Home African Americans Adele McClure: Gov. Youngkin “knows EXACTLY what he’s doing during #BlackHistory Month…Whitewashing...

Adele McClure: Gov. Youngkin “knows EXACTLY what he’s doing during #BlackHistory Month…Whitewashing & revising history is a deliberate tactic”

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney: "Black History Month isn’t even over and @GlennYoungkin is following in the footsteps of DeSantis with his 'Don’t Say Black Law"

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Many people are weighing in angrily after the Washington Post reported yesterday that “[a]t least four more states” – including Virginia, under right wingnut Glenn Youngkin’s “leadership” (in air quotes – “will review the new Advanced Placement African American studies course to see if it conflicts with their policies or laws restricting the teaching of race, an indication that the controversy swirling around the class in Florida could spiral.” As the article explains:

In Virginia, Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has asked state education officials to examine the class to determine whether it conflicts with his previous executive order forbidding certain ways of teaching about race, according to spokeswoman Macaulay Porter. On Youngkin’s first day in office last year, he issued an executive order that bars teachers from teaching “inherently divisive concepts, including concepts or ideas related to Critical Race Theory.”

Porter said Youngkin acted after becoming aware of “numerous reports about draft course content.” She declined to share a timeline for the review, but said that it has already begun.

A few of the responses I’ve seen so far include:

  • Del. Alfonso Lopez: “ANOTHER HORRIBLE EXAMPLE of Gov Youngkin taking us backwards on the teaching of African American history in public schools. Virginia is just TWO State Senate seats away from becoming Florida. Get engaged early and help Democrats take back the House and keep the Senate BLUE!!”
  • Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney: “Black History Month isn’t even over and @GlennYoungkin is following in the footsteps of DeSantis with his ‘Don’t Say Black Law’ and trying to stop the instruction of Black history. Maya Angelou was right – ‘When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time’.”
  • VA Sen. Aaron Rouse:This is nonsense from @GlennYoungkin. We’ve got to tell the whole story of our Commonwealth & country. Any attempts to deny AP African American studies to our students is a disservice to us all. Black history is American history.”
  • Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg: “The tragedy of these attacks is that African-American history is ultimately a history of us becoming a more perfect union. Of African-American citizens and their allies using our first amendment freedoms to make real the values enshrined in the Declaration and Constitution.”
  • Arlington Democrats: “[In] Black History Month, Virginia’s Governor is targeting AP African American Studies All in a pathetic attempt to keep up with Ron DeSantis.”
  • Sheri Shannon: “The governor meeting with Black business owners but he also wants to review AP African American studies. Make it make sense.”

Bingo. Also, check out this superb Twitter thread by Adele McClure, a Democratic candidate for House of Delegates in Arlington, who correctly argues that Youngkin “knows EXACTLY what he’s doing during #BlackHistory Month.” 

“Whitewashing & revising history is a deliberate tactic used to justify systemic injustices & perpetuate white supremacy. Guess what else we didn’t learn about in school that we’re seeing again: the many successful campaigns to revise and erase Black History—American History…

…We have made a lot of progress and will fight like hell to make a lot more. We will not stay silent or back down as Governors DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin & others push forward efforts to erase our history and ignore the racial injustices that remain in our society today.”

Exactly right.

So what do we do? First of all, let Youngkin et al know exactly how you feel – clearly and loudly. But more importantly, we all need to stay focused on organizing and – obviously – showing up to VOTE every single election day, for Democrats up and down the ballot!  Here in Virginia, that includes this week for special elections in VA04 and Prince William County, in June for important primaries, and in November when the entire State Senate and House of Delegates will be up for grabs.

Need some more motivation? Than just imagine what Youngkin and his merry band of MAGA Republicans would do to Virginia if they won a governing “trifecta” this November. Yeah,  exactly – it’s a horrifying prospect. So let’s make damn sure it DOES NOT HAPPEN.

“Whitewashing & revising history is a deliberate tactic used to justify systemic injustices & perpetuate white supremacy. Guess what else we didn’t learn about in school that we’re seeing again: the many successful campaigns to revise and erase Black History—American History.”

“Across this nation, we have been fighting to right the wrongs of the past. They know that it is difficult to correct the wrongs of a past that we do not teach. They know it’s difficult to address and root out racism if we pretend it doesn’t exist in every facet of our society.

We have made a lot of progress and will fight like hell to make a lot more. We will not stay silent or back down as Governors DeSantis, Glenn Youngkin & others push forward efforts to erase our history and ignore the racial injustices that remain in our society today.”

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