New Florida Law on Textbooks: Fascist Attack on Truth

August 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


A Florida state law that went into effect July 1 allows people to challenge and call for bans on textbooks and other classroom material they don’t like. An independent, “unbiased hearing officer” will judge complaints about textbooks and determine if they should be banned.

To be clear, this law is NOT about giving kids a better education. Just the opposite. It is about taking TRUTH out of public school textbooks and inserting all kinds of un-scientific ideas and lies.

When proponents of the law talk about getting rid of “political indoctrination,” “revisionist history,” and “pornography,” this is what they are targeting:

Climate change. The history of slavery and racism in the U.S. or America as an “imperialist” country. Any positive discussion of Islam. Books like Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved, which depict the painful history of slavery.

They want to ban the teaching of evolution, one of the most essential scientific discoveries that opens up human understanding to how all of reality works, while teaching the unscientific story of creationism from the Bible.

In 2010, commenting about efforts in Texas to make school textbooks overtly reactionary, Bob Avakian (BA) wrote:

A driving force among these “conservatives” is a “young earth creationist” who actually insists, despite all the scientific evidence to the contrary, that the earth is no more than 10,000 years old! You really have to read this article to see what lengths, or extremes, this is going to. To give a further “taste,” these “conservatives” are insisting on including, in textbooks, the words of Jefferson Davis, head of the slave-owning Confederacy in the Civil War, side by side with quotes from Abraham Lincoln. Their aim is not to expose and condemn Jefferson Davis but rather to lend status and respectability to what he represented. “Fascist” is certainly not too strong a word to describe these “conservative” forces. (from “Some Observations on the Culture Wars: Textbooks, Movies, Sham Shakespearean Tragedies and Crude Lies”)

In this piece, all the more relevant with recent events in Charlottesville, BA says: “…these ‘conservatives’ not only want to more thoroughly reverse the verdicts of the 1960s about the U.S. and its role in the world, including as the influence of these verdicts gets reflected—even though in a watered-down way—in school curriculum, but they also want to reverse the verdict on the Civil War—treating the Confederate slave system as deserving of legitimacy and respect!”

A Fascist Agenda

Who are these fascists in Florida who have been the driving force behind passing this law? Who clearly have ties to and are getting a hearing from fascists in the government? The Florida Citizens Alliance wants to get rid of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States,” including former slaves. They want to get rid of the clause to the 14th Amendment that overturned the ruling that Black people were three-fifths of a human being. They want to get rid of the 15th Amendment that gave Black people the right to vote. And they want to get rid of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. These fascists say these Amendments are “unnecessary and dangerous” because “they have been used as a tool to deny truth and history. They have been used to rewrite the minds of Americans to believe that the Constitution is a document of oppression that needs to be interpreted by the government to give the federal government more power because the States are tools of oppression and bigotry.” (

These fascist attacks on school textbooks go right along with efforts by Trump’s head of education, Betsy DeVos, who wants to replace public education with charter schools that turn students into Christian fundamentalist robots, unable to think critically or resist. It goes along with Christian fascist efforts to outlaw sex education and impose school-led prayer.

The fascist efforts to shut down anything that goes against their reactionary agenda have been going on for decades, including under Obama. And especially now, with the fascist Trump who doesn’t even believe in “facts” and just makes up shit to serve his fascist agenda—the attacks on a scientific approach in textbooks are occurring as part of and in the larger context of a wholesale assault on the very notion of truth.

This is yet another profound illustration of the fact that the U.S. ruling class and their government are completely illegitimate and have no right to determine the direction of society, the world and the fate of humanity.


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