California has decided to swipe left on y’all’s president’s threats to withhold funding from the state if it implements antiracism courses into its school curricula. On Monday, the Golden State unveiled plans to offer antiracist training to public school officials and students as well as mandatory ethnic studies courses for public schools.
Newsweek reports that California’s Department of Education defines the “Education to End Hate” initiative as a training program that aims to “empower educators and students to confront the hate, bigotry, and racism rising in communities across the state and nation.”
The initiative will offer educators $200,000 annually in mini-grants for receiving antiracism and bias training; allow students, educators, and families to attend a “virtual classroom series” to address modern-day discrimination and how to end it; and roundtable discussions between lawmakers, educators and prominent racial and social justice organizations about how schools can influence students in more effective and inclusive learning environments.
Earlier this month, The Root reported that the blustering-blowhard-in-chief threatened to withhold funding from California if it moved forward with pushing antiracist curricula in its schools. Now, specifically, Trump targeted the New York Times’ The 1619 Project—and California hasn’t announced official plans to use that particular project in its new curriculum—but seeing as the president of white supremacists who don’t think they’re racist has made his disdain for all things antiracist so abundantly clear that he ordered federal agencies to end all training that teaches white people about their implicit and explicit biases, it’s safe to say Cali’s new program will still get his pumpkin-stained pantaloons all in a bunch.
Not to mention the fact that in August, the California legislature approved AB331, a bill that would make ethnic studies courses a graduation requirement for all high school students by the 2029-30 school year.
One can only wonder what Trump—who appears to be so desperate to withhold funding from progressive states that he’s having them declared “anarchist jurisdictions” in order to justify doing so—would think about the fact that it’s his own bigoted rhetoric that might have inspired California’s new program it the first place.
More from Newsweek:
“It feels like every day we are seeing heartbreaking examples: more anti-Semitic behavior, bullying of Asian-American students because of our President’s rhetoric, Islamophobia, discrimination of our LGBTQ neighbors, and violence directed at people of color,” said Tony Thurmond, the California State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
“By digging deeper into the complexities of our diverse and difficult histories—not denying or ignoring them—I believe education can provide the pathway to healing, understanding, and racial and social justice,” he continued.
According to Politico, Thurmond also addressed Trump’s threat to California over The 1619 Project and indicated that he would support its implementation into school curricula.
“I don’t know how else to say it, I thought that the president’s tweet was just ridiculous and reckless and irresponsible to in any way suggest that schools would somehow have their funding threatened for simply teaching the history and the facts that racism has existed in this country and that there are deep impacts from slavery,” he said.
Along with Thurmond, executive director of Equality California Rick Zbur spoke at the news conference Monday and took shots at Trump’s plan to counter The 1619 Project with his own shrine to white fragility he calls the “1776 Commission.”
“While President Trump and Secretary DeVos try to implement some sort of revisionist history propaganda program in our schools, California is leading the way in using education to end bigotry, hate and racism,” Zbur said, Politico reports.
Anyway, according to Newsweek, the state’s Department of Education has a March 2021 deadline to develop its final curriculum.