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What Is PragerU? Two States Now Allow the Controversial Content in Classrooms

What Is PragerU? Two States Now Allow the Controversial Content in Classrooms

Oklahoma and Florida have both partnered with the conservative media outlet PragerU, allowing their questionable videos to be shown in classrooms.

Oklahoma is following in Florida's footsteps, becoming the second state in the nation to allow videos from conservative education platform PragerU to be shown in public schools.

Ryan Walters, the state superintendent of public instruction, announced the controversial partnership with the conservative outlet in a statement Tuesday. The platform has become popular among Republicans in recent years for offering a "free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology."

Prager University Foundation, or PragerU, produces videos on various political and historical topics for millions of viewers. In its own words, PragerU is "not an accredited university." The outlet's catalog presents a staunchly right-wing perspective, with titles like "The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party" and "The Left Wants to Keep Racism Alive." Other videos include “Is Islam a Religion of Peace?” and “Make Men Masculine Again.”

When discussing the African American experience, PragerU videos tend to shift blame onto Black communities themselves. "The Top 5 Issues Facing Black Americans," for example, starts with Taleeb Starkes asserting that "too many" Black Americans see themselves as victims, and "their victim status becomes their primary identity and their ruling ideology." PragerU has even adapted its victim-blaming lessons for young audiences, with PragerU Kids videos like "How To be a Victor & Not a Victim."

Other videos, like "A Short History of Slavery," attempt to gloss over the causes and effects of slavery in the United States. Candace Owens tells PragerU viewers that white people didn't invent slavery, but they should be credited for "stopping" it in the west. The video is not so much a retelling of history as it is an attempt to relieve the United States and England of a uniquely brutal past.

The platform founded by right-wing talk show host Dennis Prager in partnership with Allen Estrin in 2009. Prager has long been known for his right-wing beliefs, including endorsing marital rape.
Florida permitted the right-wing content to be shown in classrooms last month, after their updated state history curriculum required lessons on race to be taught objectively, not in a manner to "indoctrinate or persuade students to a certain point of view."
Legislators in Texas have also expressed interest in allowing PragerU content to be shown in classrooms, but have faced pushback from Democrats and education officials.

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