This week, Florida unveiled their new plan to teach students about slavery. Among the tenants of this new plan is the notion that “some slaves benefitted” from slavery because they learned “skills” that they were able to use later in life. Basically, Ron DeSantis’s Florida wants to teach slavery like it was akin to a teenager’s summer job or a college students internship.

Except, summer jobs never consisted of the teen’s family members being sold off to other plantations, never to be seen again. Internships didn’t involve being whipped while tied to a tree so the student could learn their new name, given by the company they were interning for.

This is all leaving aside the fact that slavery wasn’t some temporary or short term situation — it was a life sentence, for many generations in some cases.

The whole notion is ridiculous, simply put. To equate slavery in this way is just despicable.

Furthermore, the theory being put forth by Florida implies that without their “masters” teaching them those valuable job skills, they would have just sat around contemplating their navel or something. Yeah, that’s it — slavery was just a “job training program.” <eyeroll>

On top of all that, many of the examples that were used by DeSantis’s appointed “education plantation” were just flat out false.

Yahoo News provided some corrections of the examples used to prop up the depraved theory:

… Booker T. Washington, included on the state list as an educator. Washington was enslaved but did not gain his skills until after being freed at age 9. He worked in mines and as a houseboy before entering school, according to Tuskegee University, which he founded in 1881.

Georgetown University postdoctoral fellow Joshua Stein took issue with the state’s use of James Forten and Lewis Latimer as examples. The department said Latimer was a blacksmith born into slavery in 1848 and freed in 1852, and Forten was a shoemaker born into slavery in 1766 who escaped in 1784.

A museum dedicated to Latimer states he was born to two self-liberated formerly enslaved parents. Self-educated, he worked as an inventor, participating in the development of the telephone and incandescent lighting, among other inventions.

The Museum of the American Revolution describes Forten as a Black entrepreneur born to free parents. He served on privateer ships during the Revolutionary War and became a wealthy sailmaker.

Not only were they not slaves, Stein wrote on Twitter, their provided professions also were incorrect. “So … you’re wrong on both halves.”

They didn’t stop there, as the examples were hardly isolated. In fact, almost half of the examples provided were verifiably false:

The department listed Henry Blair as a slave who became a blacksmith and an inventor. and several other sites state there is no information indicating that Blair was enslaved. He invented a corn planter and a cotton planter, becoming the second Black person to earn a U.S. patent.

The department referred to Paul Cuffe as a shoemaker and shipowner born into slavery and escaped to freedom in 1781. According to, operated by the Westport Historical Society, Cuffe was born in 1759 to an emancipated slave. Having worked on whaling boats starting at age 14, he established a shipping business in Massachusetts.

The statement mentioned John Chavis as a fisherman born into slavery, who later was known for his work in teaching. The North Carolina Museum of History states that Chavis was born into a free Black family in North Carolina, fought in the Revolutionary War and became an educator.

Slavery is wrong. Pretending that slavery was some “stepping stone” job/teenager’s summer job, internship, or some training program is despicable.