Florida Senate Passes Bigoted “Stop WOKE Act”

Florida’s state senate has passed the “Stop WOKE Act”, a bill that would ban schools and companies from discussing topics regarding race, “ethnic heritage”, and sex/gender. Republicans claim that this is done in order to prevent people (white people) from feeling distressed and “blamed” for things like slavery and Jim Crow laws.

According to NBC Tampa Bay, the bill would count discrimination as something that “espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe any of the following concepts”:

  1. Members of one race, color, sex, or national origin are morally superior to members of another
  2. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously
  3. An individual’s moral character or status as either privileged or oppressed is necessarily determined by his or her race, color, sex, or national origin
  4. People cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race, color, sex, or national origin
  5. An individual bears 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
  6. An individual, by virtue of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin, should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment to achieve diversity, equity, or inclusion
  7. An individual bears personal responsibility for and must feel guilt, anguish, or other forms of psychological distress because of actions, in which the individual played no part, committed in the past by other members of the same race, color, sex, or national origin
  8. Such virtues as merit, excellence, hard work, fairness, neutrality, objectivity, and racial colorblindness are racist or sexist, or were created by members of a particular race, color, sex, or national origin to oppress members of another

As is obvious from the bill’s own text, the entire purpose is to favor and “protect” white people from having negative thoughts about America’s past. #7 is especially terrifying as it very obviously is saying “white people can’t be held responsible for slavery”. It’s sad and pathetic that this is what American politics has turned into.

It’s also scary that sexual orientation wasn’t included in any of the lines here, which serves as proof that the bill – which is designed to aid white people – didn’t even want to run the risk of inadvertently protecting the LGBTQ community from discrimination.

The Human Rights Campaign released a statement earlier today condemning Florida Republicans and calling for the bill to get vetoed. “Anti-equality legislators in Florida must stop advancing discriminatory bills that attack marginalized groups. House Bill 7 is a shameful attempt to censor critical conversations about important issues that impact vulnerable communities, including LGBTQ+ people. Injustice on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and racial identiy exists, despite any attempts by the state legislature to sweep it under the rug,” said Cathryn M. Oakley, State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel at the Human Rights Campaign. “The so-called ‘Stop WOKE Act’ will have negative consequences across the state of Florida, not just for individuals but also for businesses. Governor DeSantis must veto this bill.”

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