The Left’s outright lies about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggest that they fear him and aim to sandbag him through their usual methods—rampant deceit and racial division.
First, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” concocted an elaborate fiction in which DeSantis, a Republican, supposedly arranged for Palm Beach County seniors to receive COVID-19 vaccines through Publix, as a payoff for the grocery chain’s $100,000 donation to his reelection campaign.
This pay-to-play fantasy began to unravel when Publix explained that its stores had administered seasonal flu shots for years, and the company had volunteered to offer COVID-19 shots on a non-exclusive basis.
Then, left-wing journalists, politicians, and the neo-radical Walt Disney Co. accused DeSantis of signing the so-called Don’t Say Gay bill and rolling back gay rights.
In fact, nowhere in the 1,307-word Parental Rights in Education Act does the word “gay” appear. This statute is as silent as the Sphinx about “gay,” “straight,” and “celibate.”
The law does say that “classroom instruction … on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3,” a perfectly reasonable position that normal Americans overwhelmingly support. So, DeSantis’ enemies flat-out lied about this measure, to tar him as a monstrous “homophobe.”
Third, leftists play the race card as routinely as most Americans breathe. So, naturally, when DeSantis objected to the College Board’s Advanced Placement Black Studies curriculum, they accused him of—what else?—a racist conspiracy to whitewash slavery.
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell outrageously claimed that DeSantis “says that slavery and the aftermath of slavery should not be taught to Florida schoolchildren.” After DeSantis’ press team screamed bloody murder, Mrs. Alan Greenspan conceded that her execrable comments were “imprecise”—in the same way it would be imprecise to call Florida a Canadian province. Mitchell full-on lied.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also lied about DeSantis: “If you think about the study of black Americans, that is what he wants to block.”
DeSantis, in fact, signed legislation that requires the teaching of slavery.
As DeSantis’ press secretary Bryan Griffin told me, the governor “proposed, championed, and signed” Individual Freedom, House Bill 7. Approved last April 22, the “Stop WOKE Act” established “required instruction” in K-12 government schools, including “the enslavement experience, abolition, … the vital contributions of African Americans to build and strengthen American society and celebrate the inspirational stories of African Americans who prospered, even in the most difficult circumstances.”
This law also encourages teachers to discuss “slavery, racial oppression, racial segregation, and racial discrimination … .”
DeSantis also signed House Bill 1213 on June 23, 2020, mandating that Florida students learn about the 1920 Ocoee Massacre, an atrocity perpetrated by Democratic Ku Klux Klan members and some 250 white racists who fatally shot, burned, and lynched an estimated 30 to 35 black Floridians to stop them from voting and scare others from the polls.
After implementing what he supports, DeSantis recently opposed specific topics within the AP course that go far beyond slavery into something resembling, at best, Black Lives Matter propaganda. A small sample:
- “Intersectionality and Activism” features readings by former Black Panther Angela Davis, the 1980 and 1984 vice presidential nominee of the Communist Party USA.
- “Movement for Black Lives” highlights Rutgers sociology professor Leslie Kay Jones, who whined about “the white supremacist superstructures that oppress us.”
- “Black Queer Studies” showcases Yale Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies professor Roderick Ferguson who explains: “It means building forms of queerness that reject the given realities of the government and the market.”
“Florida statute requires the teaching of slavery and its aftermath,” DeSantis’ deputy press secretary Jeremy Redfern noted Feb. 22 via Twitter. “We just know that ‘queer studies’ has nothing to do with Jim Crow.”
The Democrats’ intellectual and public-policy bankruptcy is confirmed by the fact that leftist politicians and journalists do not challenge DeSantis’ pro-American, pro-freedom, pro-market governing philosophy. Instead, they yell, “Homophobe!” and “Racist!” and lie, lie, lie as loudly as possible.
The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.