Ron DeSantis defends Florida’s DEI flip-flop

'I didn't know what DEI was a couple of years ago as this had taken hold.'

Florida’s Governor reserves the right to change his mind when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Confronted by a reporter in West Palm Beach about a seeming policy change in so-called DEI initiatives, Ron DeSantis defended his administration’s newfound focus on them by saying he initially didn’t understand what they were.

“I didn’t know what DEI was a couple of years ago as this had taken hold. I mean, it sounds innocuous, right? I thought maybe diversity of ideas, maybe actually have more than one viewpoint. Well, that’s not what it is. What it is, is trying to enforce a political agenda and a political orthodoxy under the auspices of administration,” DeSantis said. “And that is something that is not in the best interests of the state.

“It’s incredibly divisive, it’s incredibly divisive and I don’t necessarily think anyone that supported this in the past necessarily had bad motives. But I think if you look to see how it’s worked in practice, it’s been an embarrassment to see some of the things that have come out at Florida State, at some of these universities here.”

He continued by arguing the state has an interest in shaping the mission of these universities.

“It’s not an appropriate use of the administrative machinery of a university that, oh, by the way, subsists on the generosity of the taxpayers of the state of Florida. These are not private institutions, they’re public institutions,” DeSantis added.

“And so as this has become a problem, I asked to get more information about it. We got them reporting how much money they’re spending on it. We introduced legislation to remedy that, and we will be the first state in these United States to wipe out DEI at our public universities.”

DeSantis declared war on DEI last month in rolling out legislative proposals “pushing back against the tactics of liberal elites who suppress free thought in the name of identity politics and indoctrination.” But as he acknowledged, the policy was recently embraced by the state of Florida’s university system and the taxpayers that funded it.

A 2020 memo from Brian Lamb and Marshall Criser, the Vice Chair of the Board of Governors and the President of the State University System (SUS), respectively, proclaimed the SUS had “the wisdom and leadership to make a difference in our nation’s continuing efforts to end incidents of racism and societal injustice.”

“The tragic violence of Spring and Fall 2020 in the U.S., as well as incidents of racism and social injustice, have alarmed most Americans and caused us to pause and recognize the prevalence and the impacts of racism and social injustice in our country, examine the current inequities in our society, recognize the conditions that have created the current situation, and think seriously about how to repair the racial divide and restore equal justice for all,” asserted the aspirational document.

So when it comes to DeSantis and DEI, an axiom seems to apply: That was then, and this is now.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • just sayin

    February 16, 2023 at 8:19 am

    I like politicians who never change their mind and when challenged, simply rage tweet throughout the night. This DeSatan guy is a monster.

    • James Wilson

      February 16, 2023 at 2:02 pm

      He is awesome. Equity is a disgusting communist concept. Except the international communists pushing it do not want to apply it to themselves, just the prols.

      • Those people

        February 17, 2023 at 12:48 am

        You have as much charisma as desantis.
        And by that I mean you sound as appealing as a dead hamster to everyone who’s not a Republican on bath salts lol

      • Tom

        February 17, 2023 at 2:35 pm

        “Equity – the quality of being fair and impartial” Those horrible communists are even trying to make us fair and impartial now. It’s a travesty I say ..

  • M. Mouse

    February 19, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    International communists! The worst kind, especially when they infiltrate America like they did back in the 1950’s! Where is Senator Joseph McCarthy when we need him? Oh, that’s right, he’s dead.
    It’s up to you then, James Wilson, so start naming names. You too can be awesome like Governor Ron Boy! Just repeat the mantra, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” That’s from a book. You can read it if you’d like, it’s okay, Ron Boy hasn’t banned it yet. But if you read it and it has any CRT, you let him know right away. I know you will. Such a good boy!

    • James Wilson

      February 20, 2023 at 12:31 pm

      Like most leftists you do not know how to do anything but insult people. That is so pathetic. But it will not work on me because I have been extremely successful through studying actual knowledge such as mathematics and engineering. Not leftist trash taught in schools today. I have also spent several years working with Cuban expats and have lived in Albania and Kyrgyzstan. I have seen the effects of communist policies and the misery they cause. I know many former communists who have detailed what a horrible existence it is and how it always comes down to a party elite living like kings and a miserable proletariat constantly promised new programs that will fix everything but only make things worse and must be enforced at the point of a bayonet because their actual effects are never what is promised. And I like the equity comment. I guess that is a recent college graduate who learned dictionary .com for $50k a year. But equity as taught by current day socialist/communists simply means redistribute the wealth of the middle class to crush it in order to create a permanent captive lower class while the elites maintain their private jets and wagyu beef parties. And you stupid children cannot make a lucid argument because you have no meaningful knowledge and are simply taught to hate. So, keep talking down to people on the internet, brave ones, and accept your life as losers. As for me, I will go on living the good life and spending hard earned cash to make life better for my family while you whine..

    • James Wilson

      February 20, 2023 at 7:25 pm

      You want names? Every supposed democrat except maybe Manchin and Sinema. BTW McCarthy was right then and would be right now.

  • Ian

    February 24, 2023 at 7:30 am

    A couple years ago I was still being Governor and not using my constituents as campaign props

Comments are closed.


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