I just want to give a quick shoutout to Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker, because the Obama-appointed Florida judge keeps putting the kibosh on Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ white fragility-inspired “Stop WOKE Act,” which serves no other purpose but to protect caucasians from their own discomfort amid discussions on systemic racism in America.
According to Politico, on Thursday, Walker granted a temporary injunction blocking Florida officials from enforcing what he called a “positively dystopian” policy that restricts how race is discussed in colleges and universities.
“’It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen,’ and the powers in charge of Florida’s public university system have declared the State has unfettered authority to muzzle its professors in the name of ‘freedom,’” Walker wrote in a 138-page order where he quoted George Orwell’s novel 1984.
Florida’s Republican-led Legislature approved the “anti-woke” legislation, FL HB 7 (22R), or the Individual Freedom Act, earlier this year. The law, directly inspired by DeSantis, expands Florida’s anti-discrimination laws to prohibit schools and companies from leveling guilt or blame to students and employees based on race or sex, takes aim at lessons over issues like “white privilege” by creating new protections for students and workers, including that a person should not be instructed to “feel guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress” due to their race, color, sex or national origin.
First of all, I love how the legislation has been titled the “Individual Freedom Act”—(which I can only assume was done because DeSantis realized “WOKE” was starting to look like an acronym for “White Offendedness and KKKaucasian Emancipation”)—when “freedom” is the furthest thing from what this bill would accomplish.
Here’s the thing: it’s one thing for DeSantis to ban public K-12 schools from teaching Black history and social studies that gets white people all in their snowflake feelings. But colleges and universities are exactly where critical perspectives are meant to be taught. Yet, this so-called “individual freedom” legislation would take away the freedom of individual professors to teach what they want or express their ideological opinions during courses that students have the option not to take in schools they have the option not to attend.
So whose “freedom” is this legislation supposed to be protecting?
“The law officially bans professors from expressing disfavored viewpoints in university classrooms while permitting unfettered expression of the opposite viewpoints,” Walker wrote in his injunction. “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.”
Exactly. Conservatives are always about non-censorship except when it comes to subjects they find jarring and offensive.
This is the second time Walker blocked Ron DeSantis’ little “White Tears Dryification Act” (I’m just throwing out alternative titles here). In August, Walker blocked a part of the legislation that barred private employers from implementing mandatory diversity, equity, and inclusion training. This means the so-called “Individual Freedom Act” also takes away the freedom of private employers to run their businesses how they want. Seriously, calling it the “KKKolinizer Affirmations for Racists’ Educational Needs (KAREN) Act” would be much more fitting.
Anyway, Walker, at the time, compared the legislation to Netflix’s Stranger Things. (Apparently, Walker really loves both classic and contemporary art. I like this guy.)
“In the popular television series Stranger Things, the ‘upside down’ describes a parallel dimension containing a distorted version of our world,” Walker wrote in his opinion. “Recently, Florida has seemed like a First Amendment upside down.”
“Normally, the First Amendment bars the state from burdening speech, while private actors may burden speech freely,” Walker continued. “But in Florida, the First Amendment apparently bars private actors from burdening speech, while the state may burden speech freely.”
Also, this is an opportunity for me to point out that I rue the day white people discovered the word “woke.” It’s a travesty of justice what they have done to our colloquialism. Just leave our vernacular TF alone.
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