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Anti-Woke: Has Gov Ron DeSantis Backed Down?

When the “Stop WOKE Act” was passed in February, legislation specialists said it is a way to limit the hours of non-curricular speaking that students can do.

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The “war on Woke ideology” has been Florida Governor Ron Desantis’ go-to strategy for raising his reputation inside the Republican party for months. The “Stop WOKE Act” actually put restrictions on how Black and people of color spoke about their past in schools and diversity in the workplace, despite a representative’s statements to the contrary. According to CNN, a district judge found on Thursday that the “Stop WOKE Act” violates the Fourteenth Amendment by impairing free speech and being “impermissibly vague.”

If the state chose to appeal the decision, the private employer section of the statute would be nullified, according to Tallahassee U.S. District Judge Mark Walker. Before this, employers were not allowed to have their staff take training that they considered to be teaching “personal responsibility” for historical wrongdoings because of someone’s race, color, sex, or national origin.

Judge Walker has experience preside over cases involving Florida’s ridiculous laws that target Black people. In March, he overturned portions of the state’s election law that restricted the use of ballot drop boxes, placed delivery restrictions on third-party voter registration organizations, and outlawed certain activities like providing food and water at or close to polling places. He is the same judge who overturned those provisions.

Judge Walker argued that it was hypocritical for Florida to impose what they believed to be the proper way to speak about race while restricting the speech of private enterprises and entities. He even went so far as to compare Florida to Stranger Things on Netflix, calling it a “First Amendment upside down.”

Source: The Hill

The Obama-appointed judge said, “Normally, the First Amendment prohibits the state from burdening expression, whereas private actors may burden speech freely. However, it appears that the First Amendment does not apply in Florida, where the government is permitted to impose restrictions on expression. Let Florida present its case if it genuinely thinks that race no longer exists in our society. However, it cannot prevail in the debate by silencing its opponents. Because the IFA attacks ideas—not conduct—without cause, he wrote.

The “Stop WOKE Act’s” classroom provisions are being challenged in court by the ACLU and other advocacy organizations. There are already legal obstacles in the way of instructors who want to bring up racism with their students in 17 states that have passed “anti-Critical Race Theory” legislation. The desire for greater workplace inclusivity and the discussion of how particular groups have been impacted by a corporate culture that hasn’t benefited them are not examples of “woke brainwashing.” We must be able to discuss injustices and not brush them under the rug if we are to prevent them from occurring.