In today’s episode of If Ron DeSantis Isn’t A White Supremacist, His Legislative Pen Certainly Is, the good governor of Florida slashed his state’s approved budget on Thursday, even though he apparently didn’t need to, and—surprise, surprise—the casualties of his veto pen included millions in funding for Black history projects and gun violence prevention programs.
According to Tampa Bay Times, DeSantis cut about $510 million form of a $117 billion budget, which was approved unanimously by the state Legislature. Ultimately, what he cut regarding Black history programs was only a tiny fraction, but that does beg the question: Why cut it at all?
From the Times:
The governor eliminated $160,000 in funding for a Black History Month celebration in Orlando called the 1619 Fest, whose theme this year was to bring awareness to the health disparities Black people face in America. DeSantis also cut $200,000 in funding for Florida’s Black Music Legacy, a project designed to highlight the state’s contributions to Black music.
Last year, DeSantis vetoed $1 million for Valencia College to create a feature film about the 1920 Ocoee Election Day Massacre, in which a white mob attacked and killed dozens of Black voters in the nation’s worst instance of Election Day violence.
Ahhh—well, that certainly clears things up.
Of course, the governor, who has proved numerous times that he will declare war on any initiatives that get his anti-woke whitey-spidey senses tingling, cut funding for an event that includes “1619” in its name, despite the theme of said event not apparently having anything to do with Nikole Hannah-Jone’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work, The 1619 Project. (Which is basically the devil’s bible to conservatives who like their history whitewashed and white fragility-soothing.)
It’s also not terribly surprising that DeSantis would cut funding to basic Black History education such as programs celebrating Black music and films about massacres of Black people by racist white people. Despite DeSantis’ claim that he’s not against Black history in general, only against whatever he considers “divisive,” the truth is Black people really can’t tell our stories at all without making white conservatives feel uncomfortable, because it simply isn’t a history that can be divorced from pro-white oppression. In other words: Black history is “woke” by default.
Anyway, DeSantis also vetoed $5 million in funding that had been secured by state democrats for groups working to prevent community gun violence while “GOP lawmakers pushed forward a law allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit,” according to the Times.
In fact, DeSantis appears to have increased spending on a number of conservative initiatives while cutting spending on things that don’t pass the right-winger-approved smell test.
More from the Times:
But the budget also injects millions into shoring up conservative ideology in Florida’s colleges and universities — and millions more for DeSantis’ priorities as he runs for president.
There is $30 million for the new Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education, a conservative think tank affiliated with the University of Florida. The budget includes more than $34 million to remake New College of Florida into a bastion of conservative ideals, similar to Hillsdale College, a private Christian school in Michigan.
Mind you, DeSantis didn’t need to cut anything at all from the state’s budget as the Times reported that “booming tax revenues and billions of dollars in federal aid have allowed lawmakers and DeSantis to spend freely while assigning a record $15.3 billion to reserves.”
So, if DeSantis is going out of his way to cut funding for Black history and anti-gun violence programs while beefing up spending for conservative-approved education, it’s pretty clear that DeSantis, like most Republicans, doesn’t mind spending money on ideological indoctrination in colleges and universities as long as it’s the right kind of “indoctrination” (emphasis on “right”).
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