On Tuesday, during a committee meeting in the Louisiana House of Representatives that was considering a piece of legislation which would ban all schools and colleges in the state from teaching about “divisive concepts” related to race and sex, Rep. Ray Garofalo Jr. (R) said he believes that educators should also teach students about the “good” side of slavery.
Garofolo prefaced his remarks by noting that he didn’t “want to say anything I shouldn’t say,” and then proceeded to announce:
“If you are having a discussion on whatever the case may be, on slavery, then you can talk about everything dealing with slavery: the good, the bad, the ugly.”
A member of Garofolo’s own party, Rep. Stephanie Hilferty (R), immediately reminded her colleague:
“There is no good to slavery though.”
According to the Washington Post, Garofolo then began trying to do damage control:
“I didn’t mean to imply that. I don’t believe that and I know that’s not the case.”
The low point of session undoubtedly came today when Rep. Ray Garofalo said Louisiana schools need to teach the good of slavery. #Lalege pic.twitter.com/OPbRq98ifx
— Louisiana Democrats (@LaDemos) April 27, 2021
Louisiana is one of several GOP-controlled states that is attempting to change educational curriculum to deal with what Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has called “unsanctioned narratives” that dare to show the ugly historical past of the United States, including racism, sexism, and homophobia, which many Republican lawmakers want us to think were never a problem.
Garofolo himself said Tuesday that he believes “there are certain factions in this country that are trying to infiltrate and indoctrinate our students.”
The problem, of course, is that refusing to teach certain parts of American history leaves students unprepared for the future and is also in direct violation of the First Amendment, as Rep. Aimee Freeman (D) noted:
“I cannot imagine not teaching all of the facts about history.”
Ironically, Garofolo’s idiotic statement may have doomed the GOP-sponsored legislation. But if he and others like him have their way, we’ll never know because the facts will be erased in an effort to make it appear that a clueless cretin actually knows what he’s talking about.
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