AOC calls story of Rosa Parks ‘too woke’ for Republicans
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against Republicans during a House session, claiming even the story of iconic civil rights figure Rosa Parks is "too woke" for the GOP.
During a meeting of the House on Thursday, Ms Ocasio-Cortez gave an impassioned criticism of the Republicans' "Parents Bill of Rights Act," which aims to give broad oversight to parents over the nature of the curriculum taught in schools, the specific books available to children and the spending of the schools' budgets.
The congresswoman argued that the real intention of the bill was not to give parents more agency in their children's education, but as a vehicle for controlling information.
"But before they claim that this is not about banning books and not about harming the LGBT community, let's just look at the impacts of similar Republican legislation that has already passed on the state level," she said. "Look at these books that have already been banned due to Republican measures."
One of the books she mentions is "The Life of Rosa Parks" by Kathleen Connors. The book recounts the life of Parks, who famously refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person at a time when Black people were forced to sit in the back of the bus, away from white riders.
Duval County, in Florida, banned the book in its schools along with 175 other titles.
"'The Life of Rosa Parks' – this apparently is too woke by the Republican Party," she said.
She likened the proposed legislation to fascism.
"When we talk about progressive values, I can say what my progressive value is," she said. "And that is freedom over fascism."
AOC: The Life of Rosa Parks. This apparently is too woke by the Republican Party pic.twitter.com/vvI9YJw0hQ
— Acyn (@Acyn) March 23, 2023
In some cases the books aren't banned, but altered. Another Florida school district removed references to Parks' race in a lesson plan centering on her story. The removal was intended to ensure the lesson was in compliance with the state's restrictive "Stop WOKE Act," which was enacted by Governor Ron DeSantis.
The state's Department of Education later admitted removing her race from the lesson was wrong.
Trying to educate children in Florida is becoming more difficult for teachers and staff trying to navigate the frequently changing state mandates passed down by Mr DeSantis – an ostensible proponent of small government and free speech.
A principal in Tallahassee was recently forced to resign after parents complained about a lesson for sixth-graders that featured Michelangelo's David as well as other Renaissance artwork.
One of the parents that complained about the lesson called it "pornographic”.
The school board chair, Barney Bishop, is an avid supporter of Mr DeSantis' educational agenda who bragged that the school would be on the "cutting edge" of following the state's new guidelines.
“We agree with everything the governor is doing in the educational arena. We support him because he’s right,” Mr Bishop told the Tallahassee Democrat. “The whole woke indoctrination going on about pronouns and drag queens isn’t appropriate in school."