Florida Gov. Ron Desantis has been one of the leading Republican voices perpetuating the Critical Race Theory myths that have resulted in legislation such as the Stop Woke Act being passed to limit racial discussions in the classroom. So it’s confusing that Florida is paying $700,000 to a consulting firm that teaches the very thing Desantis is rallying against.
Politico reports the state has been working with Tallahassee-based MGT Consulting, led by former Republican lawmaker Trey Traviesa. The company describes itself as creating a “high-profile, racially sensitive studies that address social inequity and lead to recommendations for true social change.”
As described on their website, MGT’s services include “examining social injustice and disproportionality in community and organizational systems, identifying racial (and other demographic) disparities within a community or institution.” Those principles seem to be the exact opposite of what Desantis is trying to do within the Florida school curriculum, colleges, and the workplace.
Politico also notes that MGT was hired after the 2016 Charlottesville, Va white supremacist clash where one protestor lost their life. The company also states it’s done “extensive work for Florida government entities, including using “race and gender” data that was “used to shape policy designed to increase diversity in [state university] institutions.”
“We have carefully chosen a team that is well-versed in critical race theory, as well as the analysis necessary to develop a racially equitable organizational structure and racial equity plan,” read a proposal written by MGT last year to write a “Racial Equity Plan” for the city of Golden, Colo.
What’s even stranger about this is a report from the Miami Herald that a state bid was tailored explicitly for MGT to run struggling, underfunded schools in Jefferson County. MGT was in talks with Florida’s Department of Education before any other bid could happen. Perhaps Desantis’s administration made a mistake? When Politico asked DeSantis spokesperson Bryan Griffin, he had no answer for it.
Again, from Politico:
“This attachment has no annotation, and our office couldn’t possibly speculate about each of these contracts, nor assume the intended purpose of each engagement,” said Bryan Griffin, a DeSantis spokesperson. “We especially aren’t interested in speculating under the assumptions you presented based on work they have done in completely different states.”