DeSantis: A “Reactionary and Authoritarian” Liar According to Florida Newspaper’s Christmas Day Editorial

Toby Hazlewood

An editor's gift to the governor
Governor Ron DeSantisShutterstock

A Florida newspaper chose to Christmas Day's Editorial piece on December 25 to criticize Governor DeSantis for his style of leadership during his time in power. The piece's author described him as a "reactionary and authoritarian" liar for the ways in which he has guided the state, particularly in relation to recent debates over the teaching of critical race theory in schools.

The piece's author was in particular taking aim at DeSantis' 'Stop WOKE' act:

DeSantis - the boogeyman?

The piece suggested that DeSantis was driven by inspiring fear and doubt in citizens of the state, in his every decision and action:

"Remember the boogeyman, that specter your parents invoked to make you behave? Almost every culture has one. So do politicians when they want to create fear. Gov. Ron DeSantis has a boogeyman for the people of Florida."

DeSantis and the Stop WOKE Act

Stop WOKE stands for “Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees” and the legislation proposed by the governor for the 2022 legislative season is due to be debated in the 2022 session, starting January 11. It is intended to stop the teaching of critical race theory in Florida's schools and notionally reduce the imposition of so-called 'woke' politics upon Floridians in school and in work.

Critical race theory proposes that whether intentional or not, racial bias is 'baked into' US laws and institutions. Evidence for the accuracy of the theory is usually cited that Black Americans receive harsher jail sentences and are incarcerated at much higher rates than other races.

As he announced the legislation, DeSantis had this to say:

“It violates Florida standards to scapegoat someone based on their race, to say that they’re inherently racist, to say that they’re an oppressor or oppressed or any of that,”

It's a perspective that many in Florida agree with - but clearly not the editor of the Sun Sentinel who favors a more moderate approach where pupils' education is concerned. From their perspective, ignoring critical race theory:

" the current dogma of DeSantis’s Republican Party in its determination to retain the allegiance of white voters who are terrified of losing social and political dominance to changing demographics. Demonization of critical race theory, by making it into a boogeyman, is one front in the Republican culture wars. DeSantis would make Floridians ignorant of the most troublesome aspects of our past, present and future."

It may well be that your own perspective is determined by your political allegiance, but time will tell what the consequences are of the Christmas Day editorial. Will DeSantis act in a "reactionary and authoritarian" way, or will it be business as usual?

What do you think about the teaching of critical race theory in Florida schools? Are you in favor of DeSantis or against his leadership? Let me know in the comments section below.

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