Listen: You can either complain about student “indoctrination,” or you can monitor the thoughts and views of students through government decree—unless you’re Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in which case, your own hypocrisy is your greatest weapon and you can do both.
DeSantis hates Critical Race Theory—but that’s not what this is about because what DeSantis actually hates is leftist “indoctrination” in general—but that’s also not what this is about because what DeSantis and right-wingers across the nation really hate is the thought that conservatism is dying with current and future generations, and they believe their
oppressive precious ideology deserves to thrive. This is why two weeks after banning public schools from teaching CRT, DeSantis is taking his progressive paranoia-infused power play to a new level by forcing public universities to assess “viewpoint diversity” on campus through an annual survey developed by the State Board of Education to monitor whether or not schools are pushing students towards the devil’s liberalism, which, in the Republican mind, is determined by the number of students who love Fox News and MAGA apparel more than they love porn and frat parties (I’m guessing).
From the Washington Post:
Although the Florida law does not address penalties for schools where the survey finds low levels of “intellectual freedom” and “viewpoint diversity,” DeSantis has hinted at the potential for budget cuts at universities that do not pass muster.
The bill defines those two terms as the exposure to — and encouragement or exploration of — “a variety of ideological and political perspectives.”
“We want our universities to be focused on critical thinking and academic rigor. We do not want them as basically hotbeds for stale ideology,” DeSantis said at a news conference Tuesday. “That’s not worth tax dollars and not something we’re going to be supporting moving forward.”
DeSantis’s office reiterated Thursday that the bill does not address funding and the governor’s comment was “an expression of his firmly-held opinion that taxpayer-funded schools, colleges and universities should be places for education — not indoctrination.”
A few things:
First of all—bullshit.
Let’s not pretend that if conservatism represented the dominant ideology on college campuses, DeSantis would give a shit about “viewpoint diversity.” If there was a Trump poster and a “build that wall” banner across the door frames of every dorm room in the state, Florida Republicans would be satisfied that the youth are headed in the right direction and the only survey students would be asked to take is one that determines how many Kid Rock homecoming invitations is too many.
I’m to believe that DeSantis wants schools to be “focused on critical thinking” like he didn’t just go to war with an academic study that focuses on critical exploration of social dynamics in law and other institutions? If only there existed some critical component to studying a subject like—oh, I don’t know—race, which could be properly assessed in theory.
So you’re telling me DeSantis—the guy who chose the first day of Pride month to sign a transgender sports ban, proposed legislation that would make it open season on shooting unruly protesters and, of course, stays trying to make it harder for Black people to vote—isn’t planning to defund schools based on the survey, he just kind of hinted around defunding for shits and giggles?
Anyway, I’m not the only person who sees this white nonsense for what it is.
More from the Post:
A federation of unions that serve teachers in Florida said the bill signed this week was somewhat moot and potentially dangerous.
“Such a survey creates opportunities for political manipulation and could have a chilling effect on intellectual and academic freedom,” the Florida Education Association said. “Students already have the right to free speech on campus. All viewpoints can be expressed freely and openly.”
Another critic accused DeSantis of manufacturing the viewpoint issue to fit his political agenda.
“Once again, Governor Ron DeSantis is focusing on nonexistent issues rather than confronting the real problems facing everyday Floridians following a deadly global pandemic and years of neglect from Republican leadership in our state,” said Josh Weierbach, executive director of the liberal organization Florida Watch.
Still, proponents of the legislation insist its intentions are innocent. According to the Post, the bill states that the survey will merely consider the extent to which “competing ideas and perspectives are presented” and ensure that college students “feel free to express their beliefs and viewpoints on campus and in the classroom.”
But here’s where the ultimate display of caucasity comes in.
The legislation also bans faculty from “shielding” students from free speech by limiting their “access to, or observation of, ideas and opinions that they may find uncomfortable, unwelcome, disagreeable, or offensive.”
BITCH, YOU JUST BANNED CRITICAL RACE THEORY BECAUSE IT HURTS WHITE FEELINGS!
Let’s also not act like “viewpoint diversity” isn’t the only kind of push for diversity that Republicans are willing to get behind and wouldn’t fight tooth and nail.