During a House committee discussion about a proposed bill, which would ban schools and colleges from teaching “divisive concepts” about race and sex, Louisiana lawmaker Ray Garofalo Jr. gave examples of how he would like to see the state’s teachers discuss slavery.
It involves the teaching of “good slavery.”
“If you are having a discussion on whatever the case may be, on slavery, then you can talk about everything dealing with slavery: the good, the bad, the ugly,” Garofalo Jr. said.
His comment did not go unchecked.
“There is no good to slavery though,” Rep. Stephanie Hilferty replied as the House broke out into fits of laughter.
“I didn’t mean to imply that. I don’t believe that and I know that’s not the case,” he quickly backtracked.
Garofalo Jr’s proposed bill, fashioned after legislation in Idaho and Florida, includes an exhaustive list of requirements on how teachers would have to handle discussions of race, sex and national origin in the classroom.
The GOP has unleashed an onslaught of legislation targeting the teaching of Black history in schools across the country.
Last year, then-president Donald Trump signed an executive order to create the “1776 Commission” to promote a “patriotic education,” as a rebuttal to the project.
“By viewing every issue through the lens of race, they want to impose a new segregation, and we must not allow that to happen,” he said at the White House Conference on American History last September. “Critical race theory, the 1619 Project and the crusade against American history is toxic propaganda, ideological poison, that, if not removed, will dissolve the civic bonds that tie us together, will destroy our country.”
In January, Republican lawmakers in Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri and South Dakota filed bills that would allow them to cut funding to K-12 schools and colleges that provide lessons derived from the Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 project.
“I have no doubt there are certain factions in this country that are trying to infiltrate and indoctrinate our students,” adding that critical race theory “furthers racism and fuels hate,” said Garofalo Jr. “You can teach the good, the bad, the ugly,” he said of the bill’s motive. “But you cannot say that the theories are facts. You can teach facts as facts. You can teach theories as theories.”