The Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board has issued an apology to Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis after one of its members called him a racist. Pierre Rutledge, chair of the board, issued a statement that apologized to DeSantis for a comment made at their Wednesday meeting from a member who said, “Our governor is racist.” Rutledge said, We take it to heart when someone uses the term racist, Words matter. And so as chair, I must start by saying we want to pull that back. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘we’re sorry.’ That’s not what we intended to say or be depicted by anyone. And that’s not the feeling of this board.”
The accusation of racism came as the board discussed DeSantis’ rejection of an African-American history Advanced Placement course due to content about Black Lives Matter and queer issues. Recently the College Board took into account what DeSantis had to say and removed aspects of the course, which will now be reevaluated by the Florida Department of Education to determine if it is appropriate for schools. DeSantis had said that the first version of the course pushed a political agenda saying, “This course on Black history, what’s one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that an important part of Black history is queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda.”
DeSantis has taken a serious hard line against critical race theory and queer theories from being taught in public schools. Last year he passed the Parental Rights In Education bill, which banned lessons on gender identity in third grade and below.
Black leaders and Democrats in Florida and now fighting to keep the Black History AP course and will rally on Feb. 16 at the state capitol in Tallahassee. “Black history matters,” said the Rev. R.B. Holmes, pastor of Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Tallahassee, in an announcement of the rally. “Black history is not inferior. And Black history does not lack educational value.”