HuffPost runs a personal essay that just is too wondrous from a certain political view to examine carefully. A teacher in Florida is going to defy Gov. Ron DeSantis’s rejection of all that is good in education! They’re going to continue to teach matters racial and historical despite that Stop Woke Act!
The author even writes under a pseudonym so that the powers of the State of Florida do not descend to imprisonment, or worse. It’s all the most stirring stuff, the people rise up against the oppressors. Except, well, there is a rather big except here.
In a couple of weeks, I’ll walk back into my college classroom and continue my second decade of teaching at one of Florida’s universities. Despite the recently passed HB 7 Amendment (Stop WOKE Act), I won’t be adjusting my syllabi to remove readings or discussions that make students “uncomfortable,” and I won’t pretend that systemic racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and other forms of oppression do not exist. I will not “whitewash” our country’s history or minimize the challenges and oppression that so many still experience, especially those who are women and/or members of the BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities.
You can imagine those against such a Woke Act just hugging themselves with joy at finding someone so willing to stand up to the oppression. But this teacher teaches at college – it’s there in the first line. The Stop Woke Act says nothing – really, nothing – about what may or may not be taught in college.
It does say that colleges should not hire woke consultants on the subjects of race and so on. But that’s also all it does say about colleges. The briefing from the state itself, the text of the bill, a report from Time (which this HuffPost piece references). But on what colleges may teach, there is not a word.
HuffPost actually ranks as the No. 25 media outlet for news in the U.S. It gains near 60 million views a month from that position. It’s also particularly progressive and woke – was set up to be so. This is where the problem comes in.
The claim in this piece is simply wrong. Now, if it’s the writer themselves getting the law wrong, we have evidence of what’s wrong with education these days – the people doing the education might not be entirely up to date with reality. But from the media side, HuffPost should know this. It’s a large enough story in that progressive media, after all, the effects of the Stop Woke Act. But whether they didn’t actually understand that it doesn’t apply to colleges – the restrictions on teaching refers to K-12 only – or that they did and decided to let it slide for the sake of the story, well, it doesn’t reflect well, does it?
But HuffPost got to run a story about a dedicated educator willing to stand up to The Man. What’s truth or reality got to do with something like that?