A Louisiana lawmaker is in hot water this week after arguing that the state's schools should teach the "good" aspects of slavery in the United States.
For over a year, Republican lawmakers across the country—following former President Donald Trump's lead—have sought to ban comprehensive history curricula like critical race theory from being taught in American schools and workplace trainings.
Last summer, Trump issued an executive order forbidding federal contractors from holding racial sensitivity training seminars. Two months later, he established the 1776 Commission—an advisory group dedicated to providing alternative narratives to United States history that ignore or obscure the reality of its racist past and present.
Though Trump is out of office, Republicans across the country are mobilizing to ban academic approaches like critical race theory from being taught in America's schools, preferring rosier, more "patriotic" presentations of the country instead, however removed from reality.
Louisiana State Representative Ray Garofalo Jr., a Republican, took questions in a committee hearing regarding a bill he introduced that would ban the teaching of "divisive concepts" regarding race and sex to the Pelican State's students.
This is when things got awkward.
The low point of session undoubtedly came today when Rep. Ray Garofalo said Louisiana schools need to teach the goo… https://t.co/sr7mdGuLH5— Louisiana Democrats (@Louisiana Democrats) 1619552481.0
When pressed by fellow Republican Representative Stephanie Hilferty for an example, Garofalo responded:
"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."
The chamber erupted in laughter when a perplexed Hilferty reminded him:
"There's no 'good' to slavery though."
That mockery carried over to social media, where Garofalo's argument went viral.
Republican @RayGarofalo of Louisiana thinks we should teach “the good” parts of slavery... 🤔 https://t.co/aOpZsx3pnj— Hector Oseguera, Esq. (@Hector Oseguera, Esq.) 1619614965.0
"Excuse us??? We LOVED slavery." - Founding Fathers https://t.co/7mCFqhBN0d https://t.co/Jz2w0WmAr8— The Farmer (@The Farmer) 1619563342.0
the what?!!? https://t.co/ufkWPX1fRh— Don" 't stop believing" Cheadle (@Don" 't stop believing" Cheadle) 1619579425.0
They laughed at his stupid ass https://t.co/ICn5X21ksE— melissa. (@melissa.) 1619617183.0
There was only one good thing about slavery: We ended it. https://t.co/LEghuycyVa— ＯＪ (@ＯＪ) 1619552913.0
But the growing attempts to rebrand American history—especially on systems as evil as slavery—are no laughing matter.
American Racism On Display. https://t.co/jD9YUyQOwc— Wendell Pierce (@Wendell Pierce) 1619579094.0
This is actually very scary tbh. This is why elections matter and why we need to get republiKkKlans out of power. N… https://t.co/aSclojam7E— Jason (Gay One Piece stan) (@Jason (Gay One Piece stan)) 1619583103.0
Here’s the thing though. These people actually do believe slavery had positives. The white supremacist mindset con… https://t.co/PSCa0QioNi— Jared Yates Sexton (@Jared Yates Sexton) 1619614134.0
Astonishingly, Garofalo is the chairman of the House Education Committee for Louisiana.