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The MAGAts were out in force this weekend — from the CPAC Trump insanity to the Club for Growth attempt to elevate Floriduh’s DeSantis, and the rest of the Republicans agreeing to follow the fascists down the rabbit hole, we got a good idea of what the 2024 opposition will look like, and it isn’t pretty.
I live in Florida, where Ron DeSantis has been seeing just how far he can take his bullying of the state, his authoritarian rule, his racism and bigotry against anyone who doesn’t look, sound and believe exactly as he does. And it appears he can take it all quite far indeed, thanks to an ill-informed electorate, dumbed down by his policies against truth, history and science.
DeSantis is a full-time resident of what I call Opposite World. Everything he says is not only wrong, but the complete mirror image of the truth.
He’s tried to reposition the word “woke” from its actual meaning of being aware of current social issues and being aware of discrimination, prejudice and injustice to something to be ridiculed? Not in my world!
He’s shamed people for protecting themselves against COVID infections, whether by wearing a mask or getting vaccinated, and excoriating Dr. Fauci, who protected Americans for six decades against deadly diseases and, yes, even a pandemic.
He’s trying to re-write history on many levels. Though all of his tactics are heinous and dictatorial, the most disturbing are his actions in screwing up Florida’s education system (which honestly wasn’t the best to begin with).
He’s gutting local school boards (removing duly elected officials from their posts), gutting curriculum and banning books, and wiping out real American history.
I’ve never been so glad that my daughter is out of school. And yes, I’m on my way out of this state. But I’ll make a lot of noise as I leave, because what he’s doing is criminal!
To counter DeSantis’ attack on schools (and therefore students and their right to learn), I invited a guest who’s working hard pushing back against the push to whitewash our history and to keep teaching our kids a truthful, honest history from which they can actually learn.
Jesse Hagopian is above all else a teacher. An educator! He’s on hiatus from the classroom, working to ensure that teachers are able to continue teaching our children facts– from science to history and beyond, free from the heavy authoritarian hand that Republicans favor these days.
From his website at iamaneducator.com, we learn that Jesse is an editor for the social justice periodical Rethinking Schools, is the co-editor of the books, Black Lives Matter at School, Teaching for Black Lives, Teacher Unions and Social Justice, and is the editor of the book, More Than a Score: The New Uprising Against High-Stakes Testing. Jesse serves as the Director of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award, is an organizer with the Black Lives Matter at School movement, and is founding member of Social Equity Educators (SEE). And if you liked the “Legalize Black History” hat Jesse is wearing in this interview, he’s got that merch for sale here, with proceeds going to supporting the youth winners of the Black Education Matters Student Activist Award, as well as supporting the writing of a forthcoming book about the movement to stop the banning of Black history.
But I invited him to join us to tell us about his work with the Zinn Education Project! Hopefully you’re read or are otherwise familiar with Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States.
I hope that intrigues you enough to listen to one of the more important conversations I’ve had on this show….
By way of background, please watch John Olivers’s “Last Week Tonight” from last night, as he exposes the fascist dictator