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Under Ron DeSantis, Our Site Couldn't Exist

Under Ron DeSantis, Our Site Couldn't Exist

After banning books and college majors, Republicans can never again be allowed to call themselves the party of limited government.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Monday that bans diversity, equity, and inclusion programs (DEI) at Florida's public colleges. That's right — the government is now deciding what can and cannot be taught to fully-grown adults.

What SB 266 and HB 931 have successfully been enacted to stop goes far beyond inclusive hiring and student-selection processes. The Florida state government can now force universities to stop funding student clubs if they have any involvement with DEI. Due to the vague language of the bills, these provisions could be enforced on even apolitical groups, such as Black student-athlete associations, or women's groups supporting survivors of sexual assault on campuses.

The Florida government now also decides what is taught in state universities. They previously passed legislation preventing the discussion of LGBTQ+ identities in classrooms K-3, and soon after updated the legislation to include grades K-12. Done in the name of "protecting the children," DeSantis' anti-DEI bills dictates what fully-grown adults can be taught.

The state now has the power to remove majors and minors teaching "identity politics." Students — adults — pursuing subjects of their own volition such as Gender/Women's Studies or African American History may soon be unable to continue their studies. The bills go into effect on July 1, so students may not even be able to finish the degrees they have worked towards thus far.

DEI programs have been lambasted by conservative politicians and pundits as upholding "identity politics." Because the initiatives are meant to welcome students of all races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations, Republicans have labelled them discriminatory of conservative thought.

In a way, Republicans are correct — inclusivity is in direct opposition to conservatism, in the same way that freedom of speech is in direct opposition of censorship. All available data shows that the more educated you are, and the more diverse of a community you come from, the less likely you are to vote Republican.

But when Republicans ban books over "inappropriate content," or bar certain subjects from being discussed in schools because they are not "age appropriate," let one thing remain clear — they know they are lying. What they really seek to "protect children" from is not pornography or even pedophilia — after all, which party has routinely fought to expand child marriages? (Hint: it's not the Democrats.)

Gen Z is arguably the most progressive generation in world history. Republicans are losing power fast, and they know it. What conservative politicians really aim to do with bans on books or topics of study is to prevent more adolescents from aligning with their peers — to prevent them from voting Democrat.

DeSantis has said he believes that DEI programs "suppress free thought." Therefore, his response is to ban fully grown adults from pursuing subjects of their own choice. These attacks on free speechare being done in the name of free speech.

Republicans have long championed themselves as the party of limited government, but they claim that title while dictating which healthcare procedures are allowed, and which subjects can be discussed. There are no consistent beliefs or principals here — only desperate grabs for power and control.

Don't believe they will stop at public institutions. Florida Republicans already promised that bans on LGBTQ+ discussions would not go beyond K-3. Now, they could impact students old enough to be working on their doctoral theses.

Anyone or anything could be next.

Ryan Adamczeski is the Digital Director for The Advocate Channel. Views expressed in The Advocate Channel’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate Channel or our parent company, equalpride.

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