For some strange reason that my unabashed pro-Blackness will never allow me to understand, the chair of a Florida Black Affairs committee has issued an apology because one of the board’s members called Gov. Ron DeSantis racist. I mean, the horror, right? Imagine suggesting someone is racist just because he’s currently engaged in an all-out war against diversity, inclusion and non-whitewashed Black history. Come on, people, it’s not like DeSantis moved to redistrict his state’s congressional map in an intentional effort to dilute Black voting power. It’s not like he took advantage of Donald Trump’s “stop the steal” propaganda and used it to justify creating a special criminal agency that targeted Black and brown communities while policing virtually non-existent voter fraud and other election crimes. Y’all are acting like poor, misunderstood DeSantis endorsed a bill that would protect drivers who hit Black Lives Matter protesters.
In fact, I too would like to apologize for every time I accused water of being wet, every time I made the stereotypical assumption that fire was hot due to CFT (critical flame theory) and every single time I insinuated that clouds contribute to systemic cloudiness.
Anyway, from the Miami Herald:
“Words matter,” Pierre Rutledge, chair of the Black Affairs Advisory Board, said at the start of a Friday press conference. “As chair, I must start by saying we want to pull that back,” said Rutledge, an administrator in Miami-Dade’s school system.
“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 statement, with nine fellow members behind him, was in response to Miami lawyer Stephen Hunter Johnson saying, “Our governor is racist,” at a Wednesday board meeting about the governor’s blocking an African-American studies course.
Johnson’s comments drew no objections at the time. After he made them, board members unanimously voted to have him and another member draft a letter to DeSantis objecting to the governor’s position on the Advanced Placement course.
Rutledge’s press conference was called to release the final version of the letter to the media. It did not criticize DeSantis directly but stated the board was “saddened to see the State of Florida raise objection to the College Board’s AP African American Studies submission.”
So, basically, the board wanted Johnson to condemn DeSantis’ rejection of the AP African American Studies curriculum, but it wanted him to do so without appropriately calling the good governor or his policies racist, even though no one appeared to have a problem with the characterization at the time.
Nah, let us keep the same energy DeSantis had when he told Joe Rogan he shouldn’t have apologized for his use of the n-word, his stereotypical remarks about Africans and for referring to a Black neighborhood as the Planet of the Apes—all while pushing legislation that would make it illegal to cause white people “anguish” or “discomfort.”
Fortunately, Johnson was not so apologetic during the press conference, which followed Miami-Dade’s debut of the “Black Resistance”-themed lobby exhibit at the Stephen P. Clark Center dedicated to Black History Month (Which I’m sure DeSantis would have absolutely adored.)
More from the Herald:
Johnson attended the county event but left ahead of the board press conference. The draft letter he submitted to board staff Wednesday night stated “we find that your administration has engaged in overt racism and anti-Blackness, for purely political purposes,” according to a copy he provided the Herald.
In an interview after the press conference, Johnson said he was clear ahead of the vote that he intended to bluntly criticize DeSantis in the letter and stood by his original remarks. He said he was sad to see the board back down from the confrontation.
“The Black community has been far too polite for far too long in the face of overt racism,” he said. “And it is our obligation to call it out when we see it and are confronted with it.”
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