A Louisiana state representative said schools should teach the “good” of slavery during a debate Tuesday over his education bill.
“If you’re 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,” Rep. Ray Garofalo said.
“There’s no good to slavery though,” answered Rep. Stephanie Hilferty. Though both speakers are Republicans, the clip was shared the Louisiana Democratic Party.
Garofalo was pushing an education bill that has been slammed by teachers for whitewashing history. The bill did not pass Tuesday, but lawmakers left open the possibility of future debate.
Both Republicans and Democrats criticized the legislation, which was sponsored by Garofalo, who represents St. Bernard Parish, just east of New Orleans.
“I’m not sure that we can get this bill in the correct posture this session,” said Rep. Barbara Freiberg, a Baton Rouge Republican. Rep. Gary Carter, a New Orleans Democrat, simply said, “This is a bad bill.”
The bill would bar teaching of so-called “divisive concepts” and said acknowledging institutional racism and sexism should be banned.
“As a history teacher, that presents a problem for me because there are many instances in Louisiana and the United States where there was institutionalized racism,” 2020 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Chris Dier told New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU. “And that history belong in the classroom.”