Nothing Here to Learn, People! Move On!

Lafe Tolliver

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

Question: What grievances does the Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis, have against allowing students to take an Advanced Placement (AP) course in African American studies?

Answer: Many! Lest anyone is fooled by the faux anger of the governor regarding his standing in the schoolhouse door, DeSantis is calculating coolly about using this AP course as a cultural war bridge to the White House.

Remember, AP courses are not required courses but merely electives a student can take and, if successful, earns credits as if the student took a college course in African American studies for example.

The brouhaha about this course is that it is a hostage tool that the governor is using to bludgeon his way into making higher education more into his image and thus burnish his credentials as a Trumphie lite candidate to the so called GOP base.

We are in the age of the GOP playing crass games of “cultural wars” (aka: race politics) like the teaching of CRT and shipping immigrants on planes to the house of the Vice President, Kamala Harris, so the GOP can “own” the libs…whatever that means.

Playing these cultural wars is old hat. Former President George H. W. Bush did the same with the racist commercials of Willie Horton (Google the history of that racial meme) by juxtaposing the image of a Black man with a  wild unkempt Afro with thoughts of white women being in fear for the lives.

That racial ploy apparently worked back in the day against the liberal presidential Democratic candidate, Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, who was touted as being soft on crime (aka:  GOP dog whistle for coddling Black people).

Now, Ron DeSantis, with the assistance of a polarized country and the instant news feeds via the Internet, has been able to position himself as the champion of white grievance politics and thus curry the favor (and money!) of a GOP base that is being whipsawed between “those” people and “us” people.

Imagine one of the banned books in Florida is a children’s level story about Rosa Parks and her courage to stand her ground and not give up her bus seat to a white passenger.

Yes, even Rosa Parks can be demonized as being an agent of change that could inspire Black kids to not accept any subservient position in society as their destiny.

With DeSantis’s grim determination to shoulder himself into the issues of higher education for purposes of political gain, Floridians are allowing a scheming politician to warp the very core of liberal education by demanding a curriculum that pledges solidarity to all things white.

The college board source that presented the AP course in African-American studies indicated that they will “revisit” the educational materials and see what is needed to make it acceptable to the Florida GOP led legislature.

The interpretation of that gibberish is: We will attempt to excise any offensive materials in the African-American studies AP course to insure that white snowflakes are not alarmed or

are ashamed or embarrassed of what America did and is doing to people of color.

Topics such as red lining by banks in order to insure residential segregation, the cause of race riots in America, the laws that at one time prohibited Black voting, interracial marriages and laws that demanded school segregation will be lightly touched upon so as not to give White people knowledge of their regrettable history and not to generate feelings of being ashamed of their apartheid type conduct.

The narrow view by which Ron DeSantis wishes to desensitize and minimalize true American History so as to make it palatable to an anxious White readership is the means by which he hopes he can assume the mantle of the protector of aberrant White history which has lied for centuries about its treatment of Indigenous People, Black people and those that are deemed different.

Of course, Ron DeSantis has no qualms with how White American history is being taught in Florida and he wants to keep it that way. Ron DeSantis has indicated that the study of African American History has no merit or historical value (or words to that effect) and he is counting on his fearful and ignorant (lack of knowledge) base to back him up…all the way to the White House if possible.

If does not hurt White politicos who use Black people as a soccer ball to kick back and forth as long as they have this ace card in their vest pocket: anxious and grievance filled White people who are willing to listen to the canards of race baiters who promise them that if they vote for them, they will keep the teeming and job grabbing Black hordes at bay.

Gerrymandering and voter suppression tactics are the first cousins of this sinister ploy; and so as long as the Ron DeSantis’s of the US can use race as a dividing factor, they win.

They win only until citizens say no to such vile tactics and those who have a media bullhorn will tell everyone that Black American History is American History…warts and all.


Contact Lafe Tolliver at