The fact that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis even knows that Black History Month is an actual thing is surprising, but that he ran a statewide essay contest about it contradicts everything he’s been attempting to do to erase Black people.
Remember, this is the same guy who proclaimed he was "taking a stand against critical race theory” in Florida schools and in the workplace by enacting “Stop Wrongs Against Our Kids and Employees Act," or the “Stop W.O.K.E. Act.” Not to mention his support for the Parental Rights in Education proposal, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
So what does DeSantis want the budding young minds of Florida to write about? Well, it isn’t actually impressive Black Americans, nope. He’s suggesting that students write about his anti-vaxxer, numbskull surgeon general, Dr. Joseph “I don’t know a thing about science” Ladapo. A Harvard-trained doc who denies standard COVID-19 mitigations like vaccines and masks over unproven treatments such as ivermectin and monoclonal antibodies.
DeSantis also suggested the kids write about Republican Rep. Bryon Donalds, who has been public about having COVID-19, and that he believes that he’s not eternally protected from getting it again and therefore doesn’t need a vaccine.
“I chose not to get vaccinated because I chose not to get vaccinated,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “I already had COVID-19 once, I’m 42 years old, I’m in very good health, I actually get checkups regularly and do all those things. That is a personal decision for myself; members of my family, my wife and three kids, they’ve all had COVID. They’re not getting vaccinated, they’re all healthy. That is a decision they’ve chosen to make.
“If people in the United States are concerned about contracting and being hospitalized and dying, of course, from COVID-19, please go get vaccinated. I will never tell you not to get vaccinated. What I’m saying is: I made a decision not to get vaccinated and it doesn’t matter if it’s you or Joe Biden or anybody else that’s going to stress or want me to get it … I made that decision as a free person.”
Getting the picture?
He has opposed masking and opposed mask mandates whenever they arose. This included appearances in Cape Coral and before the Collier County Commission.
“You have no authority to mandate what people can put on their body. The fear people are having doesn’t justify it,” Donalds said when he spoke before the Cape Coral City Council on July 6, 2020. “As a council, you have the solemn duty to vote this down and get back to common sense.”
Like most things DeSantis-related, the motivation must be questioned at the very least, and at the most it should be ignored. The only thing Lapado and Donalds have in common? They’re both Black.
It’s not about the fact that they’re both Republican (although given what we all know about the Republican Party, that part is questionable), it’s that neither is an example of what students should be looking toward as examples of successful Black Americans, or any Americans for that matter.
On Jan. 6, Donalds was hanging with his buddies outside the U.S. Capitol during Trump’s rally.
And prior to the insurrection, Donalds posted a video of himself walking into the Capitol saying he was planning to challenge Biden’s win.
“I’m about to sign the objection forms to object to the certification of the electoral college in four states: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Georgia,” he said. “It’s important we always uphold our law and the constitution no matter what, and that’s my job here in Congress.”
Donalds ultimately was among 12 Florida members of Congress to object to all four states’ slates of electors.
Not all skin folk are kinfolk. And I’ll leave it at that.