State Senator Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach), Chairman of the Florida Legislative Black Caucus, released the following statement following the Senate passage of HB7 on Thursday:
“We hear the word ‘freedom’ tossed around a lot these days. But this bill, like others we’ve seen this session, not only strips freedom from the classroom, but takes direct aim at the history of people of color.
“You cannot discuss Robert E. Lee, or George Wallace, or Selma or Charlottesville without context. You cannot discuss Rosewood, or Harry T. Moore, or Ocoee in a vacuum. Slavery happened. Hangings happened, Burnings happened. Massacres happened. Jim Crow happened. George Floyd happened. And no amount of legislative banishments can erase those uncomfortable facts. Not even what I call the “We Hope It Teaches Everyone” legislation, now heading to the governor’s desk.
“HB7 was cooked up by Governor DeSantis following the 8 minutes and 46 seconds during which a police officer kneeled on George Floyd’s neck, sparking a powerful wave of protests throughout the nation over his death and the long line of unarmed Blacks who had died at the hands of law enforcement.
“But HB7 is not about ‘individual freedom.’ HB7 doesn’t even come close.”