Louisiana Lawmaker Ray Garofalo Argues School Must Teach The ‘Good’ Of Slavery
Louisiana State Senator Ray Garofalo has said that schools should be teaching students the ‘good’ of slavery when discussing race.
Garofalo made the argument as part of a bill he proposed that he says would ban ‘divisive concepts’ from being taught in classrooms. He wants this bill to be implemented in both public schools and universities across the state.
The Republican made his argument yesterday, April 27, during a Louisiana House Education Committee hearing. Garofalo currently sits as head of the committee.
If you’re having a discussion on, whatever the case may be – slavery [for example] – then you should talk about everything dealing with slavery, the good, the bad, the ugly.
Republican state Representative Stephanie Hilferty quickly cut Garofalo off saying, ‘There’s no good to slavery, though.’
This was met by laughter by some of those attending the hearing before Garofalo backtracked saying, ‘Then whatever the case may be.’
As well as teaching the ‘good’ of slavery, the bill would ban teaching the idea that the US is in anyway ‘systematically racist or sexist’, in addition to several other restrictions, Forbes reports.
Despite Garofalo’s controversial comment, the committee ended up voting 7-7 for the bill, meaning that it will not go forward to the House, but hasn’t been completely dismissed.
In the wake of this hearing, Louisiana Democrats branded Garofalo’s slavery remarks the ‘low point of session’ on social media.
One person replied to the party’s tweet, ‘What’s next? A unit on all the good of the Holocaust? How about a comparative essay highlighting the good of them both?’
Another person wrote:
It’s horrific that the best example he came up with to explain his position is the good that came out of slavery? WTF? This is an elected official? The best that they could come up with was this dude?
Meanwhile, a third person commented that while people’s laughs in response to Garofalo’s comments were ‘well earned’, they found it ‘more scary than funny’.
Prior to yesterday’s vote, Garofalo said he’d proposed the bill in a bid to ensure that ‘everybody’s treated equally’ and that students received ‘as much information as possible’.
As per WAFB9, the lawmaker said, ‘I want facts to be taught, I want our students to receive as much information as possible. I don’t want to cover anything up. I think they should be informed, so they can make informed decisions. And that includes giving them as much factual history as possible.’
‘But when you start teaching from one perspective, you’re indoctrinating. And it’s not fair to students, and it’s certainly not fair to them as they become young adults, because then they may only get that one side of the story,’ he continued.
It’s unknown what steps will now be taken following yesterday’s deadlock vote.
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