Florida Democrats Try to Use Book Ban on Ron Desantis’ Memoir
Florida Democrats are aiming the state’s legislation censoring texts in schools at Gov. Ron Desantis’ own book. The governor’s self-described memoir, “The Courage To Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival,” is being subjected to the same criteria his administration has been using to ban books deemed related to race or gender, the Daily Beast reports.
“The very trap that he set for others is the one that he set for himself,” Fentrice Driskell, the Minority Leader in the Florida House, told the Daily Beast on Monday. Driskell is reportedly leading an effort across 50 counties to have DeSantis’ book reviewed based on his own law’s purposefully vague rules.
DeSantis’ “Don’t Say Gay” law imposed on K-12 schools ban any discussion of sexuality or gender, including one’s own, unless it is deemed to be “age appropriate.” This has led teachers to self-censor, for fear of losing their jobs, and school districts to remove books about gender or sexuality from library shelves. In April, the Florida Department of of Education announced that would reject 41 percent of math textbooks submitted by publishers for its K-12 curriculum, claiming that some contained critical race theory (CRT).
Driskell and other state Democrats pinpointed 17 sections in Desantis’ “The Courage to Be Free” that could potentially violate his own legislation. The governor uses the terms “woke” and “gender ideology” 46 times and 10 times, respectively, which the Daily Beast notes could be considered “divisive concepts” that DeSantis has argued should not be included in K-12 studies.
While it is unclear how many Florida schools currently carry DeSantis book, per the report, Marion County school district claimed that no school in the county of 400,000 people “have any copies of this book in their collections.”
Still, Driskell hopes the tactic draws attention from other states and highlights “how ridiculous some of this becomes.”
“If America doesn’t want Florida’s present reality to become America’s future reality, people need to know what it’s like here,” Driskell said.