An Obama-appointed judge in Florida has struck down one of Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) signature efforts to ban woke, anti-white ideology in classrooms, calling the governor’s policy “positively dystopian.”
The so-called “Stop Woke” act prohibits racialist indoctrination in classrooms concerning such concepts as “white privilege” and white guilt.
Judge blocks anti-woke law
The “Stop Woke” law bans schools and workplaces from imputing guilt or moral superiority to any person because of their race or gender, or classifying them as an “oppressor” or “oppressed.” DeSantis introduced the legislation to combat “cultural Marxism” that is “tear[ing] at the fabric of our society.
In a ruling that cited George Orwell’s 1984, Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said that DeSantis was somehow infringing on the free speech of college instructors.
By preventing students from being indoctrinated, DeSantis was stopping “priests of democracy” from exposing students to “challenging ideas,” Walker asserted. Strangely enough, the judge called it “positively dystopian” to ban ideologies that teach students they are inherently evil because of their race.
“The law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints,” Walker wrote.
He added, “Defendants argue that, under this Act, professors enjoy “academic freedom” so long as they express only those viewpoints of which the State approves. This is positively dystopian.”
Incredulous conservatives have been blasting the judge, with many highlighting the odd “priests of democracy” phrasing as a signal that his argument about free speech is backwards.
“’Priests of democracy.’ The left actually wants to publicly fund religion, as long as it’s their religion,” conservative commentator Jarret Stepman wrote.
Governor DeSantis, who plans to appeal the ruling, asserted that his law protects free speech by shielding students from being brainwashed with “discriminatory concepts.”
“The Stop W.O.K.E. Act protects the open exchange of ideas by prohibiting teachers or employers who hold agency over others from forcing discriminatory concepts on students as part of classroom instruction or on employees as a condition of maintaining employment,” his office said.
DeSantis, who won re-election in a landslide this month, has become a favorite of the conservative base with his aggressive brand of anti-woke politics and is widely seen as a top 2024 Republican presidential primary candidate, should he decide to run.