Posted by on January 25, 2023 3:47 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

DeSantis gambles black voter support by spurning AP African American Studies

FILE – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at Miami’s Freedom Tower, on Monday, May 9, 2022, in Miami. A congressional map approved by DeSantis and drawn by his staff is unconstitutional because it breaks up a district where Black voters can choose their representatives, a state judge said Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier, File) Marta Lavandier/AP

DeSantis gambles black voter support by spurning AP African American Studies

Ryan King January 25, 03:18 PMJanuary 25, 03:18 PM Video Embed

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is gambling future support from black voters as he seeks to woo grassroots conservatives by railing against so-called woke education.

Earlier this month, DeSantis’s administration excluded an Advanced Placement class on African American studies from state high school curriculum, arguing that the course was political and flouted state laws on education. The move was the latest in a string of actions aimed at restricting how the subject of race is taught in workplaces and classrooms.


“After reading through the language in the bills DeSantis signed, Trump may be a better option as the Republican nominee after all. DeSantis signs bill restricting how Florida schools and businesses teach racism and history,” Shermichael Singleton, a Republican analyst, tweeted.

The Florida governor has insisted that he is not opposed to teaching black history in high school but wants instruction to be conducted in a “classical sense” rather than “imposing some rote talking points.” Florida is facing multiple litigation threats, including from famed civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump, over its blocking of the curriculum. Meanwhile, the College Board, which helps organize the coursework, hinted at plans to revise the material.

“I think the more that Black voters across the country learn about him, the more that you’ll see that there’s going to be a strong unfavorability that he’s going to have,” Cliff Albright, co-founder of Black Voters Matter, said, per the Hill. “He takes pride in being able to say he’s standing up against the ‘woke mob,’ against these liberals, these progressive, these Black people and all of that.

DeSantis was trounced by gubernatorial rival Charlie Crist among black voters, winning 13% of their vote to Crist’s 86% in the midterm elections, according to an exit poll. That came during an election in which DeSantis sailed to victory and even won a majority of support from Latino voters, an uncommon feat by a Republican.

Although he has not announced his 2024 plans, DeSantis is widely speculated to throw his hat in the ring for president and has consistently polled as a top-tier contender. Should he run, his chief rival, former President Donald Trump, won 8% of the black vote in 2020, compared to 92% by his rival, President Joe Biden, per Pew Research.

The governor has also brought on a number of prominent black conservative officials to his administration, such as Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.

A spokesperson for DeSantis vehemently repudiated any notion that the governor’s administration has been anti-black as “absurd, demonstrably false, and insulting and demeaning to all of us.”


Throughout his rise to GOP stardom, DeSantis has dove headfirst into culture wars, championing laws at restricting the imposition of “woke” or critical race theory ideology in classrooms or workplaces. Critical race theory posits that powerful institutions in the United States are rife with systemic racism. DeSantis has scoffed at the notion of systemic racism in the U.S. as “a bunch of horse manure.”

Polls have indicated that DeSantis has a viable shot at defeating President Joe Biden, who is expected to announce his 2024 plans in the coming weeks. One survey WPA Intelligence conducted between Jan. 2-8 found DeSantis edging out Biden by 45% to 42%. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points and surveyed 1,035 voters.

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