! We celebrated him during the Trump administration for being someone “who’s done an amazing job” and whose contributions are still being “recognized more and more.” He also gave a noteworthy speech about the Fourth of July. Who doesn’t love the Fourth of July?
John Brown is regarded by some as a heroic figure. Famously, he went to what is now West Virginia (Wild and Wonderful!). He also grew a luxurious beard. Once, he was very excited to visit a weapons arsenal. We support West Virginia tourism!
Abraham Lincoln was a tall man who did something that was a very important thing to do, and especially at that time. He was president during the Civil War, which was fought from 1861 to 1865 between a group of people whom it was universally agreed would make wonderful, handsome statues and some other people who may have had reasons. He even made a proclamation, probably unnecessarily! He famously went to the same play as John Wilkes Booth, a very talented actor who also loved to exercise his Second Amendment rights! It is nice when actors support the Second Amendment. Too often, woke Hollywood doesn’t.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton and some of her friends went to Seneca Falls, N.Y., and had a conference there. At the conference, she talked about things related to ladies. Seneca Falls is a nice place to visit, especially in the summer!
Jonas Salk was a famous doctor. He invented a vaccine against polio, which was good because it made not being vaccinated against polio a choice, which it had not been before. Giving people choices is wonderful!
Rosa Parks was asked to move to a different seat, but she didn’t. People who sit are heroes! For instance, Thurgood Marshall famously sat on a bench. He was a hero, too.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was born on March 15, 1933. She spent 71 years of her life on the planet at the same time as Ronald Reagan! This was a big achievement. She also famously sat on a bench. We love it when people sit!
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and told people about it! King made some people upset, probably because it is annoying when people recount their dreams to you at length, but possibly for other reasons. He is no longer with us, but he is still celebrated today because his works provided so many out-of-context quotations for White people to use to explain why it is not important to fight racism any more. (Which was never important to do, because it did not exist.)
John Lewis was a hero! He famously marched across a bridge. This upset some people. People have strong feelings about infrastructure. Have you ever walked across a bridge? He was such a hero that they named a whole road after him and then some people wanted to rename a little piece of it after Donald Trump!
The Little Rock Nine went to school! Some people did not want them to go to school, and there were protests and guards were called in. It is sad: Even today, some people just don’t want other people to learn! They went anyway. It is good to go to school, where you can learn so much about history!