The divide between the people of the United States continues to grow wider and deeper as the nation continues to struggle with handling the ghosts from its past. Racism and discrimination continue to afflict many parts of the country, including Florida.
With widespread hatred and ignorance still alive and well, a single policy decision has the power to tip the scale. The Governor of Florida recently banned an AP course for African American studies that was designed for high school students. Banning the course drove a wedge between people of all races in the state of Florida.
Why Banning the African American Studies Course Was Wrong
The decision to ban the AP course on African American studies was even more egregious because of the fact that it remains unclear whether the College Board was even going to implement any of the classes in the state of Florida. At least 60 American high schools were chosen as the College Board did not provide a response.
Banning a simple AP class on African American studies seems a lot like overkill. It begs the question, what are they afraid of? What could be so damaging about taking a class that it would have to be banned? It also sends a message, and not a good one.
It could be argued that in banning a course on African American studies, the state does not deem the African American community to be important. Worse yet, one could glean that it indicates that there is some feeling that the course could be a danger. This is very insulting to the African American community as a whole and also adds salt to wounds that have yet to heal.
When learning about the history of African Americans in this country and how they have been treated historically will undoubtedly generate some unpleasant sentiments, but that is a small price to pay for the truth. It should not be up to the state to decide whether its citizens can handle the truth. We should all have the opportunity to learn about our own history, whether it’s a flattering one or not.
Furthermore, we should all be deeply concerned by the unfairness of it all and be making an effort to do better. While some might be concerned about people harping on the past, it is important to remember that you have to understand the mistakes of the past to build a better future.
Understanding Racism in America and Why it’s Wrong
With rampant racism in the United States for the better part of its history, many have wondered why such ignorance is so prevalent. Racism runs deep in the United States, and it’s time to pull it out by the root before it has the chance to grow any longer.
Racism is wrong for a number of reasons. For one, it is morally wrong; the idea of treating someone differently because of their skin color or other superficial characteristics is not in line with basic human rights. The fact that racism still exists in our society today is a testament to how deeply ingrained it is in our culture and how far we have to go to truly eradicate it.
It is also wrong because it has numerous adverse effects on those who are subject to it. Racism leads to feelings of inferiority, which can lead to a lack of self-esteem, depression, and even suicidal thoughts. Additionally, racism can lead to physical and emotional violence, which can have long-lasting effects on victims. It can also lead to social alienation, which can lead to further mental health issues.
Racism can also have a negative impact on the economy as it creates artificial classes of citizens that are essentially disenfranchised for no logical reason. It can cause a decrease in productivity while driving an increase in discrimination-related lawsuits, which can be costly for employers. Additionally, it can lead to a decrease in consumer confidence, as people may be reluctant to spend money in a business that is not welcoming to everyone.
Finally, racism is wrong because it prevents us from reaching our full potential as a society. Racism stands in the way of true equality and justice, and it prevents us from truly understanding and appreciating the beauty and diversity of the human race. Racism is not only morally wrong, but it has a real and tangible impact on our society, and it is something that should not be tolerated in any form.
Banning the African American studies course only serves to reinforce the idea that we are still living in a racist society which causes further outrage in turn.
While we have free speech in this country, which is also under constant attack, we should also have the right to learn. Although there is no law enshrining the right to learn specifically, it should be something that we can all agree on.
The amount of influence politics has on our schools and what students are learning or are allowed to learn is concerningly reminiscent of the Dark Ages when the church controlled almost all learning. People were told what they could and could not learn about, sending the Western world into an intellectual abyss until the Enlightenment, or Age of Reason.
Although students can easily learn about almost anything they want simply by using the internet, the fact that a state government would ban a course on African American studies in 2023 should be concerning to us all.
America has a past that comes with a lot of baggage, but that baggage can be overcome. We can move past it and build an America that we can all be proud of, but there is a lot of work to do. In terms of education, we can do better. In terms of eliminating antiquated sentiments like racism, we can do better. In terms of standing together as one people and one nation undivided by ignorance, we can do much better.
The key takeaway here is that we don’t have to wait for a politician to make these changes for us. The change can start right here and now by doing our part individually.