Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is bringing the heat down upon “diversity, equity and inclusion” initiatives through the introduction of the “Stop WOKE Act” which directly targets critical race theory in schools throughout the Sunshine State.
DeSantis’ Stop “Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees” (WOKE) Act will enable parents to file lawsuits against school districts they suspect of teaching critical race theory and injecting other forms of woke ideology into the curricula, and recover attorney fees “when they prevail,” the governor said at a Wednesday press conference.
“In Florida, we are taking a stand against the state-sanctioned racism that is critical race theory,” said DeSantis. “We won’t allow Florida tax dollars to be spent teaching kids to hate our country or to hate each other. We also have a responsibility to ensure that parents have the means to vindicate their rights when it comes to enforcing state standards. Finally, we must protect Florida workers against the hostile work environment that is created when large corporations force their employees to endure CRT-inspired ‘training’ and indoctrination.”
“Our legislation will defund any money for K-12 going to CRT consultants,” DeSantis stated. “No taxpayer dollars should be used to teach our kids to hate our country or hate each other.”
DeSantis, who’s heavily favoured as a Republican contender in the 2024 presidential election, emphasized that people fear lawsuits much more than a fine, stating that his legislation will enable parents to take the lead.
“I think that gives parents the ability to go in and ensure that our state standards are being followed,” he said.
Gov. DeSantis: “Wokeness is an attempt to delegitimize our institutions and our history. I view it as cultural Marxism. Of course the Left wants to raise taxes and all that, and it’s not good… but they really want to tear at the fabric of our society.”
— Ian Miles Cheong @ stillgray.substack.com (@stillgray) December 15, 2021
“What you see now with the rise of this woke ideology is an attempt to really delegitimize our history, and to delegitimize our institutions. And I view the wokeness as a form of cultural Marxism,” he said. “It’s not just, they’re leftists or socialists. It’s not just like taxes and all that, and they do want that and that’s not good, but really, they want to tear at the fabric of society and our culture and things that really we’ve taken for granted, like the ability of parents to direct the upbringing of their kids.”
The Stop WOKE Act, which will be formally introduced in the next legislative session, will also permit teachers to push back against “unlawful mandates from their elected district leadership,” and ban colleges and universities in Florida from hiring critical race theory consultants.
The broad-sweeping proposal also includes provisions for employees to protect themselves from incidents of “corporate wokeness,” such as critical race theory training.
“[W]e must protect Florida workers against the hostile work environment that is created when large corporations force their employees to endure CRT-inspired ‘training’ and indoctrination,” said DeSantis in a statement from the governor’s office, which cited examples of woke corporate trainings from companies including Raytheon, Bank of America, and Google.
- Raytheon, the nation’s second-largest defence contractor, has launched a critical race theory program that encourages white employees to confront their “privilege,” reject the principle of “equality,” and “defund the police.” More here.
- Bank of America teaches that the United States is a system of “white supremacy,” encourages employees to become “woke at work,” and teaches that white toddlers “develop racial biases by ages 3-5.” More here.
- A Google employee program claims that America is a “system of white supremacy” and that all Americans are “raised to be racist.” More here.
“Think about what [Martin Luther King] stood for,” the governor said. “He said he didn’t want people judged on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character — you listen to some of these people nowadays, they don’t talk about that.”