On Tuesday, a committee of the Florida State Senate signed off on a bill that would crack down on any curriculum which seeks to make people feel “discomfort” or “guilt” over their racial identity or gender, which is widely viewed as a rebuke of Critical Race Theory (CRT).
According to CNN, the bill in question, which is called the “Individual Freedom Act,” does not explicitly mention CRT; however, the analysis of the bill that went with it does mention the phrase, which refers to a far-left political concept claiming that all White people are automatically racist, and that America is an inherently racist nation. The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee on a party-line vote, with all six Republicans voting in favor while all three Democrats voted against it.
Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), in his announcement of the legislation, described CRT as “state-sanctioned racism” and conducive to “hostile work environments,” promising that the bill would keep CRT out of schools and workplaces. CRT is already banned in Florida’s public schools following a directive that was implemented in June at the Florida Department of Education.
The bill would prohibit the teaching of any such concepts that would make people “feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin.” In addition, the legislation would forbid employers from any sort of workplace training that “espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels” individuals to believe that they “bear responsibility for, or should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex or national origin.”
The bill has been criticized by Democrats, with State Senator Shevrin Jones (D-Fla.), Vice Chair of the Senate Education Committee, falsely claiming that the bill essentially bans “black history.”
“This isn’t even a ban on Critical Race Theory, this is a ban on Black history,” Jones complained in a statement to CNN. “They are talking about not wanting White people to feel uncomfortable? Let’s talk about being uncomfortable. My ancestors were uncomfortable when they were stripped away from their children.”
The DeSantis Administration defended the bill, with Press Secretary Christina Pushaw reaffirming that DeSantis believes there is no place in the state of Florida for “discrimination based on race, color, sex, and national origin.”
Pushaw added that the bill “makes clear that no Floridian — student, worker, or anyone else — should be subjected to discriminatory content and rhetoric. Every Floridian deserves an equal shot at success, regardless of skin color. This means considering each person as an individual with unique attributes, experiences, and aspirations, rather than stereotyping them as a member of this or that identity group.”