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Florida Ed Chief Puts British Novel on American Pride Reading List – Title has the word “Pride” in it

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Tallahassee, Fla.– Pride and Prejudice is to American Pride as Fish is to a Bicycle. Florida Commissioner of Education, Manny Diaz Jr., has come under fire for his recent selection of books intended to celebrate American Pride Month. In a move that has sparked widespread confusion and criticism, Diaz included Jane Austen’s classic British novel “Pride and Prejudice” in the recommended reading list for Florida’s students.

The Commissioner’s Book of the Month program, which aims to promote literacy and engage preK-12 students with themed reading material, selected five books for July, each meant to highlight the importance of American pride and the country’s founding values. However, the inclusion of “Pride and Prejudice” has left many questioning the criteria and decision-making process behind these recommendations.

In a statement released with the reading list, Diaz said, “As we look back upon our nation’s history and recognize the efforts of the founding fathers to build a country based on the values of freedom, it is paramount that we impart a sense of American pride on our students during the month of July.” He encouraged students to “celebrate American pride month and reflect on the unyielding spirit and heroic patriotism of the many Americans throughout history who fought in the pursuit of liberty and freedom.”

The irony, as many have pointed out, lies in the fact that “Pride and Prejudice” is a British novel, written by English author Jane Austen in the early 19th century. The book, which explores themes of class, marriage, and social issues in England, has no connection to American history or the patriotic themes intended for the celebration of American Pride Month.

The criticism has been particularly vocal on social media, with users highlighting the absurdity of the selection. One tweet that has garnered significant attention reads, “Oh my g_d does Manny Diaz think Jane Austen is American?! WHY is Pride and Prejudice on the list of books to celebrate AMERICAN Pride month? Is it the Pride or the prejudice?! Jesus take the wheel.”

Jennifer Jenkins, Chair of Educated We Stand, and often a target of Manny Diaz and Governor DeSantis chimed in.

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Educational experts and historians alike have expressed their bewilderment at the choice. Dr. Lisa Stevens, a professor of American history at Florida State University, commented, “This is a perplexing decision. While ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is undoubtedly a literary classic, it does not belong in a reading list meant to celebrate American heritage and values. This suggests a fundamental misunderstanding of both the book’s content and the purpose of the reading list.”

The other books on the list, which include “Proud Little Patriot” by Alla Belousov and “The Fourth of July Story” by Alice Dalgliesh, are more aligned with the intended theme of American pride. These selections focus on American history and patriotic themes, making the inclusion of Austen’s novel even more puzzling.

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