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‘Total Whitewashing of History’: Florida Approves Education Vendor Behind Animated Video of Frederick Douglass Saying Founding Fathers Had to ‘Compromise’ on Slavery to ‘Achieve Something Great’

Florida’s Department of Education just approved a new, supplemental conservative curriculum and its instructional materials that could be start being utilized in classrooms in the near future as the statewide education shakeup continues.

That curriculum was created by the Prager University Foundation, an unaccredited organization that creates short, educational videos on topics like history, civics, philosophy, economics, and a number of social issues.

The foundation has created and posted videos titled “How To Be a Rational Patriot,” “How To Be a Victor & Not a Victim,” as well as “How To Embrace Your Masculinity,” and “How To Embrace Your Femininity.”

One video that’s making the rounds online shows a cartoon depiction of Frederick Douglass talking about the 13 Colonies and slavery.

PragerU created and posted a cartoon video for kids with a depiction of Frederick Douglass saying that the founding fathers had to “compromise” on slavery to achieve something great. (Photo: Twitter/@Phil_Lewis_)

“I’m certainly not OK with slavery,” Douglass says in the video. “But the founding fathers made a compromise to achieve something great — the making of the United States. It was America that began the conversation to end it.”

People on social media aren’t taking this video well.

“Frederick Douglass being used as the vector for a whitewash of the Founding Fathers’ deep commitment to the Slave Power is gross,” someone commented on X.

“So basically rewrite history and make it seem like our black leaders were fine with slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation?” another person wrote on Instagram.

“Total whitewashing of history,” another Instagram user said of the video.

PragerU has also produced videos titled “Climate activists are like Nazis,” Wind and solar power pollute the Earth and make life miserable,” and “Recent global and local heat records reflect natural temperature cycles,” which question the scientific consensus around climate change issues.

The foundation was founded in 2009 by Allen Estrin and conservative radio talk show host Dennis Prager. On its website, the foundation is touted as “a free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education” that teaches “American values.” According to its biannual report, the platform racked up 1.2 billion views in 2022.

Although the organization rails against indoctrinating students on ideas connected to critical race theory, gender fluidity, and systemic racism, Prager himself admitted that PragerU content is “indoctrination” at the 2023 Moms for Liberty National Summit in Philadelphia.

“I really wanted to hear what evidence do you have that I am despicable?” Prager said of a conversation he had with demonstrators at the event. “And all I heard was, ‘Well, because you indoctrinate kids.’ Which is true. We bring doctrines to children. That is a very fair statement. I said, ‘”But what is the bad of our indoctrination?'”

Last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7 to prevent “discriminatory instruction” and “woke indoctrination” in schools. However, the Florida Department of Education hasn’t signaled whether this new curriculum conflicts with that state law.

“The Florida Department of Education reviewed PragerU Kids and determined the material aligns to Florida’s revised civics and government standards. PragerU Kids is no different than many other resources, which can be used as supplemental materials in Florida schools at district discretion,” a spokesperson for the agency told national news outlet The Hill.

There’s no word on whether teachers can use the content in classrooms this fall. It’s been characterized as instructional aids for children like Scholastics or Highlights. Recently, Florida approved Black history standards that will teach students that enslaved people personally benefited from slavery.

“America’s education system has been hijacked by one side,” said PragerU CEO Marissa Streit. “How are we going to have great teachers, if the teachers themselves are basically held hostage to one ideology? That is essentially what we’re trying to break here.”

According to Streit, Florida was the first state to approve PragerU’s educational content. That approval process is reportedly underway in ten more states.

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