“The View” co-hosts on Wednesday ranted about Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ plan to defund all diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs at public universities in the state in order to steer away from “political window-dressing.”
The Florida governor announced the initiative Tuesday to readdress courses to teach western civilization and prevent funding for DEI programs on college campuses, which he referred to as being “ideological” and “political filters.” The plan will prohibit universities from promoting activities that promote DEI or critical race theory (CRT).
“I don’t understand why [DeSantis] believes that — he wants people to see the history of western civilization and history and philosophy of western civilization because he wants it seen through that lens,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said. “Why is your lens better than my lens? So you’re basically saying to people like Marian Croak, you’re not going to teach about her, her history is American history. What is it that he doesn’t get? We’re not going anywhere, just because you stop teaching it in the colleges, you think people are gonna stop telling these stories? No, it’s not gonna happen.”
“He’s basically sacrificing the education of a whole generation of people for his ambition, which is basically to be president of the country,” co-host Joy Behar said. “And I love the idea that he says its a drain on resources and hostile to academic freedom to teach LGBT, African American, women’s studies and yet, he’s banning library books, he’s banning AP courses, drag shows, women’s right to choose, now they’re banning diversity and inclusion, and they’re calling it freedom? Freedom for whom? … He’s a lousy governor, also.”
The co-hosts criticized DeSantis for saying that funding DEI is a “drain on resources.” The Florida governor’s 2023-2024 budget intends to allocate $15 million for faculty and student recruitment at the New College of Florida (NCF) and $100 million for faculty recruitment and retention for “high quality faculty” at state institutions. (RELATED: ‘A Lot Of Racism…And A Little Bit Of Insanity’: Whoopi Goldberg Rants About DeSantis After FL Rejects CRT Course)
Co-host Sunny Hostin said DeSantis is solely banning an AP African American Studies course, and allowing for AP European History to remain, allegedly to fulfill “his ideology.” The Florida Department of Education (DOE) rejected the former course for including components of CRT.
The course contained units which study intersectionality, queer theory and feminism, and required readings from Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, who wrote the book “Racism Without Racists.” The work “examines in detail how Whites talk, think, and account for the existence of racial inequality and makes clear that color-blind racism is as insidious now as ever,” according to its description. Due to these details, the DOE ruled the course “lacks educational value” and “historical accuracy.”
CRT teaches America is systemically racist and encourages students to view institutions and social interactions in terms of race.
The DOE told the College Board to introduce a new version of the course that erases the components of CRT. DeSantis also signed legislation requiring students to study the Ocoee Massacre of 1920, which resulted in the murder of an unknown number of African Americans after a black man attempted to vote, according to the Orange County Regional History Center.
Co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin criticized the governor for banning these courses on college campuses, but said there can be an open discussion on removing CRT from elementary through high school level classes. She argued DeSantis is carrying out the policy to grow more name recognition on a national level.
Goldberg then argued that DeSantis will receive major backlash for this and may even be voted out of his position.
“My folks are from Florida, they’re Floridians. And they’ve been black the whole time. They were raised in Florida, there has always been black people in Florida and if you’re not careful, that base is going to rise up and vote your ass out of there,” she said.