John James, Michigan's Only Black Lawmaker in D.C., Speaks Out Against DeSantis' Black History Standards

July 29, 2023, 3:36 PM by  Allan Lengel

Rep. John James

Freshman Republican Congressman John James, Michigan's only Black lawmaker in Washington, on Friday publicly criticized Florida's decision that students should learn some slaves acquired skills that proved beneficial in their lives.  

In a tweet James wrote that "Nothing about that 400 years of evil was a 'net benefit' to my ancestors." (See full tweet below)

James and Congressman Wesley Hunt of Texas are the latest Black Congress members to come out against Gov. DeSantis's approach to education on slavery. On July 20, the Florida State Board of Education approved new Black history standards.

James, 42, who was elected to Congress last year, and all the other Michigan Congress members have endorsed Donald Trump for president. 

DeSantis, who has been on an anti-woke crusade, has defended the new language on slavery education, but claims critics have been misinterpreting the language. Critics have insisted they are not incorrectly reading the wording.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who is running for president recently spoke out:

“As a country founded upon freedom, the greatest deprivation of freedom was slavery. What slavery was really about was separating families, about mutilating humans and even raping their wives. It was just devastating. So I would hope that every person in our country, and certainly running for president, would appreciate that.”

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