Asa Hutchinson Denounces Florida Curriculum As ‘Taking Us Back To The 50s Or The Jim Crow Days’

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Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson slammed the changes to Florida’s black history curriculum in schools during a Wednesday interview on “The Bulwark Podcast.”

Hutchinson told podcast host Charlie Sykes that the proposed black history curriculum harkened back to some of the darkest periods of American history.

Sykes asked Hutchinson if he agreed with Florida’s new guidelines on teaching slavery, which include instruction on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.” He pointed out that fellow Republican presidential candidates Will Hurd and Chris Christie have criticized Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the new guidelines. (RELATED: Florida To Move Forward With African American History Standards Despite Backlash)

“The whole language acts like there’s some benefit to slavery, and that is impossible. It is wrong. That should never be conveyed in a textbook or in a lesson. So, it’s just flat-out wrong,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson compared DeSantis’ new guidelines to “the Jim Crow days.”

“It’s like taking us back to the 50s or the Jim Crow days, and that’s the wrong direction for America. It is critically important that our young people understand what happened in the civil rights movement, what happened in the oppression of African-Americans all across the country during the days of Jim Crow,” Hutchinson said.

Hutchinson added that learning about history might be uncomfortable, but it is still important to learn so that society does not repeat the same mistakes.

“In Arkansas, we had the Elaine race massacre. And in Tulsa, you had the bombing of the African-American community. These are things that cannot be ignored. And it’s not any different than the Holocaust. The Holocaust is not fun exercise. Some people are going to feel poorly about learning of those tragedies, and we’ve got to teach them,” Hutchinson said.

“And that’s how you stay away from that kind of attitude, violence in the future. And so I don’t like changing our instruction. It has to be taught, particularly when you’re looking at what happened during the days of our civil rights struggle and in the days of slavery,” Hutchinson added.