UCF removes anti-racist statements from department websites
Ron DeSantis. Image via AP

Ron DeSantis woke
Critics are tying the decision to the “Stop WOKE Act,” pushed by Gov. DeSantis.

The University of Central Florida has removed anti-racist statements from departmental websites, a move that one professor has decried as an “infringement on academic freedom” in the wake of the passage of a Republican-backed law that restricts how race can be taught.

Ann Gleig, a religious studies professor, said in an email Wednesday that the anti-racist statement on the philosophy department’s website and those of other departments have been taken down. The philosophy department’s statement was crafted in the summer of 2020 following the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, she said.

“This is a complete infringement of academic freedom,” Gleig said. “The statement was crafted over a period of time with dialogue and input across a twenty person plus faculty trained in philosophy, religion and cultural studies and the humanities.”

Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis last spring signed into law what he has called the “Stop WOKE Act.” Restricting how race is discussed in schools, colleges and workplace training programs, the law prohibits any teaching that could make students or workers feel they bear personal responsibility for historic wrongs because of their race, color, sex or national origin.

The law, which took effect July 1, bars instruction that an individual’s “moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is determined by his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.”

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the anthropology department’s website at UCF said, “We acknowledge that many of us are born with unearned privilege, while others are denied basic human rights.”

“We decry this history, commit ourselves to rectifying it, and stand with those working to build an antiracist future for our nation,” the statement said.

In an email, UCF spokesperson Chad Binette said the school recently removed departmental statements that could be seen as “potentially inconsistent with our commitment to creating a welcoming environment — one where faculty objectively engage students in robust, scholarly discussions that expand their knowledge and empower them to freely express their views and form their own perspectives.”

Asked in a follow-up email what was “potentially inconsistent” with the statements, Binette didn’t immediately respond. He said the university would be working with departments “to ensure statements better align with our university values.”

“UCF is committed to building a culture that values respect, civil discourse, and creating a sense of belonging,” said Binette, the school’s assistant vice president of communications.

But Democratic State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a UCF graduate, slammed the move on Wednesday.

“The DeSantis regime has made the anti-racist mission of my alma mater AGAINST THE LAW,” Smith tweeted. “This is a consequence of HB 7 and the Governor’s out-of-control censorship agenda. This is not freedom.”

Associated Press


9 comments

  • ScienceBLVR

    July 13, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Another edict by Big Brother DeSantis to limit free expression. Republicans..the new facist party.

    • Ron Ogden

      July 14, 2022 at 2:56 am

      Woke-ism is dangerous. It hurts people who are committed to lives of moderation, rationality and reflection. It is a sneaky sort of hatred preferred by the weak because they can hide behind academic robes and social media handles. A lot of wokesters themselves are becoming troubled by the patent injustice of it. It is in decline,, Governor DeSantis helped send down the slope toward obsolescence, and its eventual demise will be a victory for him and for common sense and calm debate.

      • Pancho Villar

        July 14, 2022 at 1:28 pm

        Adhere to my way of thinking of the world, or else? Sure sounds like freedom to me.

    • Timothy D.

      July 15, 2022 at 7:18 pm

      “Waaaaaah we can’t be openly racist towards Whites with taxpayer money!”

      My condolences. Now get a real job.

  • Elliott Offen

    July 14, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Shoveling money to the rich, decades of low wage slavery, and no effective government intervention to prevent poverty and economic turmoil. The do nothing GOP has perpetuated this plutocracy through far right propaganda and obstruction…and they blame the Democrats for it all. These GOP hogs are lying crooks… should be executed. They’ve got their supporters so stoned on right wing propaganda that they don’t know their bung holes from their lips…all while they continue to grift them to a husk.

  • Killian Kessler Kincaid

    July 14, 2022 at 9:08 pm

    I approve of DeSantis’s racism, but I dislike his bullying. I’ll be voting Christ or Fried even if it means more lazy self righteous Mexicans pooping in kitchen drawers.

    • Pancho Villar

      July 15, 2022 at 9:01 am

      Terrible attempt at humor . . . I think.

  • Joe Corsin

    July 16, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Vote RED for wealth and income inequality the likes of which the world has never seen.

    Vote RED for a culture of greed, racism, incivility, and politicized religion.

    Vote RED for never ending low wage exploitation and capitalist scams.

    Vote RED for get out of jail free for the rich and prison for the poor

    Vote RED for domestic terrorism to eliminate government so that the hogs can grift Americans into slavery.

    Vote RED for ancient Roman plutocracy in the name of Christ.

  • Just a comment

    July 20, 2022 at 10:57 am

    I agree +(not that I have much say) police did not act accordingly that did kill the man. But you have to say violence and resisting arrest is not a sportsmanship for discrimination

Comments are closed.


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