How Would Florida's Critical Race Theory Law Work?

Headline Roundup January 20th, 2022

A Republican-backed bill in Florida focused on individual freedom, education and discrimination has reignited debates about critical race theory (CRT).

The bill never mentions CRT explicitly, but says that individuals in the workplace and schools shouldn't be made to "feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin." It also states that an individual "does not bear responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex," and that "American history shall be viewed as factual, not as constructed." Last summer, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) moved to ban CRT from being taught in the state's schools. Critical race theory examines society and culture as they relate to race, law, and power in the U.S., and challenges traditional American “master narratives” that purportedly promote the worldviews of white people in positions of power.

Critical race theory and its role in the classroom are an ongoing point of partisan debate. Coverage of Florida's bill was more common from left- and center-rated outlets, which often framed the bill as an attempt to protect white people from feeling bad about the country's history of racial discrimination. Coverage from right-rated sources was often critical of left- and center-rated media for purportedly distorting the bill's objectives. A writer for National Review (Right bias) argued that the bill aims to ensure "that what is taught is not indoctrination" against shared values.

From the Left
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OPINION

Facts don’t care about your feelings, but Florida Republicans do—if you’re a white person, that is. 

A new bill pushed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his allies in the Florida legislature, titled simply “Individual Freedom,” would—among other things—“prohibit classroom instruction and curricula from being used to indoctrinate or persuade students,” and target conversations about racism in the school and workplace.

The bill was introduced by Miami-area Sen. Manny Diaz and passed the Senate Education Committee on a party-line vote Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. 

“An individual, by virtue of his or...

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From the Center
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ANALYSIS

A bill pushed by Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that would prohibit public schools and private businesses from making white people feel “discomfort” when they teach students or train employees about discrimination in the nation’s past received its first approval Tuesday.

The Senate Education Committee approved the bill that takes aim at critical race theory — though it doesn’t mention it explicitly — on party lines, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposed.

Democrats argued the bill isn’t needed, would lead to frivolous lawsuits and said it would amount to...

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From the Right
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OPINION

Isaac has already hit the Associated Press for misrepresenting Florida’s anti-critical race theory bill. TV commentators are running with the AP’s spin, claiming that it outlaws “white discomfort,” a phrase nowhere found in the bill.

The actual bill text is here. It nowhere protects any particular racial or ethnic group, but extends its protections equally. It addresses “discomfort” in two places; I will emphasize the relevant sections in bold. One is in the section on prohibited forms of employment discrimination.

Now, the critics have one small point here: It probably would be better...

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