It’s not great when half the state legislatures in the country continue to test how far they can go with crypto-fascist legislation—but with an extremist Supreme Court on your side, why not give it a shot, right?
In what seems like a truly baffling violation of the First Amendment, Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act” prohibits businesses and schools from implementing any kind of training “that discusses Black history, LGBTQ+ issues, and other concepts of injustice and discrimination.”
This week, in what may (I hope?) be an act of protest, the University of Central Florida English department “retracted” its 2021 anti-racism statement because it “violates Florida law.” Read the full “retracted” statement below:
— Brandon Wolf (@bjoewolf) July 7, 2022
Whether or not the statement itself is illegal is a gray zone, but this retraction is exactly what a chilling effect looks like. That we’re even wondering about the right of a college English department to make widely accepted statements grounded in reasonable consensus—e.g. “Our field has for too long upheld a canon of literature that is exclusive, elitist, and blindingly white.”—should add one more loud alarm bell to the ongoing national cacophony.
As ACLU Interim Director Amy Turkel says, the act clearly infringes
on teachers’ and employers’ First Amendment rights and chill their ability to use concepts like systemic racism and gender discrimination to teach about and discuss important American history.
But if the Supreme Court is now picking and choosing between constitutional rights, based on political categories, what the fuck is anyone going to do about this? If all the power resides with the state legislatures (except when it comes to blue states and guns) we are well and truly doomed.
[Look at DeSantis just giving STRONGMAN DICTATOR vibes at CPAC]