Florida schools to teach that slavery was not much different than a community college?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Before Ron DeSantis came along, I had no idea that slaves had it so good. I always assumed slavery had certain negative aspects, like forcibly hoeing cotton from dawn to dusk under a scorching sun and getting beaten if you stopped — sicko stuff that was almost as bad as working for Elon Musk.

But no! Thanks to Gov. Pudding Fingers, we now know that slavery was a happy time, the best thing ever to happen to Africans who otherwise would have been doomed to a miserable life of freedom and personal choice.

Slaves, DeSantis’ Board of Education says, “developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” Don’t think of it as slavery, think of it as community college. And hey! No student loans!

Tim Rowland
Tim Rowland

No doubt you learned all kinds of important life hacks in slavery, like how to make edible foodstuffs out of hog jowls; how to hide your daughter in the smokehouse when master is feeling randy; and how to cut in line for Taylor Swift tickets.

Why just the other day I was wishing that when I was a child my family had taught me how to evade bloodhounds. But they didn’t, and as a consequence the next time someone sics a bloodhound on me, I will have no idea what to do.

DeSantis clarified that the board is “... probably going to show how some of the folks eventually parlayed, you know, being a blacksmith into doing things later in life.”

“Doing things” as in … more blacksmithing? Or does blacksmithing somehow, I don’t know, make you a better surfer? I was not aware that slaves were in the habit of putting this sort of professional development on their resumes:

“1834-present; Slave. Responsibilities include production of horsenails through team building and maintaining on-time delivery under high-stress circumstances, while developing positive workspace and sense of community environment.”

That was a little-known aspect of slavery; right after hanging out the wash you’d go and upload your latest job description to Indeed.

But all those things that the State of Florida apparently believes slaves were going to do “later in life” probably bore a pretty strong resemblance to the things they were doing earlier in life. If you picked a record number of field peas, it wasn’t like they were going to promote you to western marketing manager.

But then, what do I know? Maybe they could “parlay” their skills into some greater achievement, like getting your name on a Slave of the Month plaque in the employee break room. Why must we always be so negative about things?

And why would a 21st century presidential candidate pick this fight in the first place? No clue. There have to be some other campaign issues he’s missed. Other candidates are talking about health care and artificial intelligence regulations and DeSantis wants to make slavery a central campaign plank? Great. Always good to lock up that plantation vote early in the campaign.

And the poor guy just can’t back down. It’s in his slogan. Even when he has to know he’s hooked a real rotting fish of an issue, he can’t throw it back. So he falls back on the woke card, accusing people who oppose slavery of being soft.

The ghost of Nathan Bedford Forrest must be thinking, “At last, someone who gets me.” The rest of America? Maybe not so much.

Particularly the hapless Florida teachers, who will destroy their credibility by insisting slavery was pretty much okie dokie, something even the dullest 10-year-old knows isn’t true. How are your students going to believe you when you tell them that the hypothetical case takes a plural verb? They’ll think it’s just more of that crazy teacher talk.

So maybe we don’t want to make America like Florida after all — it’s where common sense goes to die.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: DeSantis's school board says slaves gained resume-builders