Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Gov. DeSantis Highlights USF Discrimination Case As Example Of DEI Thinking Run Amok

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Source: Governor’s Office)

If Floridians have learned anything after watching him over the last four years, it’s not necessarily a good thing to be on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ radar for promoting woke causes.

The University of South Florida may be there now.

The Republican governor on Monday highlighted an incident at USF in a montage of news-video clips about the ill effects of woke “diversity, equity and inclusion” advocacy gripping left-wing institutions, such as colleges.

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USF made DeSantis’ list for an incident The Free Press reported on Tuesday. As the conservative group Campus Reform recently reported, USF denied a white student, Andrew Davis, access to a mental health counseling program because it was segregated solely for BIPOC students, which stands for black, indigenous, and people of color.

In response to his request to join the group, because its meeting time was the only one to fit his schedule, USF’s counseling center replied, “Unfortunately, we do need to keep this space specific to BIPOC folks, as the topics that come up are going to be unique to those identities.

Davis’ case was among a multitude of examples DeSantis highlighted in a 7-plus-minute video about the “DEI scam.” The video was featured at a roundtable discussion on this topic that DeSantis hosted on Monday.

“In Florida,” the governor noted, “we are not going to back down to the woke mob, and we will expose the scams they are trying to push onto students across the country. Florida students will receive an education, not a political indoctrination.”

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Anyone who doubts DeSantis’ commitment to root out discriminatory behavior based on left-wing principles need only to search for New College, the Walt Disney Co., or former Hillsborough County state attorney Andrew Warren to understand how DeSantis tackles such issues.

At USF, it’s unclear if the counseling center staff was disciplined for rejecting Davis’ request.

As The Free Press noted on Tuesday, the center told Davis last month in its reply to his complaint: “The Counseling Center will not prohibit any category of student [from] participating in specialized counseling groups unless specific exception, or a medical mandate is identified that may support exclusivity.”  

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