June 30, 2021
Little vs. DeSantis: Only One Governor is Working to Stop the Indoctrination of America’s Youth
By: Idaho Freedom Foundation President Wayne Hoffman
I spent the first 12 years of my life in rural Florida, where my best friend was a black boy from Trinidad. Like most other children, the two of us didn’t talk about race or fret about our obvious differences. That’s despite having grown up in the South, where segregation was hardly a distant memory. We just enjoyed playing together and nerding out over old episodes of “Star Trek.”
How times have changed.
For longer than many have realized, the Left has been quietly working to indoctrinate young minds into believing that our country is built on discrimination. They say all of America’s institutions and ideas like private property, capitalism, and constitutionally-protected rights are racist at their core and must be replaced. This is the social justice agenda, now being elevated through much-discussed critical theories that advocates want to use to teach children to view themselves as either oppressed or oppressors.
The time to rescue a generation of young Americans from this indoctrination is now. We must remind them that our foundational principles are the ones that have made America the greatest country on earth where opportunities abound for everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Everyone plays a role in saving our country, and some roles are bigger than others. Gov. Brad Little has a big role—he appoints seven of the eight members of the State Board of Education (SBOE). However, Little’s SBOE has done nothing to stop the infusion of critical race theory in our state’s education system. In fact, members of Little’s SBOE falsely claim there’s no evidence of critical race theory or social justice indoctrination in the public schools, colleges, and universities the board oversees.
The board sat in quiet approval as the presidents of Boise State University, the University of Idaho, and Idaho State University said they would disregard the Legislature’s budget for higher education. Signed into law by Little, the budget cuts $2.5 million from social justice programs in higher education. The board, along with ex-officio member and state education superintendent Sherri Ybarra, refused to participate in Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s task force investigating indoctrination in Idaho’s schools.
Now, the SBOE is working to make sure that the higher education system views everything through a diversity, inclusion, and equity lens. Maybe that’s to be expected of a board that claims it’s working to bring Idaho into a “new progressive era.”
Which brings me back to my birth state of Florida, where my best friend was a black kid from Trinidad. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has aggressively pushed back against critical race theory and the social justice crusaders of his state. He’s enlisted his board of education to the cause, which has taken steps to make sure that Florida’s education system isn’t used as a brainwashing tool of the Left. Florida has put in place new standards to ensure that schoolchildren understand the real history of their country, not the New York Times’ fictionalized 1619 Project version of it.
Little takes every moment he can to tout how conservative he is. He’s cut taxes, signed bills to protect life and guns, and he’s sent out the requisite occasional press releases bashing Joe Biden. That’s not good enough. Little needs to step up and speak out. He’ll either help stop the indoctrination of America’s youth, as DeSantis is trying to do, or he’ll be an accomplice in keeping it going.