I am starting to get PTSD from reading about the Florida anti-woke agenda because ALL THAT was my K-12 education—private, fundamentalist, Christian, and white. I was taught that all of this - male domination over women, whites dominating Blacks, LGB people being unredeemable in the eyes of God - that it is not only according to Scripture but the Constitution as well.

That education left me and continues to leave me, with blind spots. If I had graduated in 2015 instead of 1989, I would have voted for Trump. No question in my mind. It took real life and college to straighten me out, and I have always been a voracious reader.

Here is what I learned and what apparently Florida aims to bring to public education:

We beneficent, manifest-destiny whites who founded the country graciously brought Blacks to our shores. See, their tribal chiefs had discovered capitalism and were looking to sell off some of their excess people. At a minimum, we were saving them from a short life filled with running around barefoot killing one another. It was also heavily emphasized that the U.S. was not close to leading the world in slave labor (which is true, but beside the point). Once here on our shores, we gave Blacks something to do worthy of their time. We taught them the importance of hard work, and the masters were mostly kind, though some were not. I did not get to see pictures of whipped and beaten human beings.

The Founders were especially nice to their slaves, and treated them better than most. But each master and every slave knew their place and accepted it. Everyone was happy until the Civil War, when the North decided they were going to tell everyone how to live and trample on State's rights.

From there, I learned next to nothing about Jim Crow, but learned that we decided to live segregated because Blacks still have a bit of the savage in them. Other than being taught that MLK Jr might be a communist, I knew nothing about the man. I learned of Malcolm X’s existence around the age of 30. The KKK were white folk expressing their displeasure with integration. I never heard a story or saw a picture about anyone getting lynched.

It's so much worse than people think. Indoctrination is real because it happened to me. Escaping it is very hard and requires a lot of introspection, education, and hard work that for me will never end. If we allow them to teach these things to children 6, 7, 10, or even 13 years old, the children will believe what they are taught.

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I have always believed that Blacks follow politics more closely than the average American because they are directly affected by election outcomes.

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Excellent piece, Mr. Willis.

Kal-El is, of course, the best dog in all the

land, and you two are lucky to have found each other.

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Most Republicans have always seemed to me to be particularly afraid of "Otherness."

Non-conformism often causes them momentary discombobulation.

They tend to prefer simplistic solutions to complex problems, and furthermore, almost exclusively rely upon private enterprise for the public implementation of any such policies.

The recent actions taken by the DeSantis regime in revising the Florida education curriculum are certainly relevant to Oliver's prognostications. This is due to the attempts to erase both any real acknowledgement of historical slavery and the continuing problem of racism by essentially "sweeping" it all under a rug and rendering the issues null and void. This is, of course, profoundly disrespectful toward those continuing to be victimized by racism in American culture, not to mention those elderly enough to have lived through actual slavery.

As a result, there often seems to be a schism within the typical Republican mind, a tension of sorts, that creates an inwardly discordant capacity for self-delusion by imagining that complicated and painful realities can be made to simply disappear with the hope that everyone will immediately just "get along" with each other, and thereby eliminate their being inconvenienced by historical and current realities pertaining to racism and other forms of prejudice and bigotry within themselves and their kin. Unfortunately, denialism is impossible to maintain for extended periods of time without tying themselves in knots.

Perhaps, at least in some instances, the continuing Republican animosity and resentment toward "people of colour" is partially due to their constantly being reminded that widespread abuse of black and brown people, as well as, those of Middle Eastern and Oriental ethnicities once existed on a far more widespread basis that their personal forebears directly contributed to in both the historical, as well as, the recent past. Hence, the distinctly Republican penchant for burning books and other tombs of eternal knowledge as they continue to vociferously attempt to make reality disappear.

There is also the usual "devide and conquer" strategies frequently utilized by Republicans in order to prevent any potential creation of synergistically compatible voting cohorts which might upset the "electoral applecart."

I could go on, but suffice to say that I truly believe that the seeming inability of typical Republicans to fully comprehend and acknowledge and take responsibility for historical and current racism and bigotry is because of their continuing reluctance to truly accept the fact that such cultural tendencies within their ranks actually exist. It is much less painful to pretend that it does not, or at least to create other explanations for its existence.

America is a Country in desperate need of some serious therapy! And a lot of hugging.

Unless, and until, the underlying bigotry of many is fully resolved, oddly enough given the frequent utilization of the concept of "freedom" by Republicans in their cultural archetypes and propagandistic indoctrination, they, themselves, will never be truly "free."

And the self-created chains of anger, resentment, hatred, distancing, and animosity will never be broken.

Only through genuine and authentic acknowledgement of the historical and direct impacts of racism and bigotry can such people release themselves from their own neuroticisms. For only through fully accepting the value of those different than themselves, as well as, the inherent and de facto, equality of all humans at the level of human DNA - which is essentially 99.975 percent identical amongst all of humanity's races - can a genuinely egalitarian society be created and sustained.

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I truly appreciate you sharing the perspective that black people understand the issues with Democrats; we know they are not perfect and can often be insincere. We understand we don’t really have a party that’s FOR us, but we absolutely have one that is AGAINST us.

We have always dealt with the two headed snake. Therefore, we choose logically and with awareness.

Republicans think Black people vote Democrat for “free stuff” but again, that is their racism failing to understand who we are and how we think. When Lindsey Graham admitted they trotted that idiotic Herschel Walker out in public to try to garner black votes, it was an extreme tell on how very little they know about us & how little they think of us. They scraped up this feeble minded simpleton -a domestic abuser & absentee father- to represent us because football!! thinking that would be enough. 🤦🏽‍♀️

These are exhausting times, aren’t they? But we have persevered through worse so we will continue...

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Ugh. This period in American history makes me ashamed to be a White, heterosexual, northern European male. I'd apologize on behalf of my race, but it wouldn't mean anything. The entire state of Floriduh believes they're a White Nationalist paradise thanks to Ron DeSatan. I just want to go to sleep tonight and wake up in Norway.

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I still do not understand how one can be black and be a Republican these days, unless they were standing up against the MAGA cult, like Will Hurd is doing (he's not running for office, so it is easier).

I was hoping it would be Tim Scott, but alas.

Love the sweet Kal-El, he's definitely the most photogenic doxie I've ever seen. That nose!

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"The Republican Party loves racism because it whips up their core voters who are bigots, and I believe, because this is what so much of the party’s leadership truly believes in."

Occam's razor, Mr. Willis.

If someone espouses racist views, whatever other incentive for, or derived benefit of, espousing those racist views, **they must be comfortable with espousing racist views, and copacetic with the easily observed effects of rallying White supremacists to do White supremacy**. By definition.

We don't have to overthink this, by 'gaming out scenarios' of why might the members of the American fascist movement (aka the GOP) traffic in vile bigotry; simply- they are vile bigots.

We are compelled (both on empirical and logical grounds) to the say the same of the rank and file fascists (GOP voters).

The vile bigotry is on full display, it is not mysterious, not even a little bit subtle. The vile bigotry (in all its forms) is grotesquely manifest. In word and deed.

Therefore, the rank and file fascists, the GOP voters, are also vile bigots. Must in fact be so.

Every. Last. One.

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I just completed reading “ Cloudsplitter” by Russel Banks.

Historical novel.

Still reeling from it.

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Republicans and trump seem to be making inroads with Black people. Seems to me that the anti-intellectual drift of the GOP is appealing to the not so bright who are tired of being called dumb and decided they have the numbers and can get back at the nerds. Take that you pointy headed geeks, we'll elect trump just to own you guys! And better yet we can act t like we're the smart ones. All hail MTG and Bobo!

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I encourage you and your readers to follow Simon Rosenberg and balance horrible R messaging (you describe) with some can do action and hope for 2024 & beyond. Also Jess Craven with daily action items to push back on the weakening forces trying to steal our hard fault for rights.

The pro democracy movement isn’t being covered, but it is winning elections and fighting every day. You can be part of it.


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Great article!

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