Levin Report

Ron DeSantis Claims MLK Would Love Bill Banning Schools From Teaching Kids About Racism

The “Stop WOKE Act” would also let parents sue school districts, much like how Texas’s abortion law deputizes citizen vigilantes.
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks during a press conference about the opening of a COVID-19 vaccination site in Miami Gardens on January 06, 2021.by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Are Republicans the most embarrassing people on the face of the earth? It’s a question that we must ponder daily, and today the question comes courtesy of the governor of Florida, a bill called the “Stop WOKE Act,” and a reference to Martin Luther King Jr. that has presumably left his estate asking, “The fuck?”

Yes, on Wednesday, Republican presidential hopeful Ron DeSantis proudly announced a new bill going after the right’s bogeyman du jour, critical race theory. Critical race theory, for those of you who are unaware, is an academic concept based on the idea that racism is not about individual people’s prejudice but the racism that is embedded in the United States’ institutions and policies, like a justice system that allows a police officer to get away with fatally shooting a 12-year-old Black boy for the crime of playing with a toy gun, while a white teen is acquitted of killing two people after claiming self-defense. Again, CRT does not teach kids that all white people are racist, but you wouldn’t know that by watching Fox News or listening to GOP politicians, who would have people believe that CRT says white people are to blame for everything bad that’s ever happened in the world and that they should be forced to turn over 98% of their earnings as reparations.

Another thing about CRT you may not be aware of if you’ve been getting your information from conservatives? That it’s not actually being taught in elementary, middle, or high schools. No, really, ask a teacher. They’d be happy to tell you!

Nevertheless, DeSantis and company want voters to think that kindergarteners are being forced to write “Down with white people” over and over on the blackboard, and because of this ridiculous lie, DeSantis is now endorsing a bill letting parents take schools to court over it.

Per NBC News:

Republican Florida governor Ron DeSantis is pushing a new bill that would allow parents to sue school districts if their children are taught critical race theory in classrooms, which mirrors how Texas’s abortion ban is enforced. DeSantis announced the “Stop WOKE Act” in Wildwood, Florida, on Wednesday, alongside state lieutenant governor Jeanette Núñez and Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “Our legislation will defend any money for K–12 going to CRT consultants,” the governor said. “No taxpayer dollars should be used to teach our kids to hate our country or hate each other.”

Chris Rufo, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a conservative think tank, also spoke at the event with DeSantis. In a tweet earlier this year, Rufo promised to make the concept of critical race theory “toxic” in the public imagination.... There’s scant evidence that critical race theory—an academic area of study that examines the modern-day impact of systemic racism in law and society—is actually being taught in Florida public schools or in any other public school system, but it has become a conservative flashpoint.

Like Texas’s abortion law, which deputizes citizen vigilantes, the Florida bill would let parents collect attorneys fees if they win their lawsuit. It would also:

- Codify the Florida Department of Education’s prohibition on critical race theory in K–12 schools

- Strengthen the enforcement authority of the Florida Department of Education

- Provide employees, parents, and students a “private right of action”

- Prohibit school districts, colleges, and universities from hiring “woke CRT consultants”

Claiming “woke ideology” is attempting to erase the country’s history, DeSantis said promoters of critical race theory “want to tear at the fabric of our society and our culture” and “delegitimize the founding of the country and the Constitution.” And he’s pretty sure he knows someone who would appreciate what he’s planning to do about it!

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“You think about what MLK stood for,” DeSantis told the crowd at his press conference on Wednesday. “He said he didn’t want people judged on the color of their skin but on the content of their character. You listen to some of these people nowadays, they don’t talk about that.” DeSantis, like most conservative morons, is apparently not aware of—or just conveniently left out—some other things King said, like, “We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality” and “We must see now that the evils of racism, economic exploitation, and militarism are all tied together,” plus our personal favorite: “The Republican Party [has] geared its appeal and program to racism, reaction, and extremism.”

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It’s almost as though you could draw some sort of conclusion here

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Nothing to see here, just an unnamed* lawmaker asking why states shouldn’t dispense with the whole “counting of votes” and just elect Trump

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*Though hopefully not for long.

In an ideal scenario, Time’s Person of the Year and Asshole of the Year would be two different people

Unfortunately, in this annus horribilis, they’re one and the same. Per Insider:

Time person of the year and richest man in the world Elon Musk took to Twitter on Tuesday to respond to Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s critique of his tax-paying habits and push for policy changes. “Let’s change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else,” Warren initially wrote on Twitter. In his...response, Musk wrote: “You remind me of when I was a kid and my friend’s angry Mom would just randomly yell at everyone for no reason.” 

He did not mention anything about tax proposals. A recent ProPublica investigation found that the billionaire, who is currently worth over $250 billion, paid no federal income taxes in 2018. Policymakers like Warren have been pushing for new tax measures that would target the net worths and assets of billionaires like Musk, who are able to use perfectly legal methods to not be on the hook for federal income taxes.

It was the latest insult that Musk lobbed at Senate Democrats in recent weeks. He previously took aim at Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon with a crude insult.… Musk also disparaged Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a prominent lawmaker who has aggressively advocated to tax the wealthiest Americans and large firms. “I keep forgetting that you’re still alive,” Musk wrote on Twitter.

Anyway, here‘s where we remind you that other Time people of the year have included Donald Trump, in 2016, and in 1938, a guy named Hitler. So, it’s not always the honor people think it is.


Unvaccinated COVID Patients Push Hospital Systems Past the Brink (Bloomberg)

Colleges move exams online, urge boosters as coronavirus cases rise and omicron fears grow (Washington Post)

The Federal Reserve Just Declared War Against Inflation (Intelligencer)

Biden Agenda Risks Delay Into 2022 as Manchin Talks Falter (Bloomberg)

Rape Accuser Challenges Trump to Let Defamation Suit Proceed (Bloomberg)

Warren calls for expansion of Supreme Court (CNN)

In corporate America, a striking race gap (Washington Post)

Germany expels Russian diplomats after court rules Moscow ordered murder of dissident (Politico)

Zebras on the run for months in Maryland have been captured (AP)

“A woman named Pam…reportedly stormed out of work and wrote a complaint email about her colleague, insisting that they should have some racial sensitivity training…because they called Jorts the ginger cat ‘a simple guy.’” (UNILAD)

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