Spike Lee and CNN’s Anderson Cooper Brutally Mock NEW DeSantis Defense of Florida Slavery Curriculum


CNN’s Anderson Cooper and legendary director Spike Lee tore into Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis for his latest defense of controversial new Black history standards.

DeSantis again defended the newly-approved Florida curriculum on Black history — which includes teaching that “slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit”  — on Fox News Wednesday night, saying “These standards really were born out of that and these are very thorough standards done by African-American history scholars. There is no agenda here, it is just the truth and they talk in gory detail a lot of the bad in American history including of course the injustice of slavery.”

But the examples given by the Republican leaders of the working group that devised the standards have come under attack as false or otherwise flawed, and criticized by leaders in both parties.

On Wednesday night’s edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Cooper and Lee mocked the offending premise in the curriculum, and DeSantis for defending it:

COOPER: I just want to read the text again of what Florida is now requiring from Middle School students. It says instruction should include “How slaves developed skills which in some instances could be applied for their own personal benefit.”

LEE: How can it be for your personal benefit when you are just treated as an enslaved person? It not like, I’m going a blacksmith, look, I’m going to put a shingle out there. I’m going to be able to — blacks were — you were owned by master.

COOPER: One of the arguments being made by the supporters of Governor DeSantis is that schools were teaching kids to hate America by teaching, you know, the history of slavery in this country, the history —

LEE: You learn to love America by learning the truth, the good, indifferent and bad. That’s what America is. We’re trying to aspire to a dream. But we are not — (inaudible) what Dr. King talked about. You cannot look straight ahead and not see what’s happening to your left and your right. How can you — if you’re talking about the history of this country, the United States of America, how can you just like a pun, white out, enslavement?


How can you do that?

COOPER: So what would you — if Ron DeSantis was taking advice from you, what would you tell him?


LEE: The thing about — here’s the thing, let me (inaudible). Because I’m a tenured Professor of Film, NYU Graduate Film School, and teach you — my students say, what if? I say I don’t like the word “If.” I mean like I don’t go by “If.” Me and him are never going to meet. We ain’t going to talk about nothing. So —

COOPER: Maybe you’ll be invited down to teach a course.

LEE: To where?


COOPER: (Inaudible).

LEE: I was going to say Mar-a-Lago.


COOPER: To Mar-a-Lago? You can teach a course there, too.

Lee went on to say “I want to thank you for having me on this show because this is really dangerous stuff that this governor — and is he doing it to — for his presidential race? I don’t know. But it’s — it’s ill-timed, ill-thought and it not’s the truth.”

Watch above via Anderson Cooper 360.

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