A leading women’s rights group is warning of a “new era of Jim Crow” in the Sunshine State, blaming it on Gov. Ron DeSantis and an “unprecedented sprint toward autocracy.”
“Clearly DeSantis and his Administration have gone beyond any point of reason. By imposing their blatant, racist, misogynistic, perverted sense of ‘freedom’ agenda on Florida, they are hurting every Floridian socially, economically, and politically. This agenda compares to the Jim Crow era our country suffered after Reconstruction and to segregation, which is returning covertly and unjustly,” charged Florida NOW President Debbie Deland.
“We need to educate everyone about the deleterious direction our democracy is heading at the expense of women, people of color, LGBTQ+, immigrants seeking asylum, etc. Florida NOW will be looking to support justice in all these intersectional areas,” Deland added.
The group charges the Governor with “voter suppression,” saying DeSantis “championed laws that hinder voters from their right to vote with confusion, chaos, contradictions and/or fear.” They highlight Congressional redistricting from 2022 as “eliminating two Black districts.”
“All levels of education from K-12 to public universities have been severely attacked,” NOW notes, citing moves against Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI), teaching about gender and race, and contending “laws prevent students from discussing or learning about the LGBTQIA+ communities through 12th grade.”
The group also takes issue with DeSantis’ contention that books are not banned in Florida, even as controversial titles are culled from school libraries.
“Massive book banning in FL is NO hoax. It is raging county by county from many people that aren’t even parents in those communities. Book banning drives ignorance. DeSantis seems to want an ignorant populace,” Deland argued.
Also an issue: the Heartbeat Protection Act, a bill which bans abortion after the sixth week of gestation.
“This law virtually bans abortion in Florida. Most women do not know that they are pregnant in 6 weeks and would not have time to complete the requirements of the state to get the abortion. We have already seen the sad consequences for several women carrying unviable fetuses. They are not babies. As another element of this new Jim Crow, the severe abortion ban especially disadvantages lower economic and women of color communities,” NOW argues.