FL College Students Stage Massive, Statewide Protest Against “Hostile” Governor Ron DeSantis

They're coming for you, Ron.


586
586 points

College students all across the Sunshine State have had it up to here with Florida’s ultra Right-wing Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and his hatred, bigotry, and racism-fueled policies and they have staged a massive, statewide protest across multiple higher education institutions to let him know about it.

DeSantis and his most heinous allies have caused serious uproar and backlash across the nation in recent weeks, with a specific interest in his blatant pushback against a high school Advanced Placement (AP) course, titled African American Studies. But the Right-wing governor’s vendetta against education stops far from high school AP courses. A proposed Florida bill recently went public, in which DeSantis and allies are looking to literally ban Florida college students from majoring, or even minoring, in gender studies, critical race theory, or intersectionality degrees. To make matters that much worse still, the proposed legislation is extremely vague and lacking in any clear definition of the aforementioned studies, leaving an open avenue for Republican pundits to utilize the bill to effectively ban any and all academic programs they don’t like — furthering their heinous, anti-LGBTQIA, alt-Right agenda.

The bill also seeks to ban educational institutions from using any funding in support of “campus activities that espouse diversity, equity, and inclusion or Critical Race Theory rhetoric” — yet again, a very broad, vague, and undefined category that effectively shuts down free speech in the state of Florida.

People are fed up.

Prominent educational institutions across the state — including the University of Central Florida, Florida International University, Florida State University, and many others — staged massive protests this week as a result of Ron DeSantis’ attempts to enact what is essentially an authoritarian ruling government in the southern Red state. Students from Florida State University (FSU), located in FL state capital Tallahassee, leveled up their protest as the university’s campus is just a few minute’s walk from DeSantis’ governor’s mansion, where students planned to demonstrate right outside the governor’s front door. In addition to the college students across the state, multiple former and current elected Florida officials participated in the protest of DeSantis and his heinous attacks on the Sunshine State’s educational system.

Former Democratic state Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, who lost his re-election bid in last year’s midterms, joined a crowd of what he said was hundreds of University of Central Florida students.

“Young people are organizing to protect academic freedom, diversity programs (DEI), and LGBTQ students— all under attack in Florida,” the former FL lawmaker wrote in a tweet.

“We need to save the Multicultural Student Center, LGBTQ+ Support Services, Hispanic Serving Institution Programming and Outreach AND MORE!” he added in a follow-up Twitter post.

College students from across the entire state participated in the largely walk-out-style protest at their respective institutions.

The newly proposed, DeSantis-backed legislation poses a far more serious threat than what many realize, as it seeks to ban education materials all the way down to general education courses that “defines American history as contrary to the creation of a new nation based on universal principles stated in the Declaration of Independence.” They don’t even want students to be able to discuss anything that breaks away from white-washed, “Western” ideology.

Ron DeSantis is no defender of freedom and free speech. He’s Vladimir Putin wannabe with dreams of spearheading an authoritarian government where he is able to reign as supreme dictator.

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Featured image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore, under Creative Commons license 2.0

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