The Editorial Board of the Miami Herald has taken a strong stance against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and the state’s Republican-dominated legislature for their crusade against LGBTQ people and people of color.
In a recent editorial, the board blasted DeSantis for focusing on “made-up crises,” rather than the actual issues facing Floridians.
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“There was no shortage of red meat Gov. Ron DeSantis could feed his supporters in his culture wars. Lawmakers ignored pleas from LGBTQ students and passed the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill that bans conversations about sexuality and gender identity in K-3. They limited how teachers and employers can discuss race and sexism so that white people and men don’t feel “guilty.”’
The board goes on to discuss how the state government has made it easier to ban books, imposed harsh restrictions on abortion, and helped perpetuate the lies Donald Trump told about the 2020 election being stolen, all while actual problems in the state persisted.
“In Florida, conversations about race and sexuality are more dangerous than aging buildings in the aftermath of the Surfside condo collapse. School books need more scrutiny than rising property insurance premiums. Lies about widespread election fraud are more urgently addressed than real sky-high housing and renting costs.”
The board said the state’s leaders live in a “Twilight Zone” where urgency is focused on fighting books and “woke teachers” rather than “protecting the lives of 2 million people living in more than 912,000 condominium units that are at least 30 years old.”
DeSantis is expected to sign the “Don’t Say Gay” bill into law.
The bill is officially known as the Parental Rights in Education Bill and says teachers cannot “encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.” It also says parents can sue their children’s schools for failing to adhere to these rules.
In a recent conspiratorial rant, DeSantis spoke out against “transgenderism” and “woke gender ideology.”
“In the state of Florida, we are not going to allow them to inject transgenderism into kindergarten. First graders shouldn’t have woke gender ideology in their curriculums. And that’s what we’re standing for,” DeSantis said.
“And I can tell you this: The chance that I am going to back down from my commitment to students and back down from my commitment to parents’ rights simply because of fraudulent media narratives or pressure from woke corporations, the chances of that are zero.”
This month, the Florida legislature also passed House Bill 7, known as the “Stop WOKE Act,” which DeSantis is also expected to sign. It would censor protected speech on racism and gender-based discrimination in classrooms and workplaces.
The law is so broadly and vaguely written that it will likely discourage lessons on diversity and societal prejudice.