Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis just can’t seem to catch a white nationalist break. Earlier this year, a judge blocked his plans to intentionally dilute Black voting power through a racist redistricting of Florida’s congressional map. On Wednesday, the DOJ ruled that Florida Republicans targeted Black voters last year by enacting voter suppression laws. Now, a Florida judge has suspended partial enforcement of Florida’s so-called “Stop WOKE Act,” which essentially gave conservatives control over the way Black history is taught in schools on behalf of white fragility.
MY GOD, WHY CAN’T THEY JUST LET DESANTIS PERFORM SYSTEMIC RACISM WHILE PRETENDING IT DOESN’T EXIST IN PEACE???
Anyway, according to Insider, Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker—the same Obama-appointed Florida judge who, in March, “blocked new restrictions on the availability of absentee ballot drop boxes, regulations for third-party voter registration groups, and a ban on providing food and water to people standing in line to vote,” according to the Guardian—blocked the part of the “Stop WOKE Act” that barred private employers from implementing mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings.
Walker ruled that portion of the law violated free speech and he even went as far as to compare the law to a hit Netflix show.
“In the popular television series Stranger Things, the ‘upside down’ describes a parallel dimension containing a distorted version of our world,” Walker wrote in his opinion. “Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down.” (Also, I’m pretty sure DeSantis is a Demogorgon.)
“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely,” Walker continued. “But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”
But as usual, conservatives are only interested in protecting free speech when it comes to the free expression of right-wing ideology (and by “ideology,” I mean “propaganda”). When it comes to anything that gets white people all in their feelings, the Republican attitude tends to be, “What First Amendment?”
Insider noted that when DeSantis signed his little white fragility bill into law, he called diversity teachings “indoctrination” and said, “No one should be instructed to feel as if they are not equal or shamed because of their race” which, of course, isn’t even remotely the point of diversity trainings—unless you’re a translucent snowflake who thinks the very idea of racial diversity is an all-out attack on white people everywhere.
It’s also worth mentioning that not long after DeSantis declared that no one should be made to feel bad because of their race, he defended podcaster Joe Rogan saying he “shouldn’t have apologized” for his flagrant use of the n-word, for referring to a Black neighborhood as the Planet of the Apes, or for describing Black people from Africa as being “from the darkest place where they’re not wearing any clothes all day and they’ve developed all that melanin to protect themselves from the sun.” Obviously, as far as DeSantis is concerned, when white people are uncomfortable and offended it’s critical race theory indoctrination, but when Black people are uncomfortable or offended, it’s just good old-fashioned constitutional free speech.
Or maybe DeSantis is just racist. Maybe it’s that simple.
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