Resignation Demands Are Mounting After DeSantis Team Tries To Whitewash Slavery

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The Democratic Party of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is pushing for the resignation of Manny Diaz, Jr. from his post as commissioner at the Florida Department of Education. They and others have been outraged over the release of new educational standards that direct middle school students to be taught about purportedly personally beneficial skills developed by some who experienced U.S. slavery.

Compounding to the outrage, experts on the state team trying to defend the contentions about secondhand benefits from slavery cited as examples a group of people including individuals who historical records indicate were never enslaved or who didn’t develop their well-known skills while enslaved. The list includes famous educator Booker T. Washington, who was freed from slavery before the age of 10.

Recently, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Florida to speak against the new push from the state’s education authorities, comparing those trying to effectively rewrite the history of slavery to figures who’ve glossed over or denied the realities of the Holocaust or who’ve turned away from the history of U.S. internment camps established for Japanese residents. She also characterized the new approach as a threat to U.S. standing around the world as a consistent defender of foundational human rights, besides undercutting the ability of U.S. kids subjected to an arguably lacking educational system to effectively participate in the world later.

Diaz “is a disgrace to Miami-Dade, Florida’s most populous and diverse county,” that Democratic group said. “He has proven himself grossly unfit for his role. We join the call for his immediate resignation.” Others to have made such a call include Democratic state legislator Fentrice Driskell, currently serving as minority leader in the Florida House. Elsewhere, DeSantis has claimed he wasn’t directly involved in developing the disputed educational standards, though he nonetheless defended the updates.