Ms. Minis: When did Mr. DeSantis come up with the issue of abortion? A student’s testimony about what he had to say
Ms. Minis, who is white and was in the same history class as Ms. Pompey, also remembers debating issues around the Civil War. She felt that Mr. DeSantis was wrong, even though he wasn’t much politically minded. She remembers him claiming that every city in the South had burned, even though she knew her hometown, Savannah, had not and she called him out on it.
Students said that Mr. DeSantis was at many parties with seniors in town. Most people spoke about their experiences with him on the condition that they not speak publicly about it.
Matthew said abortion came up in his class at least once. Mr. Arne, who was a senior, said students talked about Mr. DeSantis’ opinion that abortion was wrong. He said it troubled him when his girlfriend, who was in Mr. DeSantis’s history class, told him about what Mr. DeSantis had said. He disagreed with the stance Mr. DeSantis had taken.
On the First Day of His Life: Ron DeSantis’ Action for Reforming the Florida University System, a Remark on Race Theory, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
“He’s pretty much held fast to what he believes in,” Mr. Arne said. Ms. Minis said that he always had his eye on the future. She said that he was a young person who was interested in the long game.
“Mr. DeSantis was kind of a smug guy,” Mr. Arne said. He said that students were aware of his graduation from Yale. He said it was like, “I’m better than you.” “And we were all just kids.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that he wants to stop universities from spending money on diversity initiatives if they do not get funding.
Emphasizing multiculturalism is the main goal of diversity, equity and inclusion programs, to encourage students of all races and background to feel comfortable on a campus. The state’s flagship school, the University of Florida, has a “Chief Diversity Officer,” a “Center for Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement” and an “Office for Accessibility and Gender Equity.”
In December, the governor asked all state universities to account for all of their spending on programs relating to diversity, equity and inclusion or critical race theory.
DeSantis last month appointed Rufo to the board of New College, a small liberal arts school that the governor has targeted for a drastic overhaul to become a more conservative university.
One of DeSantis’ new board members, Eddie Speir, wrote in an online post that he planned to propose in that meeting “terminating all contracts for faculty, staff and administration” of the school, “and immediately rehiring those faculty, staff and administration who fit in the new financial and business model.”
The state’s education department characterized the move as a rejection of “‘woke’ diversity, equity and inclusion [and] critical race theory ideologies.”
Hundreds of marchers, led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and other activists, held a rally outside Florida’s state Capitol on Wednesday to protest Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration’s rejection of a new Advanced Placement course on African American studies.
From slavery through Jim Crow, to the Civil Rights Movement, there are points in US history where racism and bigotry took place.
“Our children need to know the whole story … to not only know how bad you were but to know how strong they are. They come from a people that fought from the back of the bus to the front of the White House.”
“Make note that we are all marching together,” said Sharpton, noting that the crowd included members of the LGBTQ, Native American and Latinx communities. You should not have been with us. You have brought all of us together.
The marchers shouted “Hey, hey ho, ho, Ron has to go!” It was said that I’m Black and I’m proud. Some carried signs that said “We will not be silenced.”
Shaia Simmons, a former teacher at the march, called the state’s rejection of the new course a “gross injustice” and a “slap in the face to all Americans.”
“Black history isn’t important to just Black people, it is important to everyone,” Simmons said. It is the fabric of the country. For us to try to wipe that away or to negate the importance of it causes angst in our community. It’s not just the AP course. It’s the whitewashing of black history in this country. It is the inequitable treatment of African Americans right down to the funding in our educational institutions.”
Her daughter said that it is ridiculous that they are not allowing this one class to be thought of. “It affects us directly. If we can’t learn about the past, it will change our future.
The College Board also admitted it “made mistakes in the rollout” of the course framework “that are being exploited,” according to a lengthy statement published Saturday. The board disputed how Florida officials characterized their dialogue and influence with the testing non-profit after initially rejecting the course.
The state Education Department was accused of “slander” by the Testing Organization behind the new course.
The framework of the new Advanced Placement course on African American studies was released by the College Board earlier this month, with some of the topics removed from it.
No one has shown any signs of stopping. In a little over a month since he was sworn in for a second term, DeSantis has settled a score with Disney, threatened to end Advanced Placement classes in Florida, took over a small liberal arts college and vowed to put guardrails on how banks lend money. He has imposed his will on businesses and disrupted institutions in order to stop the erosion of political power.
While many GOP voters will like the record Gov. Ron DeSantis is building, there is still a sense of concern and worry among some people who support him.
As Florida state lawmakers met earlier this month to hand DeSantis new authority over Disney World – punishment for the company’s opposition to a measure restricting certain classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity – Republican Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire took a shot at the power grab.
“I’m a principled free-market conservative,” said Sununu, who is also weighing a bid for president. “For others out there that think that the government should be penalizing your business because they disagree with you politically, that isn’t very conservative.”
Progressive leaders need to draw the line at approaches that seek to silence criticism, including through demonization and stigmatization that make the cost of raising questions too high. Conservatives need to reject a chilling approach that leaves out government censors. Florida education officials should educate and incentivize college administrators, principals and teachers on how to maintain a classroom open to all ideas, rather than responding to the exclusion of views they like with laws prohibiting those they don’t.
In a speech at last year’s National Conservatism Conference, the Florida governor said capitalism is not the same as free enterprise and that Republicans should no longer view limited government as a way to do the economy. I believe that free enterprise is the best economic system because it leads to an end.
A Libertarian critic of the Florida governor: When did she set an example of freedom, and why did she shut down? a source of frustration for DeSantis
Being perceived as racially insensitive is not a good place to be in the long term, a Republican supporter of DeSantis said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
The supporter pointed directly to the fight over an Advanced Placement course on African American studies and DeSantis’ quarrel with the College Board, saying the governor could alienate some voters who would otherwise be supportive.
Many potential GOP nominees have not yet been introduced to Republican voters. Meanwhile, outside groups such as the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity have signaled they intend to get involved in the primary.
Frayda Levin is a member of the Club for Growth and she is worried that DeSantis is becoming too heavy-handed in his pursuit of hot-button social issues. DeSantis is one of six Republicans invited to a Club for Growth donor summit in Florida as the conservative organization distances itself further from Trump. They are joined by former South Carolina Gov. Haley and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
I’m kind of a live andlet-live kind of girl, that’s why I’m a genuine libertarian. She said that she does not object to candidates who hold strong personal beliefs on social issues, but she does object to those who have socially conservative views.
“DeSantis is always talking about he was not demanding that businesses do things, but he was telling the cruise lines what they had to do,” former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a fellow Republican, said of DeSantis last year. Hogan has remained critical of the Florida governor as he weighs entering the mix for the Republican nomination.
Meanwhile, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, another potential GOP contender, has also compared her Covid19 record against DeSantis in ways that suggest Florida was too hands-on – for ideologically disparate reasons. Noem said Friday it was her state, not Florida, that “set an example of freedom” by refusing to shut down at all. Florida, which DeSantis has called a Citadel of Freedom, closed schools, bars and theme parks and restricted other economic activity early in the pandemic.
DeSantis, his allies, and the need for education reform in the era of elitism and non-independence
His approach often includes more government programs, such as creating an office to pursue voter fraud and a new program to conduct missions to surveil, house and transport migrants from border States to Democratic Jurisdictions, or flexing government power in unprecedented manners.
The growing chatter has provoked a fight from DeSantis’ allies. A senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Christopher Rufo, thinks the governor is in fact using his power as an elected leader, after his 19-point victory in the November election.
The complaint about using state power to correct ideological corruption at public universities is ridiculous, according to Rufo. “Amounts to ‘the people can’t regulate the state.’”
And even where there is apprehension among allies, DeSantis has not necessarily lost support. Ken Griffin, the billionaire hedge fund owner of Citadel and a major DeSantis donor, said he was “troubled” last year by the governor’s move against Disney.
But later in 2022, Griffin touted DeSantis’ “tremendous record” in an interview with Politico and suggested he would back the Florida governor in the GOP primary for president.
DeSantis has also sought to shut down a drag show, citing a 1947 legal precedent banning “men impersonating women.” He wants to challenge the Supreme Court decision on libel, which he says narrowed the scope of press freedom.
leadership is required to escape the battle of assaults on speech. University presidents need to stand up and insist, and ensure, that all viewpoints – left and right alike – get a fair hearing on campus. They also need to resist intrusive legislation that micromanages curriculum and undercuts academic freedom.
DeSantis and his supporters are not wrong to call out the quest for a more inclusive and equitable society when it veers into the outright suppression of speech and ideas. Progressives forget that the movements they wage depend upon free speech protections to guarantee the time for dissent and that such protections must apply equally to speech with which they disagree. Some fail to acknowledge, too, that worthwhile perspectives and solutions can emerge from outside their own ideological spheres.
The new visibility and appreciation of transgender and non-binary identities and rights has raised important questions about pronouns, bathrooms, sports and the autonomy of adolescents. The assassination of George Floyd inspired schools, colleges and Companies to take new steps to remove racism from their institutions. These developments are important to bring about a more equal society.
In some cases, though, efforts to promote equity cross over into censoriousness. Last week, a publisher announced plans to scrub references to overweight or people with horse-like features from some of the books that it publishes. The play “The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler was canceled by a college because it didn’t acknowledge that not all women have vaginas.
Some programs and curricula offer simplistic, straight out illiberal ideas about race, dismissing challenges or perspectives that are unrelated to racism, or otherwise beyond the pale.
In a highly publicized incident at the University of Central Florida in 2020, Professor Charles Negy was fired after his tweets about “Black privilege” prompted campus protests. While the university claimed he was guilty of misconduct, an arbitrator found no just cause for his determination and ordered him reinstated. The University seems to have a broader pattern in the incident.
The discrimination policy on the campus was struck down last year by an appeals court. The court found that a student would be better off not speaking at the university because of the fear of being crossways with the school.