Opinion: DeSantis States That DEI Stands for “Discrimination, Exclusion and Indoctrination” As Florida Law Takes Effect

Toby Hazlewood

No more state funding for DEI in Florida's colleges

Governor Ron DeSantisPhoto byTwitter of osakajayms

On May 15, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed new legislation into effect which will remove state funding from Diversity, Equality and Inclusion initiatives in state colleges and educational institutions.

The move by Florida's governor is the latest step in his continuing 'War on Woke' - an initiative that has been used as an apparent platform for the launch of his expected campaign for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election.

After stating that the DEI acronym would be better suited to the sentiment of the words "Discrimination, Exclusion and Indoctrination", DeSantis went on to describe how the new legislation will effectively defund DEI initiatives, stating that:

"DEI can no longer be used as a woke litmus test as a condition of entrance into higher education in Florida."

Florida - 'where woke goes to die' according to DeSantis

The governor's ongoing war on woke-politics and the eradication of anything that might hint at a left-leaning 'woke' agenda appears to have become a fixation for the Republican governor, and demonstrates how he believes he'll be able to grow his appeal to voters across the United States.

In late 2022, DeSantis signaled his intent to withdraw state funds from 'woke' investing firms who prioritized environmental, social or governance (ESG) priorities in setting their investment strategies.

Florida is the fifth state (including Kentucky, North Dakota, Idaho and Utah) to have restricted investment in sustainable strategies.

Governor DeSantis' 'War on Woke'

The continuing announcement of decisions by Florida's leadership to stop investing in so-called 'woke' agendas, whether in investing state treasury or funding DEI in education will come as little surprise to those who've followed events in the Sunshine State in recent months. DeSantis went as far as to state that Florida is "where woke goes to die" in a speech earlier this year, and reaffirmed his commitment in his swearing-in for a second term.

Is 'woke' culture a concern outside Florida?

While some critics of DeSantis may feel that he is making a mountain out of a mole-hill when it comes to tackling the woke agenda in all its forms, there are signs of it being a point of concern in the wider United States.

In neighboring Georgia, leading Republicans like Governor Brian Kemp and the outspoken Republican Congresswoman - Marjorie Taylor-Greene - have frequently vented over the influence of woke ideology and the need to curtail it.

Most recently, Marjorie Taylor-Greene claimed that Fox News had "caved to the woke mob" for firing the outspoken host - Tucker Carlson - from its presenting team.

MTG, Tucker Carlson and Donald TrumpPhoto byShutterstock

As such, Governor DeSantis continuing to focus his ire upon eradicating woke politics, may well serve him positively in gaining support outside of Florida. The move to defund DEI in colleges, may also be another indicator of Ron DeSantis' ambitions to run for president in 2024, since his views regarding ESG and woke corporate politics seem to echo with other Republicans throughout the United States. Time will tell.

Do you think that Governor DeSantis is right to defund DEI positions in Florida's colleges? Could the move result in more discrimination? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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