Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the introduction of the Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act on Wednesday in an effort to combat what he says is an overwhelming movement of “corporate sanctioned racism” in his state.
“Our legislation will defund any money for K-12 or higher ed going to [critical race theory] consultants,” DeSantis said in a Tuesday press conference where he was joined by the Manhattan Institute’s Christopher Rufo. “We’re also not going to allow the staff or employees or teachers in our education system to be subjected to that type of training where they’re forced to sit there and listen. … This is wrong when it’s done to our kids, but it’s also wrong to force employees to have to go through that.”
The “Stop W.O.K.E.” legislation will focus on keeping “virtue signaling” race consultants, who DeSantis said only complain about capitalism when other people are using it but not “when you’re lining your own pockets,” out of schools and out of the workplace.
“This is something that’s significant, and they tried to act like it’s not happening. And you’ll have media who will say that this doesn’t happen even though we have all these examples. … So it is happening, and I think we have an ability to just draw a line in the sand and say that’s not the type of society that we want here in the state of Florida. We want people treated equally. We don’t want ideology,” DeSantis said.
The Republican governor also said he believes these race-based trainings that hyperfocus on guilting white people violate Florida’s civil rights laws but said this legislation will reinforce employees’ abilities “to protect themselves against this kind of … harassment.”
“Well, how is it not a hostile work environment to be attacking people based on their race or telling them that they’re privileged or that they’re part of oppressive systems, when they’re all they’re doing is showing up to work and trying to earn a living?” DeSantis asked.
The infiltration of woke ideology, DeSantis said, is unacceptable and promotes a false premise mislabeled as “equity.”
“They call it equity. Just to understand, when you hear equity used, that is just an ability for people to smuggle in their ideology because we don’t need to have these terms. We have a society based on equality, where you’re treated equally. Regardless of your upbringing, regardless of your race, you have the same rights and privileges as anybody else. Equity is used to put the thumb on the scale in favor of their ideology. And so that’s what you get things like CRT and a whole host of other things,” he said.