The Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board apologized to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the weekend after one of its members described him a racist.

Pierre Rutledge, the head of the Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board, issued a statement on behalf of the organization and apologized to the Republican governor after a member said last week that DeSantis is a racist.

“We take it to heart when someone uses the term racist,” Rutledge said, reported Fox News and the Miami Herald, which reported that he made that comment at a Feb. 3 press conference. “Words matter. And so as chair, I must start by saying we want to pull that back. There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘we’re sorry.’ That’s not what we intended to say or be depicted by anyone. And that’s not the feeling of this board.”

Another official, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, said that he also “can’t call the governor racist. I don’t know him personally. I don’t know his heart,” reported WSVN. However, he claimed that DeSantis’ policies “always [seem] to attack black people and people of color,” without elaborating.

A spokesperson for DeSantis, Christina Pushaw, responded to Rutledge’s statement that was carried in a Sunday Fox News report, writing “thank you” on Twitter. DeSantis’s administration has not responded to a request for comment.

Rutledge, who is also a local school administrator, did not immediately respond to an Epoch Times request for comment. The Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board also did not respond to a request for comment.

Rutledge’s comment came after Miami lawyer Stephen Hunter Johnson said last week that “our governor is racist” during a Miami-Dade Black Affairs Advisory Board meeting about DeSantis having blocked an African-American studies course, according to the Herald. After the comment, the board members unanimously voted to draft a letter to DeSantis to object against his rejection of the course.

During Friday’s news conference, Rutledge made the apology while also simultaneously saying that the board released the letter to DeSantis to criticize his decision.

“Politics has no place in determining school curriculum,” Rutledge said, according to WSVN. “If we rely on elected officials to tell our children what they can and cannot learn about, that is the epitome of political indoctrination.”

The flurry of comments came after DeSantis’s administration rejected the College Board’s Advanced Placement African American History course for high school students in his state, asserting it violates Florida’s recently passed “Stop WOKE Act.”

“Please allow this letter to serve as confirmation that the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) does not approve the inclusion of the Advanced Placement (AP) African American Studies course in the Florida Course Code Directory and Instructional Personnel Assignments (adopted in State Board of Education Rule 6A-l.09441, Florida Administrative Code),” reads a Jan. 12 letter issued by the Florida Department of Education, addressed to College Board Florida Partnership Senior Director from Florida Department of Education Commissioner Manny Diaz, Jr.

“As presented, the content of this course is inexplicably contrary to Florida law and significantly lacks educational value,” the letter said, adding that “should College Board be willing to come back to the table with lawful, historically-accurate content, FDOE will always be willing to reopen the discussion.”

In a recent news conference, DeSantis made reference to the topics that he believed were tantamount to left-wing indoctrination, including “queer theory” and movements that seek to abolish prisons.

“This course, when I heard it, didn’t meet the standards. I figured, ‘Yeah, they may be doing [critical race theory],’” DeSantis told reporters in Jacksonville last week. “It’s way more than that. This course on Black history, what [is] one of the lessons about? Queer theory. Now, who would say that’s an important part of black history, queer theory? That is somebody pushing an agenda on our kids.”

Last week, the College Board issued a revision to the course. In the official framework made public on Wednesday, topics such as Black Lives Matter, reparations, and queer theory are no longer subjects to be taught. They are included only on a list of topics that states and school systems could suggest to students for end-of-the-year projects.

A spokesperson for DeSantis on Wednesday told The Associated Press that the state education department is reviewing the revised curriculum for compliance with Florida law.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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